■ REVIEW: Crystal Venom
Futuristic and a little unbelievable

This is the second in the “Fury of Aces” series by New Zealand writer Steve Wheeler.

The crew of Basalt are continuing their adventures. Their success so far has brought both blessings and curses. Popularity and fortune vie with jealousy and the pressure of further success.

As seen in book one, a new and potentially widespread concern to the human sphere is the octopoid. The team – human and ACEs – are to continue in search of more evidence of the octopoid.However, first they are detailed to find and destroy biological weapons being manufactured by the survivors of a devastating planetary war some 30 years before.

Action, science fiction, imagination and political intrigue abound as various forces vie for control.

Having read the first in the series I was able to get up to speed with the terminology and the major concept in this futureverse. If it is all new territory or you have forgotten, there are glossaries and appendices galore.

The story framework has grown on me and the plotting and writing are both enjoyable.

I do find the super futuristic equipment and morphing technologies hard to swallow but if sci-fi is your thing, then this may be for you.

Crystal Venom, by Steve Wheeler (HarperCollins, RRP $30)

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