AZU-1: lifehack

Joseph Picard's novel AZU-1: lifehack blends horror, action, and science fiction together in a novel broken up into four parts. Alas, the result is less an infusion of originality or excitement in the genres than it is a case of weak writing.

In the not-too-distant future, the city of Autar is intended as a technological marvel of housing and technology. Regan Grier -- a spunky, irreverent lesbian -- comes here to visit and mooch off her brother Harold, who's working on experiements in nanotechnology in the city. In almost no time at all, something happens and Autar is filled with rampaging zombies!

Fast forward two years, and a military team enters Autar to find Regan the sole survivor. In no time at all officer Alisia Terone is hunting zombies (and fending off Regan's sexual advances), a mad scientist pops up, the zombie threat is contained then spreads again, Regan's ex shows up, the heroes go zipping around on their own specialized helicopter-type vehicle, and lots of guns get fired.

Nothing in AZU-1: lifehack is wholly creative. Worse, Picard really needs help with his style. Description is frequently scarce, sections called "infodumps" are little more than third-person omniscience that is somewhat like a file (but is too subjective and current to work as such), chapter lengths vary without reason or effect, the characters are largely one-dimensional, and several pop-culture puns are just painful. This book also could have used better editing: I caught several typos, not to mention the invariable use of "it's" for "its."

AZU-1: lifehack is an okay throwaway read, but that's about it.

Overall Grade: C-

Reviewed by James Lynch

No comments: