Monday, 18 May 2015

Book review: SHIAM Conspiracy by Joseph Heck

SHIAM Conspiracy

Zak Harris, a retired ASID agent, has been hired to do a job he can't talk about. Hired by the Grimrok Corporation, he must find an extremely valuable AI known as a SHIAM. During his investigation, he discovers the faint use of magic on the theft. Together with an Elf from the Institute of Paranormal and Occult Sciences, Zak must solve the mystery of the missing SHIAM, and the growing magic that threatens the lives of everyone in his city before it's too late.

Joseph Heck has created a fascinating world, showing a great mix of fantasy with sci-fi. It was actually quite interesting how he made the combination and I liked it. It wasn't just a typical space saga with weird alien races, but instead with familiar fantasy characters most people would know. Unfortunately, the novel didn't quite speak to me. My biggest issue is actually with the main character, Zak. He has a thing against elves. How do I know? I was told nearly every page he hates them. If I wasn't told that, I was told about his confused feelings for the Elf he was working with. I don't think it would have been so bad if I was given a reason. There's obviously some issues with his Elf father who didn't seem to be in the picture, but all I know is that he left at some point or died. I assume there's more to Zak's hatred than that and I would have loved to get a bit more inside his mind to at least empathize with his internal struggles. We all have issues.

The story itself was interesting, but maybe more complex than necessary. Will people find it enjoyable? Absolutely. Zak's judgement against SHIAMs is interesting and I think realistic. While it only piled onto his hate of Elves (oh, and Orks) it shows how I think people would react to AI formed to be human-like. Most of what I took away from the novel is how we, humans, on the earth we have, can maybe treat each other a little bit better. Forget all the differences, and just be. The fact that people can't do it even in fiction is shown at the end of the novel, and will likely continue throughout the sequel and any following novels. I hope more of Zak's history is explored in the next novels, as I feel it would really help readers get into his shoes and really understand where he's coming from.

Buy the book on Amazon
Visit the author's website

No comments:

Post a Comment