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Reckless Sleep
Roger Levy
Victor Gollancz, 345 pages

Chris Moore
Reckless Sleep
Roger Levy
Roger Levy is a dentist who doesn't use freaky future technology on his patients' teeth. He lives in England with his wife and children. Reckless Sleep is his first novel.

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SF Site Review: Reckless Sleep

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A review by Stephen M. Davis

Reckless Sleep is a superbly confident work by a new novelist. The plot is well thought-out and the characters are perfectly believable. These two elements are missing in so much of what is published today that it is refreshing to find both handled so expertly in a first novel.

Jon Sciler was a games player-extraordinaire, recruited for a mission to save the peoples of a dying Earth. He and other talented prospects were sent on a mission to the planet of Dirangesept to eradicate the native creatures and make it safe for humanity's arrival.

The mission was an utter failure, and Jon and his fellow soldiers are left on an Earth devoid of hope for the future -- Far Warriors despised by a populace that believes they could and should have done better. Parallels to Vietnam are frequent and occasionally heavy, but the story of overconfident armies being destroyed by 'barbarians' defending their homelands is ancient and oft-repeated, so the analogy works well.

Years later, Jon finds himself working for Maze, purportedly to develop a next-generation game with sophisticated virtual reality components. Jon, though, along with love interest Chrye, begins to suspect that the game he's involved with is just a bit too real. Things become urgent when Jon realizes there is a serial killer at loose in the game, killing the Far Warriors who are recruited by the game's designers.

There is also a sub-plot in Reckless Sleep, in which Jon must somehow fend off a law enforcement officer who has taken a special interest in destroying Sciler -- even if it means destroying Chrye to get at him.

I found Reckless Sleep to be quite good. Even as some of the major mysteries were cleared up, there were still some nice minor surprises to help sustain the tension. I recommend this book and look forward to Mr. Levy's next novel.

Copyright © 2000 Stephen M. Davis

Steve Davis teaches at the University of New Orleans as an Instructor of English. He enjoys chess, strong black coffee, and books by authors who care enough to work at their craft.

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