A Game of Aliens and Virtuality
Ian Whates‘ debuted with two novels last year, one fantasy and one science fiction. I only read The Noise Within not knowing it was the first in a series with the same name. The Noise Revealed continues the story of black ops specialist Jim Leyton as he clashes with alien and human conspiracies. And there are love interests in this one too.
Second books are tricky, since they seldom measure up to the thrill of discovery in the first book.
The setting is the United League of Allied Worlds (ULAW) which recently made first contact with the seemingly peaceful Byrzaen. Philip Kaufman, son of Malcom Kaufman (inventor of the FTL drive) was killed in the end of The Noise Within but he lives on in Virtuality as a personality construct along with his father. Virtuality is much more than the internet, it might even have something to do with the aliens. He and his father struggle to uncover what is going on. There are also some great scenes where he clashes with prevailing culture in Virtuality.
Jim Leyton, black ops operative and former ULAW agent is the second protagonist. He sets out to liberate Mya, fellow agent and the love of his life from a government facility. To his help he has the mysterious and formidable Kethi. She is one of the Habitats agents. But liberating Mya is only the first obstacle. We get more background and history of the Habitat here too.
Jim Leyton has to come to grips with life and combat without his intelligent gun’s assistance. This made for good character development but deduct from the scifi shininess. I am a gadget geek and like my toys. Bickering with machines is too good to miss.
Kyle the bored starship pilot gone pirate is also back as an alien engine mechanic with an entertaining side plot.
I like the world and the more extensive characterization. This is fast paced action novel where the characters now and then stops, stand around and explain. I have been told Ian Whates’ writing style is binary, either you love it or hate it. I love it.
One disappointment was that it was not so much about the AI ship as I expected. I love intelligent ships from Weber, McCaffrey, Asher and the like.
The Noice Revealed has plots well worth A Game of Thrones. It has conspiracies within conspiracies, love and betrayals, virtual worlds that connect to other universes, alien technology, mysterious organizations and interesting characters. The ending was surprising, explosive and somewhat conclusive.
But I am not sure this is the final Noise book, the aliens and many other plots have not been finished to satisfaction yet. Solaris reply to my question about a 3rd book was “You know, there’s been some debate about that in the office. It’s kind of a maybe”. So there is hope.
Both The Noise Within and The Noise Revealed makes for great uncomplicated Summer reading.
Can someone tell me why the kindle book more expensive than the paperback?
A time of flux, a time of change… While mankind is adjusting to its first ever encounter with an alien civilisation – the Byrzaens – black ops specialist Jim Leyton reluctantly allies himself with the mysterious habitat in order to rescue the woman he loves.
This brings him into direct conflict with his former employers: the United League of Allied Worlds government. Scientist and businessman Philip Kaufman is fast discovering there is more to the virtual world than he ever realised. Yet it soon becomes clear that all is not well within the realm of Virtuality. Truth is hidden beneath lies and there are games being played, deadly games with far reaching consequences.
Both men begin to suspect that the much heralded ‘First Contact’ is anything but first contact, and that a sinister con is being perpetrated with the whole of humankind as the victim. Now all they have to do is prove it.