My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Avery Cates is back in a big way! This is the fourth book in the Avery Cates saga and I’m glad I gave it a chance. I hated the third book. I didn’t even finish it. As I recall, while reviewing it last fall, I was put off by Cates always being so damn exhausted, so tired, so fatigued, so desirous of wanting to just lie down and die, so much so that I wanted to lie down and die, so I put the damn book down to die. Thankfully, this book was much better.
In The Terminal State, Cates gets rounded up and forced into the army, where he’s given a nano tech upgrade. While he’s under, the legendary Cainnic Orel, that hard-to-find foe Cates is dying to kill with his bare hands, buys him from the army and sets him on a mission. How, you might ask? With his new tech upgrade, his head is given a remote control explosive, as well as a pain device, so that the holder of the remote can send shocks of horrific pain through his body or even just blow his head off. So, it’s do the mission and hopefully get to kill Orel or die.
The mission seems somewhat straightforward. With two others, Mara and The Poet, make their way into Hong Kong City to kill a techie named Lindholm and steal a “God Augment” he has created, which is a piece of tech that gives someone fantastic abilities and powers. Cates barely tolerates Mara, who he figures out is an avatar (of Orel), but what he doesn’t realize is that The Poet is also an avatar of Belling, another old nemesis. It’s a fantastic mission and it’s amazing to see how the three get into Hong Kong City and get to their target without getting killed. One of my only real complaints with the Cates character is he always gets the hell beaten out of him and gets up and keeps going. I mean, he takes more than any human could possibly take and keeps on going. It’s not remotely realistic. But it’s sci fi, so leave reality at the door, right?
The ending is awesome, with Cates being recaptured by the army and his old pal Remy leading him away to execute him, only to find Remy goes missing from his unit. Great open ended ending.
I had thought this was a four book series, but I found out it was a five book series, so now I’m going to have to read the fifth book. I hope it’s as good as this one. The first two were quite good. As noted previously, the third one sucked. This one got the series back on track. Where will the fifth one take us, Mr. Somers? Recommended.