Re-Coil by J.T. Nicholas
Titan, pb, £7.99
Reviewed by Sarah Deeming
Death has been cured. Consciousness can be placed in a new body, known as a coil, straight after death. Depending on how often you back up your memories, could mean there is no break between death and reawakening.
Carter Langston is on a deep space salvage mission when he comes across an abandoned ship with twenty-eight coils in suspended animation. During his recovery of the cores, the personalities, of the coils, something happens. Langston wakes up over two months later in a new coil with gaps in his memory and immediately faces an assassination attempt. Whatever happened on the abandoned ship is worth more than his immortal life. Langston must stay one step ahead of the well-paid, well-equipped assassin to uncover the truth of that abandoned ship.
There is a growing trend in novels exploring a future where death has been overcome by technological advantages, humanity uploading their consciousness into different bodies when their old one is used up. Re-Coil takes the next step with corporate scientists working to improve and alter the memories you wake up with. In the words of Jurassic Park’s Professor Ian Malcolm, the scientists are “so pre-occupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
My only complaint is that I felt I didn’t really get to bond with Langston before the action started, so I wasn’t that bothered by the fact that he was under attack from the moment he woke up. For some people the immediate action will be a draw, so if you like your sci-fi fast-paced then this is for you.
The ending works well, both satisfying as a single entity, but with potential for a longer series. If you loved Altered Carbon or the political intrigue or James S.A. Corey’s Expanse series, then you’ll enjoy this.