The Resurrected Man
by Sean Williams
Published by Harper Collins Australia
Michael's Rating: 4 out of 4
'The Resurrected Man' is the 2nd full-length novel written by Australian author, Sean Williams. Williams, a skyrocketing author with a strong grasp on speculative fiction, has been signed along with often co-partner, Shane Dix, to write the 'Force Heretic' trilogy in the New Jedi Order series, set for release in 2003.
Sean Williams weaves a fantastic tale with 'The Resurrected Man', rolling all into one, elements combining science-fiction, speculative fiction, and an old fashion Agatha Christie style murder mystery.
The back cover blurb reads as follows, enticing the reader at a glance that this is no ordinary novel: "The year is 2069. D-mat offers fast, cheap travel, plus the potential to turn humanity into a race of godlike starfarers. But new technology has a dark side - d-mat allows a killer to perpetrate a series of vicious attacks without leaving a victim. Detective Marylin Blaylock is one the case … a case where the murdered women all resemble her. Jonah McEwan, a PI and ex-partner of Blaylock's is the prime suspect. But Jonah's alibi is watertight. He's been in a tub of maintenance gel, unconscious, for three years. Yet, in a bizarre twist, he could still be guilty."
The above blub only scratches the surface that are the intricacies of the novel. What I highly enjoyed reading the novel, was the sense of contemporary about it. The novel is written in a sense, I believe, that makes you feel you really are in the year 2069. Like Star Wars, often, elements are presented as is, they aren't often explained - just accepted, however sometimes explained later in the novel. At times, I often found elements hard to follow, such as technology, and acronyms, but these are carefully revealed layer upon layer by the author, letting the story unfold without continuous explanations.
One of the main focus's of the novel, is the new technology called d-mat, which is roughly ten years old as the story unfolds. D-mat is a technology similar to the transporter in 'Star Trek'. Throw in Trek's replicator as well, elements from 'The Matrix', and yet you are only seeing one dimension of the technology - it has so many uses. D-mat has fundamentally revolutionised transportation for the inhabitants of Earth, however, like all technological changes within society, there are fundamental groups resistant to change.
Jonah McEwen is the enigma of the novel. How is he connected to the serial killings, dubbed the Twinmaker Killings? Is he directly involved? If not, why is he being set up? The reader looks through the eyes of McEwen, as he struggles to remember what happened to himself, and try and solve the case.
Marylin Blaylock is the foil to Jonah McEwen. She used to be his partner, now she is struggling whether to trust him or not. Sean Williams, as he would later prove in the 'Evergence' trilogy, can really write female characters well, which will be a relief for Star Wars fans - when he gets a chance to delve into the characters of Mara Jade, Leia Organa, etc . . .
On a side note, personally, I found some coincidences and other events that really gave me excitement. First off, Jonah McEwen has the same birthday as me (have you ever come across things like that in a book, which makes you go Hah!), and an address was used in the city of Melbourne (where I live), which I recognised . . . I looked it up, and it is a sci-fi book shop!
Lastly, the crux of the story revolves around a murder mystery - the Twinmaker killings. What satisfied me, what that I was glued to the novel, as my suspects changed all the time, often near the end of the book, this was changing with each couple of pages!
I will not go into spoiler details of the book, because I urge you to read the book itself, it is really rewarding. Williams ends the book with a possibility of a sequel, which one day, I really hope he has the chance to do so.