Lanken’s Tears but this is an intriguing read. <LOL> The expression is one you’ll find in Conor Carton’s entertaining genetic-engineering sci-fi novel, Bottle Born Blues.
Shakbout “Screw-Top” Mansard, a guide at the Mengchi Centre for the Promotion of Historical Knowledge, knows his history inside-out. Soon, we too, are enlightened, learning much about how things came to be—such as the Shoshone Circlet, which “was wrapped up in so much history and extended meaning that a serious attempt to steal it by a bottle-born lifeform would be the contemporary equivalent of the Empress Ingea splitting the leader of the Wrexen Federation into two with an axe”.
Mengchi is a fascinating albeit dark world, where breeding stations and blood lakes exist, and a sundry of beings coexist: the Bottle-Born, Ornamentals, Harvesters (the most mean-spirited lifeforms in the systems), and Involuntary Public Servants (reanimated corpses). Homes seem more like pods, sterile dwellings, with residence numbers so long, you’d better have an amazing memory. You follow laws and clauses—don’t question, don’t step out of line, or else. You’re protected if you’re employed and living by the rules. You’re on your own if you don’t, which could prove very scary if not fatal.
Mansard has a comic side; he’s also somewhat ingenuous but by no means gullible or overly trusting. He goes with the flow because he’s sucked into it by external forces, having no option but to ride the rollercoaster he’s been strapped into. Remember: you follow the rules, as dictated by the powers—and villains—that be. Fortunately, our hapless hero receives assistance now and again. Blue-skinned Lincoln, an Aquatic Ornamental, excels at security (she’s a dynamo with a heavy-pulse weapon). With her at his side, Mansard can complete the designated mission: stealing the Shoshone Circlet.
The action-filled plot has some interesting, intertwining subplots. To provide them here might give away too much. Suffice it to say, Bottle Born Blues is an engaging twisting/turning ride to a fascinating far-off realm.
Conor H. Carton, by the by, is an aspiring space-pirate-cowboy-outlaw-wizard—when he’s not an Irish suburbanite. He’s also an avid reader, loving husband and father . . . and a pretty gosh-darn-good storyteller.
(Pssst . . . The Thousand Year Fall will be the second in the trilogy. Keep an eye and ear open!)