reviewed by Cy Wyss
There are at least two important points I end up reaching in every good book. The first is the point where I can’t put it down because the action takes off and the words and story flow inexorably, taking me with them. I reached that with Descent into Mayhem about 50% of the way in. That was a little late, and I feel the author could have lessened all the technical descriptions of armaments and weaponry, but if you’re a military technology buff Goncalves’s detailed descriptions of futuristic martial implements will really float your boat. It’s hard to say the book would be better off without all the detail; rather I would say it shows me the limits of my appreciation for the genre.
The second important point is where the characters have somehow grown into my life and I find myself thinking about them even when the book isn’t in front of me. For me, this point happened about 75% of the way through Descent into Mayhem. The lead character Toni Muira, with his golden eyes and enhanced physiology, is a sympathetic soldier and an interesting person. Towards the end of the book, however, a traumatic incident changes him permanently, both with respect to himself and with respect to the reader. That was an unexpected development and I’m eagerly awaiting the second volume in the series to see where it will lead for Toni. Most characters Goncalves has created are equally compelling, albeit more minor than Toni with respect to the plot. I look forward to seeing them all again (and new ones) in book two. Thanks for a great read!