It's a sci-fi book. NO UP features bio-technology we can only dream of: people communicating directly from their brains; recording video with their eyes; and shaping rocks, materials and even their bodies with mental code instructions. The world is underpinned by the "Ethe", a mix of Mother Nature and the internet, which people use for social networking and marshalling the land. And like all good sci-fi novels, the social commentary on bureaucracy, online voyeurism, and the cult of celebrity says more about the real world than the world in the book.
It's a fantasy novel. There's monsters, centaurs, mantrels (goat-men/satyrs), lizardmen (and lizardwomen), trolls, a minotaur and an alcoholic four-armed bear. There's swords and crossbows and giant wolves. And there's magic - or at least, people with mystical powers which can't be understood, even with the technology and software described above.
It's a comedy. The laughs come from many angles, but mostly from the partnership of best friends Czioc and Pshappa. They speak, banter and swear with each other like real people do (unlike most books!). They get drunk, and argue, and make crude jokes about sex. Meanwhile Noksalika remains sarcastic and cynical even when in mortal danger, screaming "What if there was a fucking fire?!" when finding the sacrificial stadium fire-escape door is locked. And through the whole trilogy, the satire is thick, obvious and unapologetic.
It's an epic adventure. Monsters! Missions! Escape! Espionage! The thrills and spills weave through different worlds, battles and mysteries with flashing lights and action action action, taking the characters and the reader on a truly epic adventure in just 3 short books.
It's an apocalypse story. The world ends in the second book. Don't worry, there's a rave to celebrate.
It's a detective novel. Why has Noksalika faked her own death? Where is she going? The reader is just as intrigued as Czioc and the dead voice in his head, as they try to figure out what's behind her scheme to run away from a life of stardom...
It's a horror story. There's plenty of scary scenes with the alien monsters who melt objects and living people in disgusting ways. But like all good horror stories, the true horror comes from the real people, and what they do each other. The real monsters are other people.
It's a psychological thriller. The plot is saturated with psychology, as Czioc ponders on his past relationship with Noksalika, and as we learn about the tortured dreams and his withdrawal into himself. Meanwhile, Noksalika faces an identity crisis as she battles to keep her own personality from the electronic identity she's stolen.
It's an alien invasion! I had HUGE fun writing about the hideous black aliens invading and poisoning the land. Are they aliens from another world, or demons from hell? What do they want? What the hell can possibly stop them?
And it's a love story. Woven through it all is the love story between Czioc, an awkward and introverted hero, and Noksalika, an extravagant porn star and famous classical musician. Will they find each other? Will they end up together? Can they possibly defy the government, the aliens and the very end of the world to be together?
It's all of these things and more. Read it now, or why not buy the book? Buying books is very cool these days.