I’m usually not a futuristic novel reader, but sometimes I do pick one up. Some of them are just so over my head that I lose interest, but it was not this way with Xenoman.
Xenoman takes place in a future where the majority of the population is addicted to a drug called Sunlight. But when Sunlight is no longer available, most people turn to Black Magic, a designer drug that unfortunately causes spontaneous human combustion. It’s a culture where everyone walks around with a little black box on their chest and listens to 5-track music. (If you are having a hard time picturing this, think future meets the 80s.)
Xeno has always wanted to enter the Nth Dimension like his idols, The White Boys, a traveling band who are rumored to be telepathic. He goes to take the Zener Test, and unknowingly gets an implant placed in his brain. Xeno’s implant starts to act up, but his friends Zoom and Trianne don’t believe him. Things start getting a little weird when Zoom disappears, presumably dead, and Trianne begins to smoke. Xeno is recruited to Intellegalla to save Trainne, and then things start to really get interesting – Klownburger characters, robotic synths, and aliens are just to name a few. With everything going on, Xeno starts to even question reality.
“The more I see, the less I see. Time, space, onjects, are all smeared like dream logic. The dream has a logic, but the logic is occult to me. Nothing holds its form long enough to register what it refers to. Reality as it really is, is . . . incoherent.”
Xenoman really seems like a satire on culture and a reminisce of the 80s. A future where technology is a black box strapped to your chest and connected with a black node on your forehead, (seems a bit like the large boom boxes and first cell phones), music is provided via 5-track, and the villians are strangely similar to the old McDonald characters. Though all these references are before my time, I found them rather amusing and entertaining.
Xenoman really took me by surprise (I actually started out with ebook but didn’t connect to it at first, I went ahead and bought a hard copy and personally that made a big difference). Martin has a very thought out plot and I actually enjoyed going on the mission with Xeno.
A few things would have helped me out more in understanding the story at first. There was a back story that we don’t get a lot of information at first, I found myself a little confused at first. I would have liked to know a little more in the beginning how Xeno, Zoom, and Trianne became friends.
Another I would have liked to see more developed was Xeno’s relationships. Especially between Xeno and Trainne. But one of the one’s that really confused me was his relationship with Garry, his Intellegella handler. They really hit off, but Xeno just met the guy, found out they put an implant in his brain, and then willing goes on a dangerous mission all within a day.
Overall, Xenoman is an entertaining sci-fi that really took me for a spin.
Thank you to Adam Martin for providing me with a copy of your book to review.