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eConscience Beta is a fast paced read with good dialogue.
A classic “Is it okay to do bad in order to stop greater bad” tale with enough twists and surprises to keep you turning pages.
So often, stories with nanites or similar tech get consumed in the creation of the world that we lose the story. eConscience Beta succeeds in both building a cool world and developing great characters.
The villain is not a bumbling imbecile and our heroes are not flawless, super people incapable of failing.
As Transki declares about our squad of heroes at one point:
"They are “an upstart high-strung coat-tailing female, a barely competent stuttering weak-willed fidget-fest of a man, and a completely moronic societal dreg.”
That might not be a completely fair appraisal, as Transki has a bit of bias. But the snippet reflects the read.
Overall, this is a great addition to one of my favorite genres.
I also would mention that I have gotten to know the author, J. D. Beckworth, through an anthology of flash fiction I was honored to participate in. In the process of submitting we were all asked to "bleed" on each other's works. I found Beckworth's comments and critiques of my work in the anthology, a little tale about a hiker who ends up in a haunted village, superb. He gave my story attention to detail, asked questions that led me to quality rewrites, and had a real ability to teach as he critiqued. As I read eConscience Beta, I saw that same attention in his own writing. I have read many good stories that I enjoyed less because the author got in his own way. There are entire blogs out there committed to such things as bad grammar, switching point of view, giving the reader twists at the wrong time, etc... Beckworth, in my opinion, does not fall into these traps. His yarn is well told. Pick up a copy and enjoy the read.
Oh, and should you desire to see it. The anthology is posted here:
Children of the Corner: A Corner Scribblers Collection
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