A Study in Steel by Eliana Siobhan Vale is a captivating and uniquely imaginative sci-fi tale that is very well told by a first-time author. Fans of this genre will not be disappointed, but will looking forward to the next book written by the talented Ms Vale.
Before the last human war science and bio-technology advanced to the point where it could create genuine replacement organs and limbs for human beings. In fact, using this new technology they could create and replace any body part.
It didn’t take long for other ‘human improvements’ to be created once the new bio-technology had been approved and accepted. Implants were manufactured that would allow people to enhance themselves with technology such as watch screens and communicators which were built directly into their wrists. Many other modifications were also created to help humans to improve themselves and enhance their abilities. At first it was simply a new fad, but over time many people began to look at these new technological enhancements as a necessity. However, there were still many people who did not agree that the bio-tech improvements were a good idea or even at all desirable. Thus, two factions were created, the unmodified humans who considered themselves the true humans began to call themselves the “Souls”. The enhanced humans, or cyborgs considered themselves superior because of their enhance abilities and began to call themselves the “Darwins”.
And so it went until the cyborgs grew to large enough numbers that the Souls began to feel threatened by them. Eventually this led to open conflict and finally to all-out war, and the battle for control of planet earth had begun.
The war raged for years, but the cyborgs with their technological advatages proved to be the victors. The surviving humans were forced to go into hiding, but they were mercilessly hunted by the Darwins. Souls who were captured who refused to allow themselves to be enhanced were simply used as spare body parts for the cyborgs.
As time passed the cyborgs became convinced that they had enhanced or exterminated all the remaining humans so they settled down in what they termed the “System of Two Worlds” which they called the city of Duplicity. This consisted of a once great, but now ruined city above ground ruled by Darwins called “Moderators” where the poor and the more disreputable lived, and a newly constructed and extensive city below the city under the ground in what had once been the subterranean railways where most of the cyborgs lived.
The cyborgs now turned their attention to creating more and improved “Tech Flesh” and even more enhanced replacement body parts which eventually led to the creation of entire synthetic beings they called “Drives”. The Drives were programmed to carry out a specific function or job. Some Drives became “Servers”, others became “Boot Drives”, “Search Engines”, and even “Viruses” and “Malware”.
The Darwins were convinced by this time that they had been correct all along and were destined, due to their particular “evolution” to rule over Earth for the life of the planet.
They were mistaken.
I enjoyed this book immensely and am certain that you will, too. If you like futuristic scenarios and fast-paced science fiction, you will love this highly imaginative tale. Though…you may never look at your computer, its components or its systems in the same way ever again.
Carol Marrs Phipps