Book Review #5: The Venom of Vipers by K.C. May

Title: Venom of Vipers
Author: K.C. May
Publisher: Flying Island Press
Available: paperback (Amazon) ebook (Amazon, Smashwords)

Recently I started following K.C. May on Twitter (@GASciFiAuthor) after I ran across her name in a conversation with Nathan Lowell. I love a good Science Fiction story, and she had several out, so I went aheaded and downloaded The Venom of Vipers from Smashwords, loaded it on my iPad and (at the sound of the bell) turned the page.

On to the review.

Synopsis: In a future where humans teeter on the brink of extinction, hope lies in the genetic experiments of Katie Marsh. A brilliant young scientist, Katie is hard at work perfecting a new species of humanoid resistant to the devastating virus afflicting mankind. But not everyone wants Katie to succeed.

Confined to the lab that created him, Ryder Stone wants to live as a free man. But Ryder, whose unique physiology may provide the cure for this viral malady, must tread lightly, for in his world, friends can sometimes be foes, and the helping hand of people close to him may very well turn out to be… the venom of vipers. (The preceding synopsis was stolen from the Amazon.)

Setting: Ms. May’s story takes place predominantly in a compound created for the study, education and retention of a mutated humanoid species known as Saphers. This compound is located in Arizona on a near future earth and all elements of it ring true.

Grade: A

Plot: The plot of The Venom of Vipers is a bit more convoluted then the synopsis would make it seem. Without going into too much depth, it is hard to provide an accurate idea of the detail in the plot, and since I prefer not to provide spoilers, that makes this part a bit difficult. I would say that The Venom of Vipers is really about what motivates us. Love, hate, revenge.. they’re all in there, and each is given a bit of time to play out.

Grade: B+

Characters: Ms. May’s characters are written to be very human. Even the meta-humans. This makes them easy to identify with and it is easy empathize with. However, at times they were a bit inconsistent to my way of thinking. Case in point: main character Ryder is consistently portrayed as being hotheaded and a bit of a trouble maker, and yet every time there is a situation, it truly is instigated by someone else, and Ryder is simply defending himself or others. Yes, maybe it truly is because he is working on his temper, but if this is so, no one seems to be noticing a difference.

Regardless of this type of minor issue, I enjoyed the characters in The Venom of Vipers. Minor SPOILER alert: Especially Captain Nelson, whom I STILL don’t know how to react to.

Grade: A-

Odin’s Recommendation: I liked The Venom of Vipers. If you’re a fan of scifi thrillers and can enjoy a book written more about relationships than science, you should do yourself a favor and check it out. Simply said, I will be checking out Ms. May’s other works as soon as time allows.

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