Mercury’s Son by Luke E.T. Hindmarsh

“Dawn’s light – that ever-mendacious bringer of hope – could not sunder the damnable truth: only the blood of generations could redeem this poor earth.”

Society has been forced into enclosed micro-atmospheric cities called “Plena” since most areas were rendered uninhabitable by man. There are outliers, of course, Remnants and a special group of Martyrs sent out to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the dying planet. Everyone else is miserably packed in, heavily restricted in what they can do and how to live. The consequences of falling outside the society’s expectations are deadly.

Valko Gangleri is a Moderator of Justeco Centro, a sort of detective who uses technology and an empathy-inducing drug to connect his mind to others, including recently murdered victims to see the last moments of their lives and bring their murderers to justice. On his latest case, someone has gone out of their way to make that impossible for him. He and his sergeant – who would be friends if cold, callused Moderators were capable of having those – must leave the Plena as the case grows more complex and find themselves unearthing even greater mysteries and dangers.

Hindmarsh does an excellent job of world building. His futuristic vision and technology are both logical and fantastic. Life in and out of the Plena is nearly palpable. The course of devastation – the cause of which is debatable – is entirely plausible and frightening.

His characters are well developed and relatable. Some are lovable, despite dark and obvious flaws, others are despicable though their intentions are easy to understand, and some lie in between, but all are incredibly human -even the cyborgs. Particularly satisfying is Valko’s progression as his character changes throughout the story. I felt personally vested in his outcome as well as the others.

The plot is mysterious, tense, and enticing. It’s full of discovery and deceit. The story twists and turns and leaves the reader always eager for more.

I enjoyed reading this. Hindmarsh tells his story with elegant and masterful language. Based on a few chapters worth of material, this book is considered a “fairly difficult” read by the Flesch Reading Ease Score, which may turn off some readers, but I appreciated the challenge. There’s no time to get bored and it forces the reader to pay attention. Though some of the language is intimidating at times (thank you Kindle for definitions!) and I admit freely to rereading passages once new developments arose, the work pays off. This story is one of relatively few that will stick with me long after I’ve put it down.

There is room left for a sequel and, if it emerges, I plan to be one of the first to read it. If not, I’m quite pleased with the bigger questions this book leaves us to ponder.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

5 out of 5 stars.

Find it on Amazon in paperback and e-book format.

Feb 2019 update: Audible version narrated by Daniel Dorse now available.

I received a free copy of this for an honest review. This in no way shaped my opinion.

Please let me know if you found this helpful. If you have read this, I’d love your take!

2 thoughts on “Mercury’s Son by Luke E.T. Hindmarsh

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