In the dark alleys of New Hong Kong a Victorian woman was found murdered. Richard Pearson, the detective in charge, will have to follow the evidence through back alleys, cyber scavengers, megacorp CEOs and black market deals. But Pearson is secretly struggling with a brain implant disease that renders him unable to use remote bodies; for a murder detective, not being able to use an avatar is an occupational risk.
Meanwhile, a young lesbian stripper unknowingly becomes the heir to the family fortune. In a matter of days, her chaotic life and circumstances attract the attention of the wrong people: Ambitious aristocrats, gold diggers, corrupt federal agents... and a rogue android on the loose.
What to expect:
* A slow start (around 6 chapters) showcasing the main characters' daily lives
* Detailed worldbuilding (perhaps too detailed at first) with ample exposition
* Morally ambiguous characters with scarring pasts, unresolved issues, and family drama
* An anthro aristocracy consisting mostly of wolves and canids.
* Intrigue between different factions of society, unexpected plot twists and at least one murder mystery
* A global back story whose hints are scattered throughout the novel
* More realistic depictions of sex and complicated relationships
* Heterosexual romance between the detective and a femme fatale
* A tumultuous lesbian romance between two consenting women, altho one's much younger
* A gender-diverse, LGBT, multiracial cast
* Comfort, cathartic scenes and characters who are actually kind at the right moment
* The detective's view of a futuristic dystopian society
* Cyberpunk. Lots of cyberpunk.
* Buddy-cop interactions
* Some fast-paced action scenes
* Occasional scene of fascists having their asses kicked.
What NOT to expect:
* Badass, overpowered protagonists to fulfill the reader's power fantasies
* Shonen battles
* Saving the day with the power of friendship
* Stupid misunderstandings that would get solved if everyone just decided to communicate
* Unnecessarily long love triangles
* Clear distinction between good and evil, right and wrong
* Toned-down fluff and romance that parents would buy for their teenage kids
* Mentions of suicide / suicide attempts
* A racist and xenophobic society (not the protagonists)
* (Frustrated) sexual assault from the victim's POV
* Mentions of: sexual abuse, torture, human trafficking
* Android slavery
* Sexual situations, night clubs, prostitution, a sexually liberated society
* Characters with sexual biomodifications (e.g. futanari)
* Occasional explicit sex scenes
The author has created a cast of morally ambiguous characters, each with their own scarring pasts and unresolved issues, which adds depth and nuance to the story. Furthermore, the characters are diverse and represent a range of races, s*xualities, and gender identities, which makes the novel inclusive and reflective of society today.
The world-building in this novel is exceptional, with hints of a global back story scattered throughout the story. The author has created a society where the aristocracy consists mostly of wolves and canids, adding a unique and captivating element to the story. The intrigue between different factions of society and the unexpected plot twists keep the reader on their toes, and the murder mystery provides a thrilling and suspenseful backdrop to the story.
What's more, the author's attention to detail, world-building, and character development make this a fun read for fans of cyberpunk, murder mysteries, and dystopian fiction. Though if you aren't a fan of those genres, then this novel will be a convoluted mess of different characters with diverse personalities and an extremely heavy emphasis on the world-building of its story.
So far, its main strengths lie in character interaction, world setting, and effort to explain certain concepts to its readers, for instance, in chapter 2, the author links to a site explaining "AI Box".
As for the complains, it is hefty on describing small parts of the story, instead the author should have explained the characters interaction with that machine or character. What's more, since there are too many characters introduced at once, the reader may get confused about who is who and what their role is in the story, resulting detracting from an overall reading experience, but luckily the author fixes this by providing a glossary of each character in-depth.
All in all, I liked it. It is descriptive, funny, and appeals to me because of the steamy s*xual moments lol.