Monday, September 22, 2008
THE PERSONIFID INVASION
The Personifid Invasion is the sequel to R.E. Bartlett’s The Personifid Project, launched by Realms in 2005. You don’t have to read book one, but it’s helpful to get to know the characters, as The Personifid Invasion picks up right after the first book.
A Personifid is an artificial body, which a person can choose from pre-designed formats, so they can have the body they’ve dreamed of - forever. Do you love violet hair? Do you want perfectly formed features, sapphire eyes, or athletic abs? They’re yours if you can afford them. Better yet, Death doesn’t exist for you, although your body parts may become damaged and need repair from time to time.
R. E. Bartlett has created an entertaining futuristic world with innovative gadgets, talking robots, and computers that can produce whole rooms of furniture if required. Don’t let the world-building fool you – her premise is whether these artificial bodies created and inhabited by foolish humans can still be possessed by age-old demons. Evil still wreaks havoc on a planet decimated by Man’s ignorance and unconcern for the environment.
A human brother and sister search for another sister who they lost through adoption when they were children. Their sister has become a Personifid and lives in a city dominated by Interterrestrials – a new Earth word for demons. Entering the city of demons is deadly unless you’re under the protection of the Tri-Une. The brother is a Follower of the Tri-Une Soul, while his little sister is still struggling to decide whether to believe in the Unseen, or believe in what her male friend, who is an Interterrestrial, allows her to see.
While I would’ve liked to see deeper characterization of the three main characters Antha, Aphra, and Ashley, Bartlett’s action-adventure story gallops along and immerses you in this bleak, technologically perfect world. The supporting characters are Followers as well, and they provide a nice counter-point to younger sister Aphra’s spiritual struggle with the Interterrestrial, Datricius.
I thoroughly enjoyed the unfolding of this story and its wonderful world building created a strong backdrop for Bartlett’s premise. The idea of producing your own pre-designed body in order to live forever went far beyond the usual cryogenics or cloning plot. The question of whether artificial bodies showing “soul signs” of life can be demon -possessed makes for an intriguing and thought-provoking story.
You can find R. E. Bartlett at her website here R. E. Bartlett, and an interview with her publisher at MARCHER LORD PRESS Be sure to visit MARCHER LORD PRESS to sign up for the Launch Day Grand Prize of a trip for two to comicCON 2009. There will be plenty of other giveaways, and free books if you buy two books on October 1st/08.
The Personifid Invasion, R. E. Bartlett, Marcher Lord Press, October 2008, $12.99