After an attention-grabbing opening chapter, the narrative skips back a few days to an injured man regaining consciousness in a trash-strewn alley in Downtown, Port Montaigne. The man’s memory is compromised, perhaps from the serious head wound he has, but he isn’t dressed like the folks who populate the decidedly hardscrabble Downtown area.
Soon enough he meets Taylor, a young woman who works as a dishwasher at a nearby strip club. Although their meeting doesn’t appear random and they quickly become comfortable around each other, Taylor and Silverstein (so named by Taylor after the ultra expensive shoes he wears) seem to be strangers. Even so, Taylor and Ezra One, one of the Drones living in the dank tunnels beneath Downtown, agree to help Silverstein as he tries to find out who he is and why he was in that alley.
What they find sets them on the path to unravelling a much larger puzzle that has potentially dire consequences for everyone on the planet — and beyond. To be more specific would spoil the fun for future readers, but there are a lot of questions in this book and the few answers uncovered by Silverstein, Taylor, and Ezra serve mostly to generate more questions.
The setting for much of the book is Port Montaigne, which is vividly described. The affluent live in sunshine literally atop the poor in the shadows below, and further down are the humanoids in the sewers. The planet is ruled by a Global government but there are dark hints of an earlier war and widespread social unrest.
The narrative shifts between first- and third-person but unlike a few instances I’ve seen in this case it works very well. A few chapters jump back in time to provide context and backstory, although they also serve to highlight how much the reader still has to learn. For example, what seems to be important information about Ezra and the Drones is revealed but I then immediately began to wonder what happened in the interim for them to end up in the tunnels below the city.
Note I used the term ‘seems to be important information’ above because although this series opener is relatively short and moves at a quick clip, a lot of balls are tossed in the air by the author. Some of them surely must be red herrings, but truthfully as a reader I don’t mind much as the story so far has been enjoyable. With three books already written and the author promising three more, I’m sure all the questions I may have will be answered … at some point.
All in all Uroboros Saga (Book 1) looks to be the start of a sci-fi series with a deep mythology and some pretty interesting characters.