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Peter Higgins, author of Wolfhound Century

Myke Cole, author of Shadow Ops Series

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Jim C. Hines author of Libriomancer

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Martha Wells author of The Cloud Roads

David Tallerman author of Giant Thief

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Mark Charan Newton author of Nights of Villjamur (review here)

Kameron Hurley author of God's War (review here)

Brent Weeks author of The Black Prism (review here)

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Brandon Sanderson author of The Way of Kings (review here)

Lou Anders Editor of Pyr Books

Ian Tregillis author of Bitter Seeds (review here)

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Character Interviews

Alexia and Lord Maccon from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Lord Akeldama from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Eva Forge from Tim Akers's The Horns of Ruin

Atticus from Kevin Hearne's Hounded


The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn

Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Year Zero by Rob Reid

Alif: The Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards

Redshirts by John Scalzi

Control Point by Myke Cole

Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
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REVIEW | Health Agent by Jeffrey Thomas

This review is a little late. I read Health Agent a few months back, but when I moved back to my house the book got misplaced. But here now are my thoughts after a bit of a re-read and finding my original scribbles.

Health Agent is a very early version of Punktown. It was the first originally intended long form visit to Punktown by Thomas, but the first publisher dropped the ball. Now more than 20 years later we finally get a look at what Thomas had cooking, which has grown so much since Health Agent was originally written.

Health Agent is a penetrating read that sticks in your soul for a good, dark time. In many ways Health Agent is a very disturbing read. Firstly the subject matter is communicable diseases, which must be controlled or completely eradicated. Whores, both male and female abound in Health Agent along with hardcore drug use, depraved sex acts, and horrific blood chilling scenes of a very graphic nature, especially in the second half. In some ways it reminded me of some of the sicker scenes of the Saw movies, which for me is a bit too much, but I pressed through my discomfort because I had to know the out come which shows what a compelling story Thomas has here.

Health Agent is the story of Agent Montgomery Black and his partner Opal Cowrie. They are responsible for tracking down and arresting people infected with alien diseases in particular Mutstav 670, which is running rampant and causes death in every person infected in less than a year. While on investigation Black and Opal get infected in an odd arts show so they get to see how the other side fairs. This isn't a case of good agent gone bad, but of good agents thrown into the worst of circumstances and seeing a conspiracy wherever they look. Black eventually survives, which leads to the second part of the book where he is no longer an agent.  Now he is taking it easy working in a train station as a magazine seller when a beautiful girl catches his eye, but his skills as a detective quickly takeover as he notices she is injured sometimes when he sees her. This is the point in the story where the really bad and sick train rolls in to Punktown.  Black suspects connections between the art show that infected him and the show this girl is now involved in. The connections work well and the Sci-Fi aspect comes more into play as quite a few alien species get more involved with the story.

Health Agent is at its core a detective novel set in a Sci-Fi enviroment, but if you are sqeamish you might want to pass it over as it can get pretty extreme at times.  The ending wraps thing up well and shows there is redemption in Punktown. It is just hard to get and earn, but Monty eventually gets his due. I give Health Agent 7.75 out of 10 hats.  I found this fresher than even the more recent Blue War, but the Punktown shorts are still my favorites. All in all this gives a deeper insight into what Thomas has been brewing for over 20 years. Recommended for recent fans of Charlie Huston's Sleepless and other Sci-Fi mixed with Horror elements.

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