#Giveaway: Up The Tower by JP Lantern
Posted by brriske
Up the Tower
by J. P. Lantern
Disaster brings everybody together. A cloned corporate assassin; a boy genius and his new robot; a tech-modified gangster with nothing to lose; a beautiful, damaged woman and her unbalanced stalker—these folks couldn’t be more different, but somehow they must work together to save their own skin. Stranded in the epicenter of a monumental earthquake in the dystopian slum, Junktown, there is only one way to survive. These unlikely teammates must go…UP THE TOWER.
Before anything else—before the riot, before the flood, before the gap and the deaths and the fires and the pain—before all of that, Ana just wanted to get the hell out of Junktown.
But she was stuck there with Raj, and Raj had all the bodyguards, so she couldn’t very well leave on her own. Walk into Junktown without any protection? No, thank you. She had a knife on her, but that was hardly enough. The knife fit neatly in a small, luxury Cardion-brand sheath at her side.
The rest of her outfit was direct out from a fashion magazine. She wore tight black Cardion slacks, her patent leather Aushwere ankle boots sexy and stylish and perfect for inner-city walking. Her dark blue blouse was Cardion again (there had been a sale); already she had noticed the way Raj had been hugging his eyes to how it cupped and clung to her body. He would have been looking a bit more, perhaps, but she wore her favorite Kadaya Sarin-brand leather jacket, allowing her a bit of modesty with the long sleeves and tight collar, despite the thinness of the material. She was a woman dressed to impress, but also was no whore—she had her man. He liked her dressed attractive, but not like some slut. Ana knew what he wanted, because that was her entire life, as she saw it, from now on.
They were inside the ground floor of a tall building. Cleanbots rushed around them, sweeping up dust, guided along by retrofitted eyebots that spied out areas of dust and disrepair.
“Here’s where we’ll have the lobby,” said Raj, opening his hands out wide to the open space.
Ana had presence of mind to hold her tongue.
What she wanted to say was, “Really, dear? Here in the first possible place that someone could enter from the street? That’s where you’ll have the lobby? That’s so inventive. You’re so smart.”
What did she say was, “Oh! It will look beautiful, I’m sure.”
In Junktown, if you don’t work for the gangs, then you don’t stand much of a chance at staying alive. The world as we know it is gone, ruled by dueling corporations that are constantly trying to topple each other and in St. Louis if you aren’t a citizen, then you live in Junktown. Ruled by the five faces and their various gangs, staying alive means getting in good with the right people. Life is harsh, death is common place, and you’re only as good as your next job. Everything changes in the blink of an eye when a massive earthquake strikes and brings together an unlikely group of people who must make it to the top of the tower as people die in the aftershocks of the quake as well as drowning when a dam gives way and water floods the already dying city. A boy and his cop bot, a trophy girlfriend, her stalker, and a cloned corporate assassin make their way through the perils of the tower and meet up with a low level gangster and together they fight their way to the top.
The premise of this book is that a historian has looked into the personal data recordings of victims of the flood, detailing the moments of their lives before, during, and after the quake and flood. These are the only records left after such a major catastrophe wiped out almost all of the inhabitants of Junktown. This is a tale of corporate greed, showing what could happen to us all if corporations are allowed to take over the world and tech becomes king. People can have cybernetic upgrades and clones are a common tool used by the rich. I really enjoyed this book, it definitely fits into the genre of cyberpunk. Think, Blade Runner, or anything written by William Gibson. This book has the same feel, but it details only about a day in the lives of these unlikely companions. This has everything, big tech, robots, gangsters, tough women, death, and mayhem. It’s a wonderful way to get your cyberpunk fix all in one story.
If you enjoy reading books about dystopian futures and getting a glimpse of what might be around the corner for us then you will like this book, If you’ve read Gibson’s Johnny Pneumonic, or Mona Lisa Overdrive then I think you’ll want to pick this book up and give it a chance. You won’t be disappointed.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
J.P. Lantern lives in the Midwestern US, though his heart and probably some essential parts of his liver and pancreas and whatnot live metaphorically in Texas. He writes speculative science fiction short stories, novellas, and novels which he has deemed “rugged,” though he would also be fine with “roughhewn” because that is a terrific and wonderfully apt word.
Full of adventure and discovery, these stories examine complex people in situations fraught with conflict as they search for truth in increasingly violent and complicated worlds.