On the futuristic planet of Echo, big government has joined with corporations and formed the Regime. The planet is policed by the Department of Enforcement. The moon-city of Ascension is the heart of the Regime, home to the Regent and the rest of society's elite. Echo's citizens wander through life following all the rules, accepting what they are told and never really having any ambition. Those who don't are known as dissidents.
Atriya is member of an elite unit known as the Crusaders within the Department of Enforcement. Most of the time these shooters are just known as "The Crew." The Crew is tasked to take down the dissidents who are forced to reside in the wilds.
The lives of those who are on The Crew are brutal and their training is merciless. Atriya is very competent at his job and he's taken down a lot of dissidents. But lately, Atriya feels as if his job has become endlessly futile and he is not really making his mark in the world. He is weary of it all and is becoming distracted. He is also letting his temper get the best of him. Some refer to this state of mind as "approaching shatter," otherwise known as losing it and becoming unable to operate due to stress. This is the ultimate condemnation for a member of The Crew. It's not just the end of a career, but a path to irrelevance.
Atriya needs to take control of his life. But it may be too late. He is faced with some serious choices that will make or break him. This could be the end of his career, or maybe even the end of his life.
This book is exactly what it says it is, a "volume." Not a lot happens in Volume 1. It is written as a set up for future installments. If you are looking for a whole story here, you will be very disappointed. That being said, the set up is very good, the world-building is excruciatingly detailed and the writing is phenomenal. I liked Atriya. He's definitely not a brown-noser. He's hardcore and not afraid to get in stupid people's faces. Of course, this gets him in quite a bit of trouble! I think it means he's going to be a great rebellious hero in the near future. I have a feeling there are many evils to be revealed in the world of Echo and look forward to reading more.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The afterword by author Kent Wayne is insightful and engaging. I enjoyed it immensely, as much as I do his blog. I came across Kent Wayne on Wordpress and his writings are LOL-funny. Kent can be found at dirtyscifibuddha.com