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The Infinite Instant
Danielle L. Parker
Lachesis Publishing, 277 pages

The Infinite Instant
Danielle L. Parker
Danielle L. Parker education included a dual major in computer science and accounting and a so-far-inexplicable minor in German led to a subsequent career in information technology and telecommunications, where she worked on everything from submarines to police systems to giant call center implementations. Failing tech firms has led to writing and a day job as the town librarian, while also trying to colonize twenty pioneer-style acres in the coldest corner of Washington State.

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A review by John Enzinas

The Infinite Instant by Danielle L. Parker had the essence of greatness but only managed to make it to good. The story is your basic hard boiled detective story with some SF trappings. The main character is the detective, a tough broad who's being bullied into taking on job she's not interested in. The manipulating party pushes her too far in framing her for murder. She decides to fight back using everything at her disposal. She's assisted in this by her mafioso boyfriend, the cop who wants to see her and her boyfriend in jail and her AI secretary, who has gone rogue.

The essence of greatness comes from the fact that Parker is a fantastic writer. There were so many section full of descriptive passages that grabbed me and held on like a pit bull with lockjaw.  The sampler text where the main character talks about her father and the theater was nothing short of brilliant and I was almost disappointed that that wasn't where the book started. In addition, the plot was gripping. It twisted and turned and was everything a good detective story should be. Not to mention that the mash-up with The Tempest was practically perfect in every way and is also my favorite of Shakespeare's plays. The plot was tight and I didn't notice a single plot hole.

What held it back? It had feet of clay.

On the right was the world she developed. California finally fell into the sea sending a wave of refugees east. There are telepaths. There is interstellar travel, controlled by a single family with a psychic gene. Victimless crimes have been decriminalized. Much of organized crime has become legit. There is Better Than Life VR technology. Cancer has been cured. What's the big difference between then and now? Everyone smokes like a chimney. After all, it's not going to kill you, so why not. I just kept thinking that there should be more. Perhaps anti-telepath protesters or Little Cali areas of various cities or ads for BTL personas.

On the left was the main character, Minuet James. She is one of the most powerful psychics on the planet. She is a trained martial artist. She has a PhD in Cybernetics and is a skilled enough programmer to write an AI that is capable of reprogramming itself and escaping into the wild (which if you believe Vernor Vinge means she single-handedly created the singularity). Her boyfriend is the stunningly attractive son of one of the most powerful crime lords in the states. Finally she's a tall, leggy, well endowed, blonde who all the boys fall in love with and do everything they can to help even though she rejects both them and their help. Although to be honest, I didn't mind her being such a jerk because the character had no idea she was and I kept hoping that something would happen to break through her world view.

I like a bit of frailty in my heroes, however, others prefer those who are more superhuman. This is a book for those who like larger than life, blockbuster heroes mixed with a fantastic action plot. I'll just wait for her next book. 

Copyright © 2009 John Enzinas

John Enzinas reads frequently and passionately. In his spare time he plays with swords.

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