fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsMarked by Alex Hughes SFF book reviewsMarked by Alex Hughes

For a couple more days you can still enter to win a copy of Clean or Sharp, the first two MINDSPACE INVESTIGATION novels.

My friendship with Adam has covered three novels now. Alex Hughes has taken me into a different future of the world I live in and made it very real for me, but the best part is that I’ve befriended a hero who I completely understand and admire. That’s right, I admire Adam the drug addict.

In Marked, the third book in Hughes’ MINDSPACE INVESTIGATION series, Adam is still recovering from all the trauma of having seen previous students go bad. The fact that he saved the Guild from a terrible situation and caught the bad guys has bought him a little good will, but not enough to get him the credentials that he needs to solidify his job at the police department. So, his fragile existence still dangles by the proverbial thread.

When Adam’s former fiancée, Kara, calls him for a favor, he really can’t refuse. Kara has tried, within strict limits, to help Adam in the past and paying his debts when he cans seems to really matter to Adam more and more. Call it a part of his management of his addiction, call it the wisdom of hard knocks, but it’s admirable. The fact that he can’t really say no only makes it slightly funny.

The Guild is in severe turmoil after one of the family heads who is also a high ranking leader goes insane and kills himself. Madness is always bad, but when telepaths are involved, it’s deadly. The historical problems associated with this sickness place it on the level of an Ebola-like virus and eradication can require extreme measures.

With all of this going on, Adam’s relationship with Cherabino continues to slowly blossom. Both of them are mortally afraid of what they are feeling and the psychic link that still ties them together makes it even worse. Still, they are both fundamentally good people and are drawn to each other like moths circling a flame.

I loved Marked, because it exposes so many very, very real human weaknesses. Adam has to deal with people who are great examples of paranoid bureaucrats and power-hungry politicians. Mixed in are the wonderful people who do the right thing even when it hurts them. The contrasts are spectacular to read about because I really feel like I know people who are just like some of these characters. At the center of the story is Adam, trying to do the right thing even when the cost to himself is borderline deadly. The ennobling effects of his experiences and his growth during the process make Marked one of the best books I have read in quite a while.

Mindspace Investigations — (2012- ) A RUTHLESS KILLER — OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND. I used to work for the Telepath’s Guild before they kicked me out for a drug habit that wasn’t entirely my fault. Now I work for the cops, helping Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino put killers behind bars. My ability to get inside the twisted minds of suspects makes me the best interrogator in the department. But the normals keep me on a short leash. When the Tech Wars ripped the world apart, the Guild stepped up to save it. But they had to get scary to do it — real scary. Now the cops don’t trust the telepaths, the Guild doesn’t trust me, a serial killer is stalking the city — and I’m aching for a fix. But I need to solve this case. Fast. I’ve just had a vision of the future: I’m the next to die.

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  • John Hulet

    JOHN HULET is a member of the Utah Army National Guard. John’s experiences have often left a great void that has been filled by countless hours spent between the pages of a book lost in the words and images of the authors he admires. During a 12 month tour of Iraq, he spent well over $1000 on books and found sanity in the process. John lives in Utah and works slavishly to prepare soldiers to serve their country with the honor and distinction that Sturm Brightblade or Arithon s’Ffalenn would be proud of. John retired from FanLit in March 2015 after being with us for nearly 8 years. We still hear from him every once in a while.