With 13 short-ish parts up, Code Walker is a quick and thoroughly enjoyable read. It’s a “futuristic scifi romp” — it has a mixture of romance and espionage thrill to it, set in a more advanced version of the modern world, with self-aware AIs, holo rooms and virtual reality galore.
Riley is not just any Code Walker, she’s the Code Walker, a.k.a. The Ghost. She can break into any system, anywhere, and leave without a trace. Think Neo from the Matrix, after he figures out how to do all the cool stuff. And like Neo, Riley is her own agent; no one tells her what to do.
Enter Seth Monroe, freelance government agent whose gets assigned the same mission as Riley. Their paths cross, and the chase begins. Except it seems the two will have to team up against an outside enemy neither of them would have predicted.
I really enjoyed this. It’s light-hearted reading, yes, but it’s damn fun — the characters are witty, the world-building is intriguing, and the writing is solid. It just sucked me right in from the start, which hasn’t happened to me in a while.
While the story has some tech-speak in it, most of it is kept to a minimum for “Lamers” like you and me to understand. Yes, the tech has its place (as it does in any science fiction story) but it does not take centre stage, leaving room for the story.
The characters are all great fun. I enjoyed reading about a strong female character in particular. Riley is a slick-acting hacker but that doesn’t stop her from being a girl. And Seth — while not knowing much about the geeky side of things — is no damsel in distress, as he’s a quick-thinking (and sexy!) man. But my favourite character has to be the self-aware AI TJ, who’s fascinated by human behaviour and has more than a bit of attitude himself!
The pacing is spot on, and has built up quite nicely, to the point that I’m really looking forward to seeing where the author will go next with this. I feel like we’re on the brink of some even more exciting developments. I hope to see a lot more Seth/Riley interactions, and more on TJ’s observations on the humans around him. And some more ass-kicking, too!
The only thing that threw me off? I found the website design a teensy bit busy — the sidebar is quite large, and the text could do with a border around the edges. I also found it odd that the characters’ personal thoughts are bold, which is a little noisy-looking. But neither of these things distracted me much from the story.
In sum, if you love your light science fiction with a generous dollop of adventure, you should check out Code Walker — and I for one am going to definitely check out the several other series posted over on Feral Intensity!
Read Code Walker for free online here.