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Liege Killer

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Humans have fled Earth after a nuclear apocalypse - humanity's worst fears had become realized.  But leaving Earth had one benefit ... it meant leaving behind the dreaded Paratwa. The Partwa were genetically modified killers that inhabited two bodies but were controlled by one mind.

But it's been two hundred years and humanity has adapted to life in space and haven't thought much of the Paratwa. Until, that is, a series of recent murders suggest that the Paratwa are back and in business.

I've been a bit indifferent to author Christopher Hinz's writing prior to this, but of the three books of his that I've read, I enjoyed Binary Storm - a book in his Paratwa Saga - so I thought it would be fun to once again dig into the Paratwa realm. Unfortunately I didn't find it quite as thrilling.
The basic concept of the unique assassins and humanity leaving Earth is generally pretty good. Hinz sets up the world building nicely and we actually feel pretty 'at home' here. And, as just mentioned, I do like the assassins as a device for a sci-fi murder mystery.

What doesn't work so well for me is that I don't really feel I have anyone to root for until late in the book.  I don't mind having characters, such as assassins, being the protagonists or central figures in a novel, but I would still need a reason to want to cheer for or at least care about what they are doing.

The action happens pretty fast and this is almost a space opera in my mind, but it doesn't quite reach the level of some of John Scalzi's or James S.A. Corey's space opera work. This straddles the line between space opera and mystery and purely sci-fi.

I had fun, but not as much as I did with the prequel (Binary Storm) that I read previously.  I'm also a tad surprised to see that this book was originally published in the late 1980's and reprinted a few times - including again now. I really didn't find it to be that exciting.

Looking for a good book? Liege-Killer by Christopher Hinz is a reprint of a popular 1987 sci-fi/mystery/adventure novel. There is clearly interest enough from publishers and readers to keep this out and on bookstore shelves, but this reviewer wasn't overly impressed.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Liege Killer is a page-turner sci-fi thriller about a legendary Paratwa named Reemul AKA Liege Killer who was unleashed in an era where humans are peacefully living in orbiting space stations. The Paratwa are assassins that have two bodies controlled by one mind. They can change how they look and use technology to take over someone else's life. The thing is, Paratwa are the cause why humans are living in space stations. So yikes, big prob.

Liege Killer is a fun apocalyptic tale with well-developed characters and great dialogues. It's fast-paced and action-packed with a great premise. It was a bit hard to get into at first since the writing style felt very 80s to me (it's evident with how women were portrayed). The book is also politically focused which made it more enjoyable for me. There's Rome who we follow and his vote matters. It could change the course of humanity's future. 

Overall, Liege Killer is a fun read. High stakes, a bit gory, and it's a hidden gem!

Thanks so much, Angry Robot Books for the galley. All thoughts and opinions are mine.
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Having missed out on the original release of the Paratwa trilogy (and not having explored too much 80s/90s SF compared to fantasy), this re-release was a great surprise - the story felt like it could have been written this year, as the action moved clearly, the characters felt authentic to their universe, and the story moved smoothly and without any of the more problematic tropes and scenes that sometimes occur when reading older stories.  I'm eagerly anticipating the next two in the series, and definitely will pick them up when I can.
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Science Fiction does not have to be epic. It can tell a small story about a single person or family as they struggle against a strange new world, but sometimes you want to read a stonking great space opera where an individual's actions can alter worlds. Liege-Killer by Christopher Hinz is one such book. It focuses on character, but the difference here is that their actions could bring about a change in how the colonies of Old Earth are governed. Epic stuff. 

Earth is dead. Those that survived either set out on deep-space ships to look for a new planet or live on the many space colonies. For two hundred years the colonies have proven a remarkable success with humanity flourishing and conflict being kept to a minimum. That is until a stasis pod is opened down on Earth and a sleeping Paratwa agent is awoken. Known as the Liege-Killer, this entity is more than human and acts as the tool of a mysterious caste that was thought extinct. With the arrival of this assassin the structure of Earth and all her colonies are at stake. 

Liege-Killer is the reissue of part one of the Paratwa Saga, a cult series from the 1980s. The structure has the feel of that era where large operatic science fiction painted tales at an epochal scale. However, the series has something to say in our modern world as gender and fluidity play a key role. The Paratwa are dual beings that have one mind in two bodies. These can be of either gender or a mix. To share two bodies, one male and one female is an intriguing idea, or what happens if one of the two bodies is killed, can the other survive without their other half? 

As well as an interesting take on gender politics, Liege-Killer is also firmly a political book. The book is an ensemble of characters, some of which are every people, but others are policy makers. Large chunks of the book are set in the political arena were four people vote on the future of Earth and the Colonies. Rome is who we follow and believes in limiting technological advances lest humans repeat the mistakes that led to the end of Earth. His votes could change the future for every living being both alive and not yet born. It soon conspires that the Council’s decisions may be being manipulated. 

To offset the big story elements, we also follow a mother and her son who are embroiled unwillingly in events. We also follow Nick and Gillian, two people woken from stasis to try and aid in the capture or killing of the Liege-Killer. These characters all give a fish-out-of-water viewpoint to the book and allow Hinz to explore the world through their eyes. There are many twists and turns in the book as the story progresses. It opens from a large story into an epic one. Nick and Gillian play their part in this. 

The use of stasis to prolong a character's arc means that the series has that true epic range and feel. Nick and Gillian have already slept for years and have found themselves in a future they could not predict. The same can be said of the threat. Are the enemies thought dead actually in stasis awaiting a time to awaken and once again try to control the human race? It will be interesting to see what will happen over the series as book one starts off with large ideas and concludes with huge ones. A classic feeling space opera that fans of that vintage will enjoy.
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Thank you for allowing me to read this book I thought it was an okay book which wasn’t really my genre or my style of book although I did read all of it and I think I’d recommend people who like to read this sort of book in the Chandra but I picked it because I thought I would try out vision and see if it would be my cup of tea unfortunately it’s not but that is not the books fault that is more of a personal choice and less of the book being bad this is why I’m giving it a middle of the road rating of three out of five stars because it’s more me than it is the book
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I was kindly sent a copy of this book by Gemma from Angry Robot. This has not influenced my review in any way.

How have I not heard of these books before?! Christopher Hinz has created a fantastic dystopian world. Humanity has survived an apocalypse and now lives on orbiting space stations under the rule of the Irryan council. The cause of this apocolypse was the Paratwa and humanity's need for technology. The Paratwa are super assassins that have two bodies (or tways) controlled by one mind. They can change what they look like and use technology to take over someone else's life. This is called sapient supersedure where someone is killed and then substituted with a lookalike that assumes his or her identify. Many people were able to have themselves frozen and then re-awakened many centuries in the future. One of those reawaken is the Paratwa and then we get those that are awakened to try and stop them. This opens up the story to something that can span hundreds of years with the same characters and I'm sure that the sequel will do just that.

At first it was hard to get into the story as there's just so much going on. POV's change during a chapter so you really have to concentrate to know what is going on. The Paratwa are complex and it takes a lot of getting used to. Once I had grasped it the story was really enjoyable. The world-building is brilliant and is full of politics, mystery and murder. 

There's a great twist in the book which you don't see coming until just before it's revealed. 

I highly recommend this book and will be adding books 2 and 3 to be wish-list.
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Thank you to the publisher for giving me a copy of this book!
So to preface this review, I have never read the original version of this book.  I went into this book blind.
Characters: One can tell this was written in the 80's because the female characters were not good at all.  We had two female characters.  One was barely there and the other was the stereotypical housewife.  This is supposed to be set in the future and yet there's no progression there.  The other characters were fine.  I didn't feel any strong attachment to any of them.  
Atmosphere: I think the world-building is interesting.  I'd like to see more of it if the characters were better. 
Writing: The writing was fine.  It felt very 80's.  On here it says there's new material, but I couldn't tell what was the new material just from reading this without reading the first version.
Plot: The plot was fine.  It was a little all over the place up to the middle of the book.  
Intrigue: The Paratwa have me interested, and I wish we got more lore about them.  I do know this is a series, and more lore is probably in later books.  I don't know if I was given enough to want to keep going though. 
Logic: Logically I feel like the world should have progressed a lot more than it did.  Other than that the book kept with it's own logic fairly well.  
Enjoyment: I enjoyed it for what it was.  I don't know if I will continue with this series.  I hope the female characters get better in the series.  If they do, I may just pick up the rest of the series.
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I'd heard about this book but never had the opportunity to read it until I received the advanced copy, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to check it out. 

This story captivated me from the first chapter. The characters are unique and the story is clips along at a great pace. An interesting take of the futuristic post-apocalyptic setting, especially in the depiction of the Paratwas and Ash Ock. The technology is well written and feels entirely plausible.

I really enjoyed this story and would recommend it to any sci-fi fans. I am going to seek out the rest of the books in the series.
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I want to thank Angry Robots for reprinting this forgotten jewel and made me discover a new to me, exciting and fabolous sci-fi series.
This mix of technothriller, dystopia and sci-fi kept me reading and turning pages very fast, unable to put it down.
Great storytelling, excellent world building and a gripping plot.
I can't wait to read the rest of the series.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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Liege Killer (Book 1: The Paratwa Trilogy) – Christopher Hinz 

 

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in order to provide an honest review. 

 

Christopher Hinz is an American author with a great love for things science fiction. This book was originally published in 1987 with St Martin’s Press. Hinz has also written “Ash Ock” and “The Paratwa”, together forming The Paratwa Trilogy. He has also worked on a few comics namely, “Blade” and “Dead Corps”. 

 

Earth has been devastated by nuclear war and genetically engineered assassins known as Paratwas; a single consciousness that resides in two bodies. 200 years later their effects are still being felt. Humans no longer reside on earth, instead they reside in what is known as cylinders – human colonies that orbit Earth. 

Yet most believe Paratwas are extinct and humans are safe from their vicious and deadly skills, however that is not the case. Events are put into motion forcing a confrontation between two old enemies. The fate of the human race at stake. 

It is almost impossible to identify a Paratwa, the only possible way is to inflict pain on one body and watch for the reaction in the second body. 

Those in charge have a secret weapon even they did not realise they had, in stasis is a pair of skilled Paratwa hunters – their last hope. Though that may not even be enough to stop the deadliest Paratwa from achieving their mission – destroying the human race leading the way for the Paratwas to rise and take control. 

Sacrifices must be made and lines must be crossed if they have any hope of surviving. 

 

“Liege Killer” is a quirky science fiction tale of a post-apocalyptic earth struggling to survive. The author had a detailed storyline and well-developed characters which really helped the reader immerse themselves in this story. If you are a great science fiction love then you will really enjoy this book. Me personally, while it was a good story it just wasn’t for me, though generally I don’t mind some science fiction stories and movies – I just couldn’t engage and enjoy this one. But as I said it is a well written story that I’m sure many science fiction lovers will definitely love.
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Liege-Killer is a compelling science-fiction thriller.  Set in the far future, Earth is uninhabitable, radioactive, and the Apocalypse caused by warring factions also gave rise to genetically-created assassins called Paratwa, two beings with one mind.  They were all supposedly exterminated in a war which saw hundreds of millions of humans killed by the single-minded, highly intelligent Paratwa.

In the present time of Christopher Hinz's novel, humanity lives on cylinder colonies orbiting Earth and follows rules by a dominant group called E-Tech, which oversees and prevents the development of technology that could lead to another Apocalypse.  We are introduced to the “parliament” of sorts,  the Irryan Council. The five counselors are constantly jockeying for power, trying to get their own programs enacted (they are not all Pro-E-Tech), and making deals to get their way. An outsider group espousing the glory of science is also actively trying to re-institute the use of advanced tech. 

The council learns of the existence of a Paratwa, or “tway,” when several heinous murders are discovered.  Their decision is to revive from stasis the pair of Paratwa killers from centuries ago who were able to kill hundreds of them.  In the meantime, the Paratwa have killed dozens more people. Gillian and Nick are the most interesting featured characters in the novel as their lethal skills and stalking of the Paratwa and saving of innocent humans, like a mother and son pair, are consistent with their individual personalities and talents. 

The cat-and-mouse game of the tway called Reemul, the Liege-Killer, grips the reader's attention in the high-stakes combat.  The Paratwa often act like raptors, one engaging the combatant and the other circling around to attack.  Gillian and Nick know those tricks, though, but there are many others. The machinations of the Council create added suspense in the slow revelation of their various hidden designs, hinging on the success or failure of the Paratwa.

A lot of the assassin's violence is described, and it is moderately gory.  My one niggling criticism, though, is the names Paratwa and tway.  Pronunciation?  I understand the “para” and the “twa/two” idea, but still.  For me, not well-chosen, memorable names.
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Two hundred years ago, toward the end of the 21st century, an apocalypse brought on by unbridled technology made the Earth uninhabitable. As the catastrophe approached, measures were taken to save a portion of humanity. The Star-Edge Project constructed a large fleet of starships to search for other colonizable worlds, and the Colonies Project constructed over 200 habitable cylinders around the Earth. Hundreds of thousands of people left on the starships and millions of people moved to colonies in the cylinders.

Something went wrong with the Star-Edge project, and conflict among the starships expanded into armed combat. The last message sent from the vessels reported nuclear detonations and it's assumed that all the starships were destroyed.

The cylinders did better, and are now home to billions of people. The cylinder colonies are governed by the Irryan Council, which consists of five members.

⋆ Rome Franco is head of E-Tech, which severely limits technological advancement (colonists don't even have cell phones).

⋆ Nu-Lin is Councilor of Intercolonial Affairs and head of the Commerce League (trade).

⋆ Elliot Drake is head of the Intercolonial Credit Net (bank).

⋆ Augustus J. Artwhiler is the Supreme Commander of the Intercolonial Guardians (police).

⋆ Lady Bonneville is a wealthy socialite who hosts parties and fundraisers.

Like all politicians, the counselors are constantly jockeying for power, trying to get their own programs enacted, and making deals to get their way. Moreover, an organization called la Gloria de la Ciencia (the glory of science) is ACTIVELY trying to re-institute the use of advanced technology.

As the story opens, a bioengineered assassin created before the apocalypse, which had been put into stasis, is re-awakened. The killer is a Paratwa, one of the most heinous technological excesses of the 21st century. A Paratwa, or binary, has two non-identical bodies governed by a single mind. Moreover, the Paratwa can change it's appearance at will. Before the apocalypse, Paratwa assassins were directly responsible for the deaths of over one hundred and fifty million human beings and indirectly responsible for billions more.

The re-awakened Paratwa, named Reemul, has been brought back by covert conspirators with an agenda. The secret accomplices plan to have Paratwas take power and rule over humans.

Reemul goes on a killing spree, and Councilor Rome Franco - who's desperate to stop the assassin - takes countermeasures. He brings two Paratwa killers, a little person named Nick and a muscular tough guy called Gillian, out of stasis.

Before long Reemul and the Paratwa killers are playing a cat and mouse game, trying to wipe each other out.

Things are far from that simple, however, because the secret cabal that awakened Reemul has a long-range plan. Part of the plan involves sapient supersedure - the process of killing an individual and substituting a lookalike that assumes his or her identify. Thus some VERY powerful people - who appear to be human - are really Paratwas.

The story is action-packed - with abductions; murders; battles; secret meetings; chicanery; and more. There's even an elegant cocktail party.

As the story unfolds the nefarious long-term plan of the Paratwas is exposed, and it's a corker!

Additional characters in the story include an antique dealer named Paula and her 12-year-old son Jerem, who survive contact with a Paratwa; a band of pirates called the Alexanders, who swear revenge against the Paratwa; a computerhawk called Begelman, who expertly navigates electronic archives; Security Chief Pasha Haddad, who doesn't trust Nick and Gillian; a priest called Bishop Vokir, who heads the Church of the Trust; a madam called Miss Vitchy, who prostitutes boys and girls; and more.

The story contains descriptions of the orbiting cylinders, and the characters use cutting-edge weaponry, but I wouldn't call the book hard science fiction. It's more like enhanced soft science fiction. Still, I enjoyed the story and recommend it to sci-fi fans.

Liege-Killer is the first book in the Paratwa Trilogy, which continues with Ash Ock.

Thanks to Netgalley, Christopher Hinz, and Penguin Random House for a copy of the book.
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I don't have a lot to say for this book. It was written in the 80's and is getting rereleased. Apparently there was a lot of offensive material in the original release that's been removed. Always happy for that. 

I just couldn't get into this book. Truth time: I've had it from Netgalley for a while now. I had to start and start and start and start this book. It took me forever just to get through chapter one. 

I couldn't do it. It was boring. The writing was dry and I just didn't care. Even when the story finally picked up, I didn't care. I was bored. I can't see this doing to well with anyone I know unless it's someone who read it when it was new like my father or my uncle.

It's just not for me. 

The worldbuilding was phenomenal though, I always love a really detailed world. I just wish I could have given a crap about the characters or the story. I didn't. It was just not for me. 

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I was delighted to receive an ARC of this cult classic and Compton Crook Award Winner for Best Novel.

It is set in a post-Apocalyptic world and features the most-feared warriors - the Paratwa. But, unfortunately, it also features what proves to be their sponsor and their nemesis - the Ash Ock - a race of super-beings.

The settings and characters are beautifully defined, and the story pace makes for brilliant reading, with a little love interest thrown in for good measure. 

I love science fantasy, and this did not disappoint. For those who love this genre, I would highly recommend it.
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I requested this one because it might be a 2021 title I would like to review on my Youtube Channel. However, after reading the first several chapters I have determined that this book does not suit my tastes. So I decided to DNF this one rather than push myself to finish it only to give it a poor review.
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Two hundred years after a nuclear apocalypse forced humanity to flee the Earth for orbiting colonies. Stories are still told about the Paratwa - fearsome genetically modified killers who occupied two bodies, controlled by a single vicious mind. The legendary Paratwa Reemul, known as the Liege-Killer, was the strongest of them all.
Rumours swirl that Reemul somehow survived the cataclysm on Earth and has been sent to terrorise the colonists. Two 21st century Paratwa-hunters are revived from stasis to track him down.
But is this an isolated incident, or has the mysterious force. Which unleashed Reemul announced a gambit to seize control of the entire human race?

Liege-Killer was a book that didn't grab my attention the first time around, but I thought I would give it another go. 
When I read it previously, It felt that ideas had been borrowed from elsewhere and characters were being reproduced but in a new guise.
Books and movies spring to mind, but I will not mention them here.
The book came out in the 1980s, and the dialogue shows. Glad to see some of the more offensive material has been changed.
Post-apocalyptic tales were not new in the 80s, and they are very much overdone now. And the usual clichès were floating around.
I still liked the actual world-building, and the descriptions were neat and tidy. But all been done before, many times.
The protagonists and antagonists took time to make their appearance.
This meant that the initial part of the book seems a little slow, but the pace quickens when the action starts.
Being bought up with Clarke, Heinlein, Hubbard and Asimov, Liege-Killer did not fit in with them.
Now we have the likes of Wells, Scalzi, Liu and Hamilton in the Science-Fiction writing genre. Unfortunately, for me, Liege-Killer does not fit in now either.
It is still a credible read, just not for me.
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Originally published in 1987, “Liege-Killer” is the first novel in the “Paratwa Saga” by Christopher Hinz. Apparently out-of-print since then, it’s good to see the book being given a new lease of life. 
The “paratwa”, creatures with two bodies and one brain and trained to be superkillers, have rendered the Earth uninhabitable. Now, centuries later, one of them is awakened - Reemul, the liege-killer of the title, is psychotic and promptly starts a campaign of terror in the space colony he finds himself in. Can the hunters, also revived, stop him? 
Hinz brilliantly creates a world populated by people who feel a sense of loss over dead Earth, coupled with hope for the future and real terror when the paratwa reappear. It's a really fast read, with some wonderful ideas and great dialogue.
I strongly recommend this novel as it is among the best sci-fi books that you’ve never read.
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