The Compton Crook Award-winning cult classic science fiction masterpiece, newly remastered and re-released with never-before-seen added material.
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.
When 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?
Winner of the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel, 1988
Nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, 1989
"...beautifully paced, crisply written and contained flashes of originality, even brilliance. It’s just begging to be made into a movie."
– Amazing Stories
“A spectacular action thriller mixed with some deliciously twisted political double-dealing and truly ingenious attention to character detail, Liege-Killer freakin' rocks. I can't recall a debut quite this auspicious and exciting recently…Hinz is nothing less than a natural born storyteller.”
“Hinz packs this twisty story with action and mystery while striking a fascinating balance between modern reality and science fictional innovations. Readers will be hooked.”
– Publishers Weekly
“Thrilling, cut with conspiracy and rippling with commentary on the dangers of biological tampering. Hinz made a world you want to explore, even as you fear what you may discover…Classic, but hides its age as if it just stepped from a hibernation pod.”
- Widespread review coverage in major print and online outlets, in both the mainstream and SF/F press, highlighting Liege-Killer and the entire Paratwa trilogy, to reintroduce this cult-classic series to a new audience.
- Guest posts and author interviews in online media and bookblogs
- Radio and podcast interview appearances
- Blog tours with sci fi-focused and generalist bookblogs and bookstagrammers
- Online launch event/s
If you're a reviewer, bookblogger or bookstagrammer interested in reviewing Liege-Killer or talking to Christopher Hinz, publicist Gemma Creffield would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 16 members
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.
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.
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.