Product info (from Goodreads):
HE’D DO ANYTHING TO GET A STORY. When journalist Lex Falk gets himself chipped into the brain of a combat soldier, he thinks he has the ultimate scoop – a report from the forbidden front line of a distant planetary war, live to the living rooms of Earth. When the soldier is killed, however, Lex has to take over the body and somehow get himself back to safety once more… broadcasting all the way.
The premise was brilliant as it dealt with psychology along with sci-fi and other issues. Lex Falk is a renowned journalist who would do anything for a great story. He takes part in a very risky experiment – he agrees to be embedded into another man’s brain. Everything goes to the devil when that man, a career soldier called Nestor Bloom, gets shot and almost dies. Almost – because Lex’s persona in his brain was able to take over his brain and keep his body alive. All of that happened in Eighty Six, an area of unrest, even possible guerilla conflict, without any medical help at hand.
The beginning was great, the rest – not especially so. The middle was too long, too descriptive. When I was curious how Nestor and Lex managed to coexist in one brain, a brain damaged by a bullet to boot, I was given plenty of detail concerning army uniforms, weapons, means of transport, their engines, ways of propulsion etc. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fine example of sci-fi world building. Still I felt the actual embedding should have been put in a more prominent place. As it was, the author missed out on so many opportunities to explore the psychological issues of dwelling within another’s mind, which would qualify as a kind of artificial schizophrenia.
The ending was also pretty rushed, as if the author decided that enough is enough and he’s spent too long describing all those juicy
toys weapons and other futuristic equipment, allowing U.S. army to fight on another planet. By the way, the fact that they still had to fight some Block special ops militants who speak Russian and wear red stars on their outfits I found rather… anachronistic. Couldn’t they fight the Chinese or even aliens?
Kudos for the mere idea but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. Meh.