Deep Core


Fiction - Science Fiction
425 Pages
Reviewed on 08/04/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Deep Core by FX Holden is a fast-paced, compelling science fiction tale that makes for a breezy read. A maintenance tech at Sol Vista care facility, AJ enjoys his quiet life and isn’t the outgoing kind of guy. He enjoys surfing and would normally want to blend in than stand out. But his quiet life is about to be shaken up when a new resident moves into Sol Vista. AJ finds his life threatened by an assassin, struggling to uncover the hacker known as Destroyer of Worlds. His new girlfriend’s life is in danger, but the struggle to save her only reveals deeper secrets. Is she really what he thought she is all along?

Deep Core is beautifully written and transporting. It opens with wonderful descriptions of scientific bodies and their properties, worlds that are exciting for readers to explore, and the attack on the core by the “ghost” will immediately catch the reader’s attention as it introduces one of the powerful elements of the conflict. “The Core was two hundred years and three months old. It had watched over the moon of Tatsensui for all that time, keeping its environment in balance, constantly improving the habitat for its colonists; first simply by monitoring and meeting their needs, then by anticipating them.” But then it is attacked and thus begins troubles that take readers on a mind-blowing adventure. FX Holden’s novel is highly imaginative, fast-paced, and featuring characters and a setting that will excite fans of the genre. It makes for an exciting ride, indeed.

Lit Amri

In Deep Core by FX Holden, the Core is a common central A.I. platform that is vital for the adaptability and survivability of the colonies of planet Coruscant. AJ is a laid-back cyber who loves surfing and his job at the Sol Vista TGA Community, a residential center for the memory impaired. His life is a peaceful flow until a new resident, Dave Warnecke, arrives. He keeps accusing AJ of being an undercover cop who's spying on him. Reasoning the weird accusation is a result of Warnecke's progressing amnesia, AJ keeps his routine life, which is getting exciting when he meets the smart and beautiful skater Cassie. Unfortunately, Warnecke won't leave him alone, successfully getting AJ's attention with the secret vulnerability of the Core which could destabilize the Commonwealth of Coruscant. Is Warnecke simply delusional or is the Core truly in great danger?

The intriguing story premise is developed into a detailed plot that has twists upon twists with solid character growth from start to finish. The futuristic, inner workings of the semi-alien world of Deep Core are as engaging as the mysterious ravings of conspiracies of one of its protagonists, Dave Warnecke. The history and political tension of the Commonwealth of Coruscant easily reflect centuries of human flawed governance and diplomacy. I find the mechanics of the cybers and how they configure themselves for certain purposes fascinating, particularly when it comes to the intricate mechanism of the Core. AJ is easy to root for and his tendency to become irresolute in critical situations is balanced by the enigmatic and assertive Cassie. As the story unfolds, there's a not so gentle reminder of how little privacy we can keep to ourselves when our data is available to anyone who knows how to get it. Overall, an entertaining sci-fi thriller from FX Holden that fans of the genre will definitely enjoy.

Liz Konkel

Deep Core by FX Holden breathes new life into the science fiction genre. AJ enjoys his life as an employee at Sol Vista Community for the Memory Impaired and finds his quiet existence as a cyber fulfilling. All that changes when Dave Warnecke moves into the facility and disrupts AJ's peace with his crass attitude. AJ believes he can win the man over until Warnecke confesses a shocking secret. This sparks a chain of events that takes AJ from being a maintenance tech to going on the run from an assassin. He turns to his new girlfriend for help but soon discovers she has her own surprising secret. The more AJ looks into Warnecke's past, his family, and his connection to a congressman, the deeper he falls into the kind of trouble he might not get out of alive.

FX Holden weaves assassins, technology, and mystery into a brilliant science fiction read, making an unforgettable adventure. The story is rich in details of society on another planet with cybers, ducks, the mysterious core, and an interplanetary assassin which bring to life this futuristic world. The world has some fun quirky aspects such as ducks which aren't like Earth ducks; instead, they have gills and are more akin to a fish in appearance than a bird. Holden quickly dives into a mystery with the arrival of Warnecke which throws AJ's life off course and suddenly has AJ solving the possibility of a crime. The suspense and action build from this outburst. Holden explores the sleuthing fun of a mystery by having AJ investigate a congressman and then spins the story into a suspenseful chase when he goes on the run.

The mystery is full of surprises which keep you guessing and pull AJ into a deeper understanding of what the Core is. The story does contain romantic elements as AJ grows closer to Cassie and this gives his journey some warmth, some lightness between the action and danger elements. Holden builds the plot around the theme of secrets and rights which is woven into every aspect of the story. Deep Core is perfect for lovers of science fiction and mysteries with its satisfying plot, endearing characters, shocking surprises, and action-packed suspense.

Samantha Gregory

Deep Core by FX Holden is the story of a maintenance tech called AJ, whose life turned upside down when he has to flee from an assassin who is after a hacker called Destroyer of Worlds. AJ is all about the easy life, so this is new to him and he has no idea what he is doing. There is a lot to take in and the story is consistent with the futuristic world it is set in. AJ is trying to help his new girlfriend, but she is not all she seems. I liked the mystery and how it unfolded. There was the odd moment of info-dumping here and there but with a sci-fi background, it helps the reader to understand it better.

FX Holden has created an entertaining and exciting book with Deep Core. I loved the characters and the world he has created. They seemed well developed and they each had their own interests, like AJ loving to surf. The dialogue was believable and each character was unique. There was plenty of action and I kept reading to find out what would happen next. I think that sci-fi fans would enjoy this. There are a lot of books out at the moment with larger than life characters who are already fighters and know how to handle themselves. AJ is more of a regular guy and I liked that. I would definitely recommend Deep Core as I really enjoyed this book.