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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Technology Can Kill You: Attack on Valques by James William Peercy is the first volume in the author's new science fiction series, Ivan, Universal Space Tech. The protagonist, Ivan, is an Earth-born human technical specialist, plucking at wires and fixing the unfixable among the cosmos as, when, and wherever he's needed. When Ivan ends up on a job that has him rehabilitating a system in hostile territory, he becomes an unwitting pawn in a raging conflict for which he's unprepared. With the aid of a compatriot AI named Suzie, Ivan is forced to navigate corners of the universe, collaborate with other alien races and species, and fight battles that are infinitely more involved than his Galaxy Class pay grade should require.
Technology Can Kill You has all the right components to make for a brilliant space opera. The plot is strong enough to harness a reader on its own, but it's the highly character-driven narrative that sets the kick-off to James William Peercy's adventure comfortably above the parapet. The banter between Ivan and Suzie is first rate, and the scenes that are built in a fully fleshed out universe are only made better by their presence. I genuinely enjoyed that the descriptions were detailed enough to engage a reader but not so gratuitous that they bog down the story's pacing. The host of ancillary characters and the supporting cast are as diverse as they are interesting, but it's Ivan's humor, smarts, and quick action that make me keen to pick up the next volume in the series.