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Reviewed by Lex Allen for Readers' Favorite
Return of the Operator by Marcos Antonio Hernandez is a science fiction story of a dystopian society in an undefined future era. This is a world comprising humans and androids living in the upper levels, while near-human creatures struggle to survive in the pitch-black environment of the city tunnels. The city is built in levels with the wealthy and important occupying the higher levels of the massive towers, leaving the dregs of humanity to fight for survival in the impenetrable smog of the lower levels. The higher the level, the more important and wealthy is the population. The Operator and his dog, Fenix, are just passing through the rat-infested bottom levels of the city when an accident compels them to stop their journey. In short order, The Operator finds himself playing both sides of a gang war while he seeks evidence against the government enforcer, Bacas.
From the beginning, I had this vibe of Clint Eastwood as the "no-name" hero character in the so-called "Italian spaghetti westerns" in 1970 western movies, riding into a dusty town – an enigma that gets caught up in the town's struggle with outlaws. The Operator has no other name and his background remains a mystery until midway through the story when we get only a brief peek into his past. Not normally a good thing in books of this nature; here, however, it works beautifully. Devoid of excessive details of scene setting or character embellishments, the story moves quickly while allowing the reader to insert his/her own impressions. Though the ending hints at a sequel, it is also a satisfying conclusion for a stand-alone novel. I thoroughly enjoyed Return of the Operator and recommend this book for all fans of science fiction and/or dystopian stories. And if you are old enough to remember the Clint Eastwood movies, you'll love this book!