I Can Transform You by Maurice Broaddus is Book Two in a series known as Apex Voices. The first, Plow the Bones by Douglas F. Warrick, was a brilliant collection of Mr. Warrick’s short stories. Both feature two unique and outstanding authors and each book has a very different feel from the other.
I Can Transform You left my head spinning after the first read through. It has a distinctly apocalyptic/end-of-times flavor to it, one that I’m starting to get obsessed with. Here is the blurb Apex provides:
From the dust of The Trying TimesTM, corp-nations have risen up in place of failed governments, and twilight haze dropped down in place of the sky. The economy fell, and the Earth itself shot heavenward, transforming the very face of the planet into an alien landscape with towers punching past the new sky into one of many unknowns. Soon after, the jumpers started raining from among the blue lanterns that took the place of sun and stars.
Mac Peterson left the employ of LG Security Forces and now cobbles together a life in the shadows of the great towers, filling policing needs for people too unimportant for the professional corp-national security to care about. His ex-wife, Kiersten, stayed behind on the Security Forces, working undercover. When she turns up dead alongside one of the tower jumpers, Mac pairs up with Ade Walters, a cyborg officer, to uncover who would try to hide Kiersten’s death among the suicides. Searching for the murderer of one of their own, Mac and Ade discover plans to transform the Earth and its inhabitants…plans that only started with the great upheaval and The Trying TimesTM.
Mac is your typical, rough around the edges, old-school, take a punch like a champ kind of cop. Except for his one soft spot, Kiersten, and her death lights a fire in his belly that no drink could ever put out. Ade Walters on the other hand, is a much more mysterious figure. He is the Ying to Mac’s Yang and counters the bluntness that otherwise would have left Mac lying dead in a ditch somewhere.
I started reading I can Transform You right around the same time as the TV show Almost Human with Karl Urban and Michael Ealy began airing on Fox. While Maurice’s Mac and Ade are not exactly in the same vein as Karl and Michael, I Can Transform You filled a gaping hole left by the TV show with its impressive world building.
Mac Peterson and Ade Walters don’t waste any time in shaking down the underground gangs, but when that leads nowhere, they quickly follow another trail of breadcrumbs that leads directly up the food chain and even back home. As the duo’s investigation continue, they realize just how quickly the hunted becomes prey and the enormity of what a treacherous path is set ahead of them.
I Can Transform You is an eye-opening read that will leave you on unsteady feet, questioning the once solid foundation your life is built around. Jason Sizemore is the managing editor for Apex Publication and his series creation of Apex Voices is built to showcase some of their outstandingly talented authors. I Can Transform You exemplifies everything I think Jason aimed for in the creation of Apex Voices: A dark gritty world filled with wonder, gripping prose that leads to characters leaping out of the pages and climbing towards the stars, and a furious pace sure to leave your heart and mind racing until the very end.
As always, a huge thanks to the folks at Apex and author Maurice Broaddus for providing me with once again another thought provoking read. Another side note, don’t skip author Matt Forbeck’s introduction for this book!