Review: Virulent Blurb – Reflections / Author: Kneel Downe / Publisher: Lulu.com / Release Date: Out Now
This, the third book to be released from Downe’s Blurb universe, serves as both the follow-up and prequel to the earlier Fractures. What started out as an experiment, using the confines of Twitter to tell his tale, has expanded into a pan-dimensional story encompassing several arcs, each of them intertwined, and all collapsing in on each other.
The first part of the book follows Joshua Knight, the youngster who founded PolyPhazeProductions, the makers of tech which flows through all the strains of the story. This is a world of malfunctioning memory boxes, nasty viruses and gene splicing (birthing the Mickey Spillane-esque Kurt Lobo, a wolf-spliced detective). This is also the story of the days before “the Fall”, which leads to the events of Fractures. There’s also a part based after the “sky broke” as well as a short story involving Lobo’s brother and fellow wolf detective, Lyca. A duo of poetic pieces ends the book (one set in the more mythological realm of the last book). Each section is presented in slightly differing ways, but works perfectly well together.
The story is, once again, peppered with references to Downe’s influences but certainly not in a derivative way; these are so obviously affectionate nods that they don’t throw you out of the flow of the text. There’s also a wonderful layer of satire at play, which rewards further reading. As with the previous books, there are as many questions left unanswered as there are resolved, essential to keep one wanting more. The conversational style makes the most of the unusual format and allows it to flow from the page into the imagination with ease. Don’t let the fact that it's self-published put you off; this is intelligent and fun sci-fi at its best.