Zoey Punches the Future in the Dick

St. Martin’s. Oct. 2020. 368p. ISBN 9781250195791. $27.99. SF
It’s Halloween month in Tabula Ra$a, the futuristic, (mostly) lawless city in the Utah desert, and Zoey Ashe is still adjusting to being in charge of the vast criminal empire created and left to her by her estranged mobster father, Arthur Livingston. When a disemboweled corpse shows up at Zoey’s estate and subsequently rises and goes on a rampage, she thinks she’s hit her limit. Then when the corpse publicly announces that not only did Zoey murder him but also ate his missing organs, Zoey ends up with a contract on her life. Everyone in Tabula Ra$a is gunning for Zoey, and she and the Suits have to solve a murder—and keep her alive—before the revolutionary group Blowback causes the city to descend into chaos.
VERDICT Wong (“John Dies at the End”series) once again achieves the perfect balance between sardonic humor and satirical digs at the digital age in the sequel to his award-winning Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits. Filled with laugh-out-loud moments and philosophical and ethical questions about the nonstop advancements of technology, this novel reminds us of an oft-forgotten question: Just because we can do something, does that mean we should??

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