Angry Robot. Oct. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9781915202215. pap. $16.99. SF
In Dundas’s (Goblin) latest, HellSans is not just a ubiquitous typeface in the near future but it’s also government-mandated for all communications. Most people who read HellSans get a hit of bliss no matter the message being delivered, resulting in a complacent and easily controlled population. Those few who are allergic to HellSans have intense physical reactions and are treated as less than human. Jane Ward is the rich and famous inventor of a series of robots that have become essential for everything from scheduling to banking; when she develops the HellSans allergy, her world crumbles. Dr. Icho Smith is a scientist working on a cure for the allergy. When her research reveals the depths of government corruption, she is forced on the run. Icho and Jane must work together to expose the corruption and stay alive. Dundas’s innovatively styled book is written in three parts; the first two parts (from Jane’s and Icho’s perspectives) can be read in either order.
VERDICT A smart and unique dystopian thriller that is especially fun for fans of graphic design and fonts. Give this one to readers who like their heroes morally ambiguous.
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