*I received a copy of this book from authoright in exchange for an honest review*
When disgraced scientist Hugo Hyde is abducted by Secret Service agent Diana Holborn, they pick up the trace of a powerful artificial intelligence that is bound to annihilate humanity within twenty-four hours. Fighting their way to Mumbai, Hyde and Holborn must unveil the secrets of an ultraconservative dynasty and their Shiva temple before facing the indestructible AI. Led astray by heiress Maya Singh, will Hyde unlock Shiva’s mystery before the clock runs out?
Shiva is the second book of the Hugo Hyde thrillers. You can read my review of Sibyl (Book 1) here.
Shiva tells the story of Hugo Hyde, the disgraced tech magnate with a complicated past, and a whole load of guilt hanging over him. Hyde is kidnapped by the secret service and accused of creating an AI that is causing global disasters leading to food shortages all over the world. He teams up with secret service agent Diana Holborn in a race against time to save the world, and everybody in it.
The thing I love most about Sloane’s writing is the pace. He writes almost frantically, but with a sense of purpose and rationale. Sloane has the ability to flesh out a character in during a whirlwind of action. throughout Shiva, there is a true sense of panic and Sloane does this through the well-written action scenes, but also in the style of the novel.
Near enough every chapter is around 4-5 pages long. It’s almost as if we’re getting snapshots of the action and that it’s all happening right now. Very similar to the way the TV series 24 was paced. It works well and it had me tearing through the pages.
The protagonist in th story is Hugo Hyde, a British genius with a penchant for pretty girls, a little taste cocaine (alright, a BIG taste), and has a past that haunts him. I actually warmed more to Hyde Shiva than I managed to throughout the while of Sibyl. Maybe he’s just a character that grated on me a little bit at first. I found myself rooting for him. I think this is down to Sloane actually fleshing him out a little more and he actually showed Hyde’s personality as it has been shaped by his past. There was more authenticity to him.
My favourite thing about Shiva was the mix of themes; old and new, and religion and technology. Sloane takes the concept of ‘natural’ disasters and gives us a great conspiracy theory…they’re created by tech. It has a very ‘terminator’ feel to it, but obviously a lot more high-brow.
Summary of Shiva
I liked book 1, but book 2 was a cut above. This might sound a bit ‘silly’ but the printing and editing in book 2 are soo much better, and that made a huge difference for me.
Sloane’s writing only got better throughout the unfolding of Shiva and I love his ability to create a deep and interesting storyline while also delivering punch-you-in-the-face action. I highly recommend the Hugo Hyde thrillers and found them to be jam-packed with great characters, palpable danger, and ultimately, lots of FUN!
Where to find Shiva
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