A lot of people might be envious of Crusader’s numbness in Numb by John W. Otte. Crusader can get a lot done, perhaps though some not so ethical things like assassinating people, because he doesn’t feel anything. In battle, the laser guns tear through his flesh, but he can fight through his injuries like Hulk or Superman. Apply a bit of medical gel and those critical injuries heal themselves. Humankind in John W. Otte’s world lives in space.
Two distinctly different empire’s are in a cold war with each other: Ministrix and Preasidium. Crusader works for Ministrix–an organization that is modeled like the Jewish temple leaders; lots of rules and a Christ-figure that is accusing. Preasidium is secular, non-believing, but they don’t have any ethics or morals. A Toleration Act enacted by them to keep the peace between their empire and Ministrix makes any kind of faith illegal. In between, are the “catacombs”–an organization that teaches true faith in Christ and sends saved people out like missionaries into either empire. Crusader’s latest job is to assassinate Isolda Westin, an engineer on the Purim.
But the numbness breaks and Crusader is unable to kill the girl. Unfortunately, in his hesitation, he discovers Ministrix agents out to kill him, too. Crusader and Isolda run from Ministrix while both try to figure out the mystery of Ministrix’s plans to kill them both.
Numb is an excellent novel. The only problem I really had with it was part of the first chapter. To me, it was an eye-roller. A bit over-dramatic, I thought, in how the story broke, but the following chapters were much better. The following chapters with its descriptions and dialogue kept me reading as the struggle between Crusader and his “numb” increased with his attraction to Isolda. In the end, he has a choice to make when his real identity was revealed. The ending of the novel was perfect. I gave this novel four stars.
In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher (affiliate links). Other people participating:
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Rachel Starr Thomson