A review by joshgauthier
Velocity Blues by Clifford Royal Johns


*Advanced copy received from the author*

Velocity Blues is a riveting tale of a divided society and a simple delivery job gone terribly wrong. Zip is a member of the Energy--people genetically enhanced with the intention of giving them superior ability. The enhancement succeeded, but at the expense of making them live their lives at speed. In a constant state of thinking, moving, and burning energy, the lives of these E are not easy ones. Cut off from those they once knew and fighting every day for survival, life can change in the blink of an eye.

In the midst of this bustling city, Zip does deliveries for a low-level criminal in exchange for the money he needs just to find his next meal. When his newest delivery gets interrupted by unknown agents, Zip realizes that he is into something bigger than a simple hand-off. Surrounded by criminals, and with everyone he knows fighting just to stay alive another day, Zip will have to decide who he can trust as he struggles to find a way out of the mess he's stumbled into.

This "parkour noir" is a breakneck adventure from start to finish. Bringing the reader into Zip's rapid thoughts and constantly-moving existence, Johns has created a near-future world that is scattered with sci-fi details yet feels only one step away from the society we know today. With careful pacing, the action plunges forward into the unfolding mystery. Delivering great characters, a bold premise, and a constant rush of excitement, Velocity Blues is a delightful read for noir and sci-fi fans, as well as anyone looking to lose themselves in a good story.