Faust 2.0 by Michael Brookes

When I read The Cult of Me by Michael Brookes I was right outside my usual reading zone but I enjoyed it so much I read the second book in the trilogy Conversations in the Abyss a few months later. I'm still waiting for the final instalment in the saga but meanwhile I downloaded Michael Brookes' Faust 2.0 which apparently is the first in a series featuring Morton and Mitchell.

I didn't quite know what to expect. The opening line of the book page description tells the reader that "A new entity is born into the internet" and poses the question "Is it the rebirth of an ancient evil in a new realm? Or something much worse?"

Author Michael Brookes has written his own take on the Faust story with strong overtones of The Godfather. A clutch of disparate characters are seduced by the aptly named Misty, the Mephistopheles in this version of the story. It falls to Internet expert Sarah Mitchell to work out what's going on and to finally start asking who the mysterious lawyer is who keeps showing up every time something goes wrong.

I read Faust 2.0 more-or-less straight through in one go. The plot moves forward strongly and the reader is rapidly page-turning to find out what's coming next. There are some unexpected developments and at times the suspense level is very high.

What Michael Brookes does so well is give you a proposition in the opening of the book which is off the scale of fantastical in such a way that you totally believe it. This has been done even more successfully in Faust 2.0 than it was in the other two books and that's a great achievement.

I really enjoyed reading Faust 2.0. It's set in a high-tech world far outside my personal experience but it's been written about so well that it's comprehensible and plausible. Overall I would describe Faust 2.0 as a thriller but its setting and some of the characters, especially the ever present Misty, take it into Science Fiction and Fantasy. One of the categorisations on the book's Amazon page is "technothriller" which is not a term I'm familiar with but I think it describes it perfectly.

Faust 2.0 is a great start to the series and the ending is left wide open for the next book which I'm looking forward to reading when it appears.

You can find more details of Faust 2.0 and all Michael Brookes' other books on his Amazon author page or on his excellent Cult of Me Blog.