Dogged by a digital ghost and his own murky past, he must scour the city to kill the killer … or lose the woman he loves.
Earth, post-Apocalypse. Thibault Allard is determined to save his wife. After he escapes the addictive virtual reality that enslaved them both, he works as a bounty hunter for their unsavoury captor to gain inside access and search for his beloved. But when the morally flexible immortal is handed a ruthless ultimatum, he derails his plans in order to pursue the man who terminated his boss's spouse.
Getting close to the dangerous cult leader responsible for the woman's death, he scrambles to survive after he's captured and imprisoned. And thrown into a pit for a gladiatorial battle against a blood-lusting monster, Thibault fears he'll die before he can rescue the bride he left behind.
Can he double down on his duty without losing the rest of his soul?
A Mirage in the Memory is a genre-blending novella, an introduction to The Slip Saga, written by Simon Tull. An excellent sci-fi/cyberpunk story, which is not afraid to take some turns to include fantastical elements, and that paints an intriguing and dystopic world, where our character, Thibault, will have to drive himself with a lot of care.
Thibault fits certainly the definition of a grey moral character; we can see how many of his acts are questionable, but, deeply inside, all his motivation is the love he has for his wife; so when an almost impossible task is put in front of him, with the threat of not seeing her again, there's no other option that accepting it. Even if that means having to descend to Jupiter's domains and risking his life.
With Thibault, Tull does an excellent job of creating a complex character, a person that is struggling in a world that is much bigger and powerful than him; a pawn for those in control. Conflicted inside, love is the main force that drives him.
With the limited length of this format, Tull manages to create a dystopic world, with cyberpunk elements intertwined with some homage to classic culture (something that gives me shivers when I think of the real world); the metaphor of descending to the underworld is simply chef kiss.
It made me so intrigued by what this saga might become; one of the strongest novellas in the batch, and a positive discovery for me.
Disclaimer: This novella has been read as part of the SFINCS. This review/rating only represents my personal opinion and it might differ with what the team decides.