Rohan is having a hard time controlling his Powers in his new position as Tow Chief. Wei Li is trying to get rid of a troublesome fight promoter and his even more troublesome connections to organized crime.
Perhaps these two can help one another? If not, perhaps a teary eyed woman can rope Rohan into a martial arts tournament that will determine, once and for all, who the best fighter is on that particular night.
Zero Twist is an introductory novella to the Twisted Helix series, an interesting superhero space opera created by the mind of JCM Berne. The whole series features one of the most different characters in the genre, Rohan, an Il Drach Hybrid, somebody with superpowers, which is working in the Wistful station as Tow Chief, with a turbulent past. My idea is to dive into the whole Twisted Helix during the next months, so I figured this was the best entry point.
Rohan has retired from his old life and it’s working as Tow Chief in a spatial station, using his powers to work; he has some anger problems, but to be fair, it might just be the anger that everybody that has worked with customers might have at some point. Wei Li, the security chief of Wistful, informs him that soon a martial arts tournament will be celebrated at the station, something that doesn’t make her feel comfortable; and well they start to know each other (in a ton of senses). By an unexpected twist, he gets enrolled in the competition, having the possibility to get an insane amount of money.
The premise is simple and serves also as an excuse to see how Rohan trains with other fighters and the current champion, Poko, with seriously well-written fight scenes. Poko is the kind of character you start appreciating soon after knowing him, and his manager, Belinda; but still our hero, Rohan, shows why he is the main star of our book, becoming a memorable character.
The development of the train and martial tournament is fun to read, and it’s well done on many levels. Fighting scenes are fast-paced, but really well-written, with a multitude of carefully chosen details, even some funny winks to the UFC. Humour is also key in this book, something that honestly, I expected, but not at this level.
Zero Twist is a great entry point to the Hybrid Helix saga. It’s short, but serves perfectly as an introduction to Rohan, and also to a character that I’ve told will be important in the saga as it is Wei Li. I will continue reading the saga during the next months, so I’m ready to have Rohan as companion for several books.
JCM Berne has reached middle age without outgrowing the notion that superheroes are cool. Code monkey by day, by night he slaves over a hot keyboard to prove that superhero stories can be engaging and funny without being dark or silly.