τὰ γὰρ ὀψώνια τῆς ἁμαρτίας Νέμεσις. In one of the more famous Biblical passages amongst at least certain American crowds – and, based on Jonathan Edwards’ Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God and Dante’s Inferno (itself based on earlier works by St. Thomas Aquinas and non-Biblical yet popular Apocalypse tales that circled in the early centuries within the Christian community), possibly among the more famous Biblical passages in all of Christendom, St. Paul once wrote in his Epistle to the Romans “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, NIV/ NKJV)
The title of this review is actually Robinson’s spin on that particular verse, which he essentially used to reboot and retell the story of Νέμεσις – Nemesis, the ancient Greek god of vengeance he originally crafted a balls to the wall kaiju action series around in PROJECT: NEMESIS. Which led to his very *first* ‘Avengers Level Event’ (my term for it) collaboration at the end of that series. If you want the actual translation of the title… you’re gonna have to read the book. Though this review so far should give you a pretty good idea of what it says. 😀 I can honestly say that the very first time I saw that particular phrase in the book, I IM’d Jeremy directly immediately and said “this *has* to be your next image in your TeePublic store“. It was that awesome. 😀
And the rest of the story is equally amazing, unexpectedly bringing back yet another creature from the Robinsonverse – whose origin even in its standalone tale was tied to an “alternate dimension” Nemesis + another connection to yet a third Robinsonverse tale, and whose origin remains intact (in at least these two respects) in this tale. Indeed, the unexpected just keeps coming within this tale, as the presence of this particular creature – and specifically how it is created here – draws Nemesis herself in for yet again more very creative monster/ kaiju fighting. Indeed, even for long time fans of Nemesis herself… old girl’s got some new tricks here, particularly since this is a *different version* of her. 😉 And not just Nemesis. Other features of those books also get entirely rebooted, including a new “Betty” with some interesting new abilities that turn our heroes into in some cases even more badass versions of a particular red and gold Marvel superhero. Also note to be missed is Robinson’s commentary on a particular 2010s era movie that may or may not have included one particular scene that may or may not have been *eerily* reminiscent of the earlier Nemesis tales, in one exact moment in particular.
One thing I need to make 100% crystal clear though: Old fans, new fans, whoever you may be: This is a 100% standalone book. You don’t need to know *anything* about literally anything to enjoy this tale as it is written. You don’t need to have read every Robinson book (or nearly so). You don’t need to have a deep knowledge base of Christian thought. You don’t even have to have any knowledge of pop culture (and in some cases, some relatively obscure areas that wouldn’t necessarily be described as overly “popular”, more along the lines of “cult” at best). This is still the New God of Science Fiction doing what he does best, and that which he does better than anyone else I’ve ever come across – giving you kick ass, balls to the wall, science fiction action/ thrillers that sometimes make you think, often times have connections all around that don’t impede the story, and are always upping themselves in just how creative their creator can be.
It is actually quite funny me in particular. Yet again, Robinson said “I’m working on this new concept” and said what it was. Yet again I was skeptical. And yet again, Robinson earned every praise I can ever give his storytelling and world crafting abilities. (I famously did this with the Chess Team/ Jack Sigler Adventures when he first told me about them – and they became one of his greatest early career innovations.)
Truly a fun bit of escapist science fiction that will nearly be as deep as you want it to be – and no more. Exactly what the best science fiction has always done. Very much recommended.