After the Queens of the Sicarii by William Wire

QUEENS
After the Queens of the Sicarii by William Wire
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery, Action/Adventure
Length: Full Length (152 pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

One hundred years ago a deadly super-virus infected humanity, killing off the world’s male population. Women have ruled alone ever since. When a cure is finally discovered, man was born again, and women began gradually reintroducing the boys back into society. But not all women were happy about that. A secret cult called the Sicarii wanted men to remain extinct.

Nancy Rose is a US federal agent under the powerful Department of Safety (an institution that insists everyone conform to their safety rules, or else). Nancy and her fellow agents are specially charged with protecting men from the murderous Sicarii.

After Nancy receives a tip that leads to a party of man-killers, she is set on a path to confront one of the formidable Queens of the Sicarii, the so-called Queen of Spades. Nancy will need to shoot from the hip, aim straight, watch her back, and keep her own secrets from being uncovered if she wants to track down and stop the Queens of the Sicarii.

It isn’t easy to track down an organization that has only ever existed in the shadows, much less figure out who is leading it. Nancy definitely has her work cut out for her. Only time will tell if she’s smart enough to piece together all of the clues in time.

Wow, what an action-packed storyline! I ended up taking a handful of short breaks from reading this novel because of how rapidly certain scenes made my heart beat. The tension was so strong that I simultaneously wanted a chance to catch my breath and couldn’t bear to go another moment without finding out what would happen next. It was simply that suspenseful in a good way.

I would have liked to see much more time spent developing the characters’ personalities. While I can easily imagine exactly what they all looked like, it would be much harder for me to say what it would be like to have a conversation with them. The narrator never showed me if the characters were outgoing, cheerful, irritable, kind, or any number of other personality traits. Not having this information made it harder for me to relate to Nancy in particular as not knowing these basic facts about her made it difficult for me to predict how she’d react to a stressful situation.

One of the most interesting things about reading books set in the future is discovering what traditions and social mores from our world an author thinks will still be practiced generations from now. Finding these connections between our contemporary life and a futuristic society is my one of my favorite parts of reading this kind of science fiction. Luckily there were many of these connections to discover in this tale. Some of them revealed themselves right away, while others took a little more effort. All of them were absolutely fascinating for reasons I can’t share here without giving away spoilers.

After the Queens of the Sicarii should be read by anyone who enjoys dystopian science fiction.

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