Drakx Slazakohn is a bounty hunter in the year 3041. Although there are still police officers and a military force in Kyle Robertson’s episodic science fiction thriller, bounty hunters get all of the tough jobs, and they have discretion about whether to bring in their contracts dead or alive. Drakx is the best at what he does, and he has yet to bring in a live criminal.
As The Crimson Contracts begins, Drakx is in the process of eradicating his 2,651st contract. This time he kills what is believed to be the last DNAccident, part of an experiment in creating super-human beings that was cut short because of the amorality of the resultant individuals. What neither he nor his employers know is that Sensor, the only female DNAccident and the leader of them all, remains alive.
Sensor captures Drakx, and somehow is able to kill him and bring him back to life seven times. Each of his deaths brings back one of the seven DNAccident “brothers” Drakx dispatched earlier. (Apparently, 1,000 years in the future these reincarnations are possible.) With the help of Kimi, the only DNAccomplishment, a super-human with a sense of ethics, the revived Drakx again goes after Sensor and her gang.
Robertson has a talent for describing the many fight scenes in the novel, and the unfolding romance between Drakx and Kimi is one of the book’s strongest features. He would have done well, however, to provide some empathy for the DNAccidents, who, through no fault of their own, must be hunted and killed. And it’s hard to have feelings for a protagonist who is as amoral and cold-blooded as the criminals he hunts.
Language is constantly evolving, and frequent spelling and grammar errors would be acceptable in a futuristic tale if they were consistent. Unfortunately, in The Crimson Contract they are not, and they greatly detract from a story that otherwise might remind readers of Blade Runner and other noir tales of dystopian futures.
Also available in hardcover.