When Saul is paralysed in an accident, he thinks it’s the end of his life. In fact, it’s just the beginning. While he’s contemplating what he can do with what remains of his existence, the mysterious Dr Tendral offers him a way to make a difference. All he has to do is join his project. There are no other details until he agrees, he’s either in or out. What choice does he have? Agreeing is just the beginning. Saul undergoes drastic surgery, only then is the full depth of the project revealed. Or is it? As time goes on and he learns the true nature of Tendral’s scheme, Saul’s choices become more and more difficult. In the end, he has to abandon everything. Because, when one life ends, another begins.
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve become very fortunate to forge some great friendships through my reviewing. This has afforded me the opportunity to read some early drafts and tasters of novels which has been a fantastic opportunity. We Are Saul is one such example. I remember reading a short story by Richard Dee that preceded this, one that would eventually become the novel I am reviewing today. That short story led to a fantastic sci-fi novel that really is something very different.
Going into a sci-fi novel I feel like there are a lot of preconceptions as to what the story is likely to be. Given that the first novels from Richard Dee that I read are also sci-fi, albeit cosy crime, and that I’ve read sci-fi of a more traditional style from Dee, I knew not to expect the expected. And in that regard, I was not disappointed.
We Are Saul follows Saul Wilstreet, an odd-jobber who takes on jobs to fund a lifestyle of travelling to disaster-hit locations to help in the relief efforts. While in a far-flung corner of the world, when a relationship became more serious than he was ready for, he fled back to the UK. Unfortunately for him, a tragic accident with an HGV left him paralysed. Laid up in a hospital bed, life as he knew it over, an interesting opportunity comes his way. An opportunity for a second chance at life. Not just existence. A life unhindered. With advanced technology, Saul will be able to control a robotic version of himself with his mind. He can have a full life, with full sensations and experiences. An opportunity too good to be true. Something Saul discovers in time.
We Are Saul makes for a sci-fi novel with a difference. There’s modern technology, robots, and something more, but the story offers hope for what could be. But it also offers a cautionary tale of what just might await us in our future. Not everything is as it seems, and very rarely does something life-changing come without a catch. And this is something Richard Dee sets up in this novel really well. I found myself hooked from the first page to the last.
Look out for We Are Saul when it releases later this year.