Have you been begrudgingly perusing political news headlines, day after day, and think to yourself, “this can’t be real”? Hybrid Mechanics, Verastiqui’s 5th installment in the Vinestead Universe, answers back, “what if it’s not? What if this is all a simulation?”
I’ve been following Verastiqui’s work since Xronixle – his first – and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing his writing continuously improve, culminating into this fantastic mix of Cyberpunk Futurism and modern-day existential crises of the true nature of reality.
This book follows a group of strangers in non-linear fashion, including a burnt-out IT manager, a tenacious YouTube personality, and an ex-GI mamma's boy and man of faith, who through a series of “glitches” find themselves woke in the real world. Where are they, how did they get there, and who put them there? Verastiqui weaves a cunning narrative that answers these questions while raising even more, reaching a nail-biting denouement that will send shivers down to your solar plexus.
Verastiqui’s trademark descriptive style and signature wit is thankfully present throughout the story: clever dialogue, multi-dimensional characters, sexual subtleties and exploring of gender identities, The Matrix-style virtual realities, religion, synthetic humanoids, and cliff-hanging chapter conclusions that only makes you want to keep reading. Pop culture-savvy readers will enjoy Verastiqui’s humorous allusions, and if you’re familiar with the Austin, TX area you’ll absolutely get a kick out of his local references.
This book is much deeper than the surface level would lead you to believe – figuratively and literally. Verastiqui is at the top of his form and I can’t wait for his next book.