Rod Rees has released the second book in his "Demi-Monde" series, "The Shadow Wars." (William Morrow, 550 pages)
In the second installment, the president's daughter, Norma Williams, who had been tricked into the cyber-world known as the Demi-Monde, starts the rebellion against the brutal forces of the ForthRight, led by the Nazi Reinhard Heydrich who is out to conquer the various populations of the Demi-Monde.
Heydrich's daughter, Aaliz, had escaped the Demi-Monde and entered into the Real World where she assumed the identity of Norma Williams. Much like her father, Aaliz, conspires to control and brainwash her generation. To this end, she has chosen the superb means of mind control - taking on the role of televangelist.
The resourceful Ella Thomas, who had been sent to rescue Norma Williams from the dangerous computer generated world, the Demi-Monde, is captured and taken to Josef Mengel, who tortures her by using vast dosages of electroshock. This causes Ella to undergo a strange mutation as she morphs into the age old enemy of male chauvinism - Lilith.
Irreverent, witty and risque, Rod Rees has crafted a series that blends social satire with science fiction. In this imaginative cyber thriller, Rees introduces his readers to some of the most infamous characters of history - the Marquis de Sade, Torquemada, Josef Mengele and Reinhard Heydrich.
Rees seems to be drawing a cautionary tale concerning our divided and dysfunctional society and modern man's dependence on technology which blurs the lines between reality and fantasy.
His hellish cyber world of the Demi-Monde brings to mind Joyce's famous line that "history is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake."
Neither the Left, nor the Right, escape his jabs - though the sharpest blows are aimed at the Religious Right, the ForthRight or Fourth Reich and their doctrine of UnFunDaMentalism.
Memories of the Gulf Wars' military campaigns and the strategy of "shock and awe" may be gleaned in the ForthRight's brutal military doctrine of "shock and or" which boils down to bombarding one's foe until he surrenders - or else!
Even the glossaries included in this second installment of the "Demi-Monde" saga are clever satire as author Rod Rees reminds us that science fiction is more than physics - it can be a very provocative form of literature.