Title: The Eternity Fund
Author: Liz Monument
Genre: Future Noir Thriller
Received for review from Audible
Summary (from Goodreads)
The Eternity Fund is set in a dark future, where terrorists flash-freeze entire office blocks to harvest human organs, and where people of no use to society are compressed for bio-fuel. Jess Green, the narrator, is an empath. Her unusual skills are commandeered by the Unit, for Department Thirteen (Crime Solutions). Jess isn’t going to find it easy negotiating a path through a world in which nobody seems to trust her, especially now she has a price on her head…
The Eternity Fund is set in an interesting world. This is the future beyond the future. A new ‘New World’ after some unknown disaster wiped out the world as we know it. There are no animals, food is cloned, people are enhanced with cybernetics, sometimes sucking down nutrients through a metallic proboscis. It’s familiar in some ways, but in most it’s utterly alien. And that’s the absolute best thing about this book.
The conspiracy is fairly standard – someone is killing people, lots of people, and there are powerful people looking the other way, and sometimes actively helping. Our heroine is more interconnected with it than she could ever know, and through solving the mystery she grows in strength and learns about her history and gets answers to the questions that have plagued her all her life. It’s entertaining, but what lifts this above the usual Dan Brown style affair is the world Monument has created.
Like all the best world building, you get the sense that Monument knows a lot more about the world than she reveals in the passage of the story. There is mention of desert beetles and spider people and many other things that we either don’t see, or see only briefly. It gives the impression that there’s plenty of rich material left to explore, that the world could sustain many more stories. And I hope there are more.
I also really liked the central relationship between Jess and her handler, Mo. It took a little while to warm up – there’s a lot of Jess doing things that Mo doesn’t approve of, Mo being over protective (it’s his job, not a messed up romantic thing) before they start to settle into each other and start to work together. But towards the end, I really liked them as protagonists, and again would like to spend a little more time in their company.
The book does slightly suffer for being the first. I get the feeling that another episode would be even more exciting and interesting now the relationship is established and the world is introduced. There was also a moment where I felt the narrative jumped a little unnaturally. It was almost like I’d fallen asleep and missed a chapter – only I really hope I didn’t because I was driving!! It wasn’t detrimental to the understanding of what was happening, as such, but it was quite jarring.
Overall, a good read, with an excellent narrator. I hope I get the chance to see where Monument takes these characters next.