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The First Omega

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Mad Max meets X-Men in this razor-sharp new dystopian novella by the Philip K Dick award nominated author of Velocity Weapon. It doesn't matter what you call her. Riley. Burner. She forgot her name long ago. But if you steal from the supply lines crossing the wasteland, her face is the last one you'll see. She is the force of nature that keeps the balance in the hot arid de Mad Max meets X-Men in this razor-sharp new dystopian novella by the Philip K Dick award nominated author of Velocity Weapon. It doesn't matter what you call her. Riley. Burner. She forgot her name long ago. But if you steal from the supply lines crossing the wasteland, her face is the last one you'll see. She is the force of nature that keeps the balance in the hot arid desert. Keep to yourself and she'll leave you well enough alone. But it's when you try to take more than you can chew that her employers notice and send her off to restore the balance. Then she gets the latest call. A supply truck knocked over too cleanly. Too precise. And the bodies scattering the wreckage weren't killed by her normal prey of scavengers. These bodies are already rotting hours after the attack. Cowering in the corner of the wreckage is a young girl. A girl that shouldn't be there. A girl with violently blue eyes. Just like hers.


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Mad Max meets X-Men in this razor-sharp new dystopian novella by the Philip K Dick award nominated author of Velocity Weapon. It doesn't matter what you call her. Riley. Burner. She forgot her name long ago. But if you steal from the supply lines crossing the wasteland, her face is the last one you'll see. She is the force of nature that keeps the balance in the hot arid de Mad Max meets X-Men in this razor-sharp new dystopian novella by the Philip K Dick award nominated author of Velocity Weapon. It doesn't matter what you call her. Riley. Burner. She forgot her name long ago. But if you steal from the supply lines crossing the wasteland, her face is the last one you'll see. She is the force of nature that keeps the balance in the hot arid desert. Keep to yourself and she'll leave you well enough alone. But it's when you try to take more than you can chew that her employers notice and send her off to restore the balance. Then she gets the latest call. A supply truck knocked over too cleanly. Too precise. And the bodies scattering the wreckage weren't killed by her normal prey of scavengers. These bodies are already rotting hours after the attack. Cowering in the corner of the wreckage is a young girl. A girl that shouldn't be there. A girl with violently blue eyes. Just like hers.

30 review for The First Omega

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matt McAbee

    I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influences my opinion. It doesn't matter what you call her. Riley. Burner. She forgot her name long ago. But if you steal from the supply lines crossing the wasteland, her face is the last one you'll see. She is the force of nature that keeps the balance in the hot arid desert. Keep to yourself and she'll leave you well enough alone. But it's when you try to take more than you can chew that her I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influences my opinion. It doesn't matter what you call her. Riley. Burner. She forgot her name long ago. But if you steal from the supply lines crossing the wasteland, her face is the last one you'll see. She is the force of nature that keeps the balance in the hot arid desert. Keep to yourself and she'll leave you well enough alone. But it's when you try to take more than you can chew that her employers notice and send her off to restore the balance. Then she gets the latest call. A supply truck knocked over too cleanly. Too precise. And the bodies scattering the wreckage weren't killed by her normal prey of scavengers. These bodies are already rotting hours after the attack. Cowering in the corner of the wreckage is a young girl. A girl that shouldn't be there. A girl with violently blue eyes. Just like hers. When I got the chance to read this, I jumped on it after having read Velocity Weapon and enjoying that one as I did. In The First Omega you get the wonderful prose of Megan E. O’Keefe, but in a gritty dystopian story instead of a space opera. The setting for this book is in the wastelands along the rail lines for Pac At’s transport cars, Riley is a Pac At operative tasked with recovering and good that have been stolen by the pirates along the line. She is so efficient at that the pirates are scared to death of her, but still do hit the cars causing the cycle to continue. Then she recovers another operative from a car that was hit and finally learns everything that she has never been told. Though this is a short book it is a lot of fun to read. Riley the main character is an operative that is just doing what she must do to complete her missions. I liked the way this character was done, you get to see a lot in to her motivations and feelings towards what she must do and how she changes as she learns more of the truth of what is going on. The world building is wonderful set in a Mad Max style wasteland where people are scraping by the best way they can. There is also the unexplained city at the end of the line where the goods are being transported to and from that made it seem like there is just certain areas that have been made wastelands and that there are still some thriving areas. I really enjoyed this novela and look forward to more stories from this talented author

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chip

    Described as “Mad Max meets X-Men”, but nothing original and more like a cross between Ishiguro’s (itself not terribly original) “Never Let Me Go” and any of the horde of “faceless inhuman (and in-humane) corporate dystopia” science-fiction books.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Maddalena

    I received this novella from Orbit Books, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review: my thanks to both of them for this opportunity. I discovered Megan O’Keefe through the first two novels in her Protectorate space opera series, so once I saw the notice for this post-apocalyptic novella that promised a Mad Max-like setting, I had no doubt that I would sample the author’s change of narrative tone: brief as it was, it turned out to be a very intriguing read, and my hope is that Ms. O’Keef I received this novella from Orbit Books, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review: my thanks to both of them for this opportunity. I discovered Megan O’Keefe through the first two novels in her Protectorate space opera series, so once I saw the notice for this post-apocalyptic novella that promised a Mad Max-like setting, I had no doubt that I would sample the author’s change of narrative tone: brief as it was, it turned out to be a very intriguing read, and my hope is that Ms. O’Keefe might decide to expand this small seed into a full-length novel, one of these days. Climate change, or some other upheaval, transformed the face of the Earth, and what once was habitable land has turned into a deserted waste, crossed only by the automatic trucks that carry goods and supplies over the old Route 66, that still connects the East and West coast of the United States. Pirates, or desperate people (it would be hard to set the difference in this time and place) constantly try to steal from these trucks, so the corporation running them, Pac At, set up a sort of policing system through bounty hunters: Riley is one of them, her territory in the arid west, toward the end of the line. Riley is not her name, she has forgotten it and uses it only because the cranky Ma Rickets calls her thus, for no reason she can understand. To everyone else, especially the desperate people trying to eke out a meagre living in the desert, she is Burner, because that’s what her touch does to you if - or rather when - she catches you. On her latest assignment, however, Riley is surprised to find the attackers already dead, their bodies decomposing although a very short time elapsed since the assault, and in the truck only one living person: a young girl with too-bright eyes that look uncannily like Riley’s own eyes. Her name is Omega… Given the shortness of this novella I would not feel comfortable sharing any more details, for fear of revealing too much. What I can offer is that this is a story focused on identity and growth, of conditioning that goes beyond its intended programming and the meaning of justice when lawlessness is the only rule in no-man’s land. The few (too few…) pages of this story manage to flesh out Riley’s character in a very interesting way, and to reach moments of poignancy I would not have expected from such a harsh, unforgiving setting and merciless environment. The narrative style is quite different from what I was used to in O’Keefe’s Protectorate series: like the desert where it’s set, it’s a bleak, stark prose that paints Riley with a sharp and cutting economy of words that leave no room for kindness and yet highlight a character of surprising depth and humanity, one that simply begs to be explored with more detail and more backstory. Hopefully one of these days the author will come back to this world and give us more… Originally posted at SPACE and SORCERY BLOG

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paul Cochrun

    At just under 100 pages, The First Omega builds and builds with O’Keef’s wonderful phrases. I could highlight multiple passages on every page, which is exactly what I remember from my time with her novel Velocity Weapon. And the secondary characters where definitely a plus… Ma Ricketts, the gritty proprietor of the local diner and Ratta, the leader of the desert clan. All have a role to play in this immersive setting. But there is one character who isn’t fleshed out as much as I would have liked… At just under 100 pages, The First Omega builds and builds with O’Keef’s wonderful phrases. I could highlight multiple passages on every page, which is exactly what I remember from my time with her novel Velocity Weapon. And the secondary characters where definitely a plus… Ma Ricketts, the gritty proprietor of the local diner and Ratta, the leader of the desert clan. All have a role to play in this immersive setting. But there is one character who isn’t fleshed out as much as I would have liked… That is Riley’s opposite, the villain Alpha. The book is told in first person from Riley’s POV and most of the characterization of Alpha is explained or told through her eyes. I needed her on-page more… I wanted to see and experience her action and her power. There are only a couple short scenes with her in it, but she is much more pivotal to the plot than those few pages. Overall, The First Omega is good short story with a compelling speculative premise. It’s not perfect, but I was happy to read it through in one sitting. 3.5 out of 5 stars. For my full review: https://paulspicks.blog/2021/04/03/th... For all my reviews: https://paulspicks.blog/

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I am not a huge fan of short stories, I feel they only have space for one idea. This book falls directly into that trap. On top of this the author decided to use chapters 18 Chapters in 78 pages. I like the world building which was done but that was the main element which comes out of this short story. I would not be surprised if this world is featured in a future novel as there is a lot of content to work with. This story falls into a bit too much reliance on tropes. All in all it was a quick r I am not a huge fan of short stories, I feel they only have space for one idea. This book falls directly into that trap. On top of this the author decided to use chapters 18 Chapters in 78 pages. I like the world building which was done but that was the main element which comes out of this short story. I would not be surprised if this world is featured in a future novel as there is a lot of content to work with. This story falls into a bit too much reliance on tropes. All in all it was a quick read. One editing mistake (besides the too many chapters). page 46 Ch.12 seem was used instead of seen. Counting that this book is digital only I am sure it will be fixed soon. OK onto something a little more different from my usual. Back to the world of Dust.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Khanh Linh

    3.5/5

  7. 5 out of 5

    Vinay Badri

    A 2.5 starrer. It was fine, it was ok, it just didnt have enough to tilt the scales for me

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dan Mahoney

  9. 5 out of 5

    johncarroll

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jon Adams

  11. 5 out of 5

    Iayork

  12. 5 out of 5

    Patrick O'Connor

  13. 4 out of 5

    Glenn

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mr R S Middleton

  15. 4 out of 5

    Todd Robinson

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  17. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Murphy

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alan Shaw

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paula

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jody

  21. 4 out of 5

    TΞΞLOCK Mith!lesh

  22. 4 out of 5

    David Teachout

  23. 4 out of 5

    MR P

  24. 4 out of 5

    Martin

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  26. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Smith

  27. 5 out of 5

    John Pozzini

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bobbys

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amit Singh

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rinonka

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