In a galaxy of cutthroat companies, shadowy clans and a million agendas, spy agency RIM barely wields enough control to keep order.
Maximus Black is RIM's star cadet. But he has a problem. One of RIM's best agents, Anneke Longshadow, knows there's a mole in the organisation.
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||1 July 2011 by Ford Street Publishing
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||By Collins, Paul
||Maximus Black Files (part: 1)
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Mole Hunt is the first book in a science fiction series set in the future and in a universe far beyond earth, a place with floating cities where people can regenerate at will and mankind is out of control, killing and maiming at will. The protagonist - and anti-hero -- is teenager Maximus Black, who works for galactic law enforcement agency, RIM. He is a tightly-drawn, unlikeable psychopath trained to kill - and he does: he also commissions others to do his terrible bidding. Orphaned at the age of six when his parents are murdered, Black is so enraged by their deaths that he seeks to exact revenge: he plans to amass an enormous cache of Old Empire weapons as his way of controlling the galaxy. Black is extremely clever, able to cover his devious tracks as he progresses towards his goals.
There are two narrative points of view in the novel, that of Black and Anneke Longshadow, both of whom are orphans, pitted against one another. Black, a mole who has infiltrated the RIM operation, has no conscience, whereas Longshadow has. Early in the book she sets out to unearth the mole, her quest made more urgent when her adoptive father, her uncle Viktus is murdered. Conflict occurs when, in a world full of spies and secret agents, the Black and Longshadow again and again work out ways to dominate one another.
This fast-paced and bloody tale, tightly-plotted and exciting, is marketed as a young adult novel, but it is really cross-over, also ideal for adult reading.
Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings
||Reviewed by Meredith Tate, Bookseller + Publisher. Special Agent Maximus Black isn't your average 18-year-old. Charming, brilliant and deeply ambitious, he's one of the rising stars within the galaxy's powerful and mysterious law enforcement agency, RIM. But Maximus is also not what he seems. Black in both name and character, he's a cold-blooded sociopath working on a plan that will plunge the universe into chaos and allow him to seize control. Only one person can stop him-the equally clever and fearless agent, Anneke Longshadow. The question is, who will reach who first? While the title of book one in Paul Collins's futuristic action series for teenagers may sound like junior fiction, it's anything but. Bitingly clever and imaginative, it's like a cross between The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Total Recall and Dexter. Cutting back and forth between the two rivals, the plot twists and turns in a thrilling cat-and-mouse chase as each tries to outwit the other, while dodging all manner of obstacles like assassins and alien bounty hunters. It all amounts to compelling on-your-toes reading that will appeal to high-tech dystopian sci-fi fans, as well as those looking for a spy or psycho-thriller with a difference, and a feisty heroine to boot.
Paul Collins has written many books, mostly for younger readers through to young adults. He is best known for his fantasy and science fiction titles: The Maximus Black Files; The Jelindel Chronicles and The Quentaris Chronicles co-edited with Michael Pryor His trilogy published in America by TOR was The Earthborn Wars. His latest book is Harry Kruize, Born to Lose Paul has edited many anthologies which include Trust Me!, Metaworlds, Rich & Rare and Australia's first fantasy anthology, Dream Weavers. He also edited The MUP Encyclopaedia of Australian SF&F. Paul has been short-listed for many awards and has won the Inaugural Peter McNamara and the A Bertram Chandler awards, both of which were for lifetime achievement in science fiction, and the Aurealis and William Atheling awards. His last fantasy series was The Warlock's Child (six titles) in collaboration with Sean McMullen. His latest anthology is Rich & Rare, comprising almost 50 contributors including Shaun Tan, James Roy, Leigh Hobbs, Gabrielle Wang, Justin D'Ath, Scot Gardner and many others. His book, Slaves of Quentaris, features in 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Die (UK, 2009). Paul's adult books are the anthology The Government in Exile and Cyberskin. His adult horror novel, The Beckoning, Damnation Books (US) is available from Paul's online shop. Other than his writing, Paul is the publisher at Ford Street Publishing, publishing everything from picture books through to young adult literature, and he manages Creative Net, a speakers' agency.