In the not-so-distant future, the Syndicate Corporation rules all. For thirty years, Stacks Fischer has been SynCorp’s number-one hitman. But thanks to a dementia-like illness, Stacks has been getting careless, which prompts SynCorp to grant him the ultimate retirement gift—placing a bounty on his head. Fischer, though, has no intention of going quietly; he’s determined to retire on his own terms. As bounty hunters pursue Fischer through the solar system, a disgraced military official offers Stacks protection and a way to halt the progression of his “Oldtimer’s disease” if he can pull one last job. Unsure of whom he can trust and slowly losing his mind, Stacks Fischer doggedly pursues his own retirement plan.
From the creative mind of author Chris Pourteau comes OPTIONAL RETIREMENT PLAN, a fast-paced, high-stakes sci-fi yarn full of action. It’s a short, to-the-point book without any filler or unnecessary details. Pourteau wastes no time in dropping readers straight into the power of this science fiction thriller, a fun ride that’s sure to satisfy. There’s quite a lot to like about OPTIONAL RETIREMENT PLAN, from its film noir-esque atmosphere to its clever worldbuilding to its appealing protagonist. It’s not innovative or groundbreaking, but OPTIONAL RETIREMENT PLAN is a simple, engaging read that will make a definite imprint on readers’ minds.
The first thing that makes the book enjoyable is the world in which it takes place. The setting is a future in which Earth’s resources have been depleted to the point where humanity must establish itself on other planets. There aren’t any extraterrestrial beings or robots, but it’s not really necessary. There are some well-done bits of scenery, such as the description of a destitute slum on the Moon, an Irish pub on Mars, and the strange beauty of a Martian sunset. The book also takes the time to explore the ins and outs of the human condition, mainly through the rebellious Resistance that stands in opposition to SynCorp. Finally, there’s the main character himself. Stacks Fischer is a killer, but he’s a likable killer. He’s a cool cat with a slick sense of humor and an admirable code of honor that makes readers sympathize with him right off the bat.
OPTIONAL RETIREMENT PLAN is a short but fast-paced and satisfying read for fans who like their science fiction mixed with action and suspense.
~Heather McNamara for IndieReader