SUZY SPITFIRE AND THE SNAKE EYES OF VENUS is Joe Canzano’s second entry in the adventures of Suzy Spitfire Callisto. The titular Suzy begins the novel as a fugitive criminal trying to blend in as an innocent pedestrian. Seeking to change her ways, she takes on a job hunting down a serial killer last spotted in the Cloud City Consolidation of Venus. Ever a magnet for trouble, she finds herself needing her wits and fighting prowess to evade cops, battle gangs, and to protect a young girl from those who have abused her.
SUZY SPITFIRE is light sci-fi, focusing less on the technical aspects of its machinery and instead offering a more streamlined approach to world building. The formation of the setting unveils itself to the reader as it becomes “visible” and is generally easy to digest, though there are a few instances when it can take a while to fully grasp the surroundings. The futuristic technology such as auto-docs, color changing clothing, and hover-ships, are presented as casually familiar to the characters in a way that makes immersion very smooth. These sci-fi staples exist alongside plenty of “earthly” elements that can be surprisingly uncommon in science fiction such as the use of multiple human languages (in this case, having several characters who speak Spanish).
The story is heavy on action and violence with guns, blood, and sex trafficking. There is a constant sense of danger. Though Suzy is undeniably tough, she is still a human with the usual human vulnerabilities which helps the stakes stay high. The action scenes are easy to follow as the prose becomes more minimalist when describing chaotic actions. Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of SUZY SPITFIRE AND THE SNAKE EYES OF VENUS is Suzy herself. Violent but compassionate, snarky but sentimental, having lived a criminal past but determined to realign onto the path of good, her multi-facets create an authentic depth in her relationships with the rest of the cast. Some of those relationships have carried over from the preceding novel Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody, but a new character whose connection with Suzy is central this time around is Kiara. Kiara is a young girl encountered early in the story who Suzy quickly takes a protective role over. Through Kiara, there is a poignant exploration of the mental habits of those who have been abused and how difficult it is to shed them.
Joe Canzano’s SUZY SPITFIRE AND THE SNAKE EYES OF VENUS’ fast pace, clean narration and clever dialogue makes way for an animated blend of gun-slinging, space-traversing action and affecting characters with a leading lady who is as compelling as she is badass.
~Yi Zou for IndieReader