Zeus and Io - Books 1 and 2 by Harry Carton

Author's Description:
Don't worry, Zeus & Io is not about Greek Mythology; those are screen names of two participants in a game. Zeus is more than that, however. He is an injured, former SEAL who has someone living in his head, and he has (other) psychological problems too. But is it really paranoia if 'they' are out to get you? Io is Tonto to his Lone Ranger, or is she? What about the Huntress, Artemis? And then there are the bad guys. You'll see. No sex in this long, two part story.
Size: 980 KB ( ~ 185,837 words)
Genre: Science Fiction
Sex Contents: No Sex
Tags: Science Fiction, Extra Sensory Perception

Review by Vitruvian Manuel   [other reviews by Vitruvian Manuel]

Reviewed: 2014-06-27

I was fully prepared to not like this story. First, the gamer-ism hinted at in the synopsis has to be done right for me to enjoy; after all, I was a gamer. Second, I've read a few of the author's story descriptions, and they don't seem my cup of tea. Finally, there's no sex, which is kinda the reason I'm on this site to begin with.

First, gaming is a temporary tangent, quickly dropped except for the use of gamer tags as names. Second, I didn't find any of the things about his other offerings that turned me away. Finally, there's a good reason for no sex, and there was enough teasing, touching, and innuendo to keep me happy.

Okay, now that my misgivings are dealt with, the few negative points. First, in the very early chapters, there are a couple of threads that are apparently dropped or discarded rather than being dealt with. Though minor, they left me wondering. Second, some things are too convenient. To tell the truth, though, there are enough complications that, really, the benevolent overlord had to give them a break here and there. Finally, some things are done with technology that don't really work that way.

Now the good parts. The characters, from the narrators right down through the dog, are engaging. They shift and change and grow throughout the story, sometimes in ways that are pointed out, sometimes more subtly. The plots are engaging (remember, this is a twofer) twist and buck and are hard to guess more than a chapter or two out. This is not to say that the twists seem forced; to the contrary, they seem so natural and inevitable and you're too busy wondering how they'll get out of this one that you never stop to worry about it. Finally, each ending ties up the main plot(s) and most of the subplots while leaving enough open to scream "sequel!" at you and leave you wanting more.

Unless you are a technophobe (get off the internet, you luddite) or only read stroke, this is probably worth your time.


Plot: 9 | Technical Quality: 9 | Appeal to Reviewer: 9