Michael Flynn and Diomedes live on the outskirts of Northgate, a futuristic city rotting from its own violence and corruption. When their apartment is torched they decide to find the culprit themselves. Informants and dubious contacts help them navigate the city's underbelly but their actions quickly become entangled with the covert operations of a secret organization. This is the first book within The New Aeneid Cycle.
A Shadow In The Flames is a cyberpunk story with an interesting dystopian world. The story centers around an extensive investigation with perceptive characters whose deductive reasoning and observations are exhibited in detail. At times it was a bit too descriptive for my tastes but it enabled me to appreciate other elements of the story.
The characters were an interesting mix of different personalities. I liked reading there interactions with each other and the different relationships that formed. Michael Flynn's character was naive and impressionable which annoyed me a bit but it was interesting seeing how the other character's influenced him. Felix was my favorite character in the story. He added a comedic touch and had the best dialog. I found Diomedes the most interesting because he seemed like a product of the city's mercenary culture.
The world building stood out to me the most while reading. I liked the embedded references to Virgil's Aeneid. I also liked the different subcultures of the city that were highlighted. The cybernetic enhancements were interesting and I really liked how they were incorporated into the story.
My favorite chapters were probably the ones that showcased a discovery mining expedition on the moon. They had a nice bit of suspense and I was eager to learn their connection to the main story and characters.
The last few chapters were wonderfully unexpected. Though it ended on a cliffhanger, loose ends were tied up along with a good amount of character growth and continuing conflict that made me eager to continue reading the series.
[Disclaimer: I received a copy this book as part of the Zeus Is Dead launch celebration bonus offer.]