My, my! What an exhilarating ride!
I’ll be honest here. The only reason I requested a copy of “Judge Anderson: Year One” from Netgalley was the story’s connection to the legendary Judge Dredd. I am not too acquainted with Mega City One or the Justice Department, but was enough of a fan to want to read a spin off.
And so it was that I started reading the book with no expectations.
I’m glad I did that, for my enjoyment of the book increased manifold as I delved deeper into the story.
Rookie Cassandra Anderson battle with her own mind is the overarching theme of the novel. The story is split into three sub-stories. The first involves the hunt for a psychic killer, the second sees Cassandra trapped in a psych block and trying to defuse a terrorist threat. The third, and meatier, story tells us how Cassandra must dig deep into her own subconscious and defeat someone who’s threatening the very existence of Mega City One.
For the uninitiated, Judge Cassandra Anderson is a rookie in Psi-Div (I presume it stands for Psionics Division). Psi-Judges are mental adepts, and can reach into people’s mind and sometimes even shape their thoughts or nudge them towards a certain course of action.
Anderson is a feisty young woman who is widely considered a prodigy and so, gets a lot of leeway from her superiors (mostly). This makes her impetuous, unpredictable and, more importantly, wildly successful.
It’s a true hallmark of a story well told that the style of prose doesn’t register once through its 400-page length. Alec Worley was masterful in his execution of his vision for this book.
Now, I’ve read my fair share of books, and this one easily is among the few that are the literary equivalents of an action movie. As the action unfolded, black text on white paper, it simultaneously unfurled in gorgeous cinematic detail inside my head.
As I read, I could easily conjure up the gritty, grimy cacophony of Mega City One and the sand blasted wasteland that is the Cursed Earth.
I could easily picture the different judges barked out the dialogue, or apprehending criminals. I could picture every smug expression, every inflection of every voice.
This is a brilliantly told story and for that, I give it a perfectly well-deserved 5/5.