REVIEW: Lia, Human of Utah (2021)

A boon by Greg Ramsay

Cover

NOTE: I received a free preliminary, and likely unedited copy of this book from Netgalley for the purposes of providing an honest, unbiased review of the material. Thank you to all involved.

Not going to lie, I requested this entirely because the cover was cool, and made it look like it was part of a sci-fi genre that I enjoy quite a bit – the ones where people become bio-weapons and usually fight other bio-weapons. things like The Guyver, Karras: The Prophecy, or Aposimz, even Ultraman is somewhat in that broad description. Luckily for me, that is exactly what this is – the story of a woman that unwittingly gains immense power with the drawback that she now lives a symbiotic relationship with a seemingly psychopathic intelligent suit of armor. Think Venom meets 28 Days Later, and you basically have Lia, Human of Utah.

In the year 2342, Lia wakes up to a nightmarish world where the remnants of mankind have mutated into ravaging monsters. Alone and hunted, she struggles to remember who she is and what happened to civilization. She cannot run forever. But when she turns on her hunters, the mutation takes her over violently. Now she must fight to maintain her humanity and uncover the terrible truth behind the apocalyptic infection—before the beast within her takes over and seals her fate forever. Who is she? What is she? The fate of Earth and more hinges on the answers. And even all her courage may not be enough when the moment of truth arrives.

Book description

Lia, Human of Utah is an entertaining novella that keeps you reading. Its a quick read, just over 100 pages, but it does what it needs to do and doesn’t overstay its welcome. For this being one of the authors first books (as far as I can tell), it’s pretty good. Its occasionally a bit stilted in the dialogue department, but the meat and potatoes of the book are vivid descriptions of gruesome fight scenes – these are realized very well. Ramsay is also good at giving descriptions of body horror and building tension as seen in the initial, more horror-filled section of the book.

I would absolutely love to see this turned into some sort of a graphic novel or video game at some point. The plot, characters and overall themes of the book would suit that medium very well. I do think, however, that Lia’s motivations become a bit clouded later in the book and it became a bit harder to relate to the character at that point. To be honest, I was not a huge fan of the ending either, but I can see what the author was doing with the story.

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