Koko Takes a Holiday (book, Kieran Shea, 2015)

A review from SFX #248.


Kieran Shea
Titan Books
336 pages

Koko is yet another hard as nails, kick-ass female heroine with funky hair and awesome combat skills. There’s a PhD thesis to be written on why such protagonists have taken over SF so successfully. Don’t worry, we’ll spare you that. Luckily for us, Koko is one the more winning examples of her type, an ex-mercenary with just the right amount of more prosaic character traits to make her both believable and rootable for.

In a 26th century Earth undergoing a somewhat violent rebirth after five hundred years of ecological cataclysm and economic catastrophe, Koko has jacked in her career as a corporate gun-for-hire and is running a brothel-cum-bar on the artificial paradise resort of the Sixty Islands. That is, until her ex-buddy – who got her the cushy retirement in the first place – decides to have her assassinated. On the run, Koko heads skywards, where the most unlikely of allies awaits her…

Set in a pleasingly well crafted future which dazzles and bewilders just enough to seem real, Koko Takes A Holiday is fast and furious fun pulp. No matter how tiresome kick-ass chicks have become as a trope (and they can be as tedious as the square-jawed spaceman or mightily thewed barbarian once were), when done as well as here it works just fine. The story itself is perhaps a little thin to support so many pages, but the level of panache exhibited in the writing more than makes up for any shortcomings. Good old-fashioned, hyper-violent entertainment.

Did you know?

Kieran Shea’s enjoyed a much-lauded short-story career thus far, mainly in crime. Koko Takes a Holiday is his first novel.