A sci-fi thriller, Michael Abayomi’s novella, The Mediator, quickly creates a future world where rich and poor are firmly stratified and never the twain shall meet. In the land of the privileged, the mediator is charged with making sure criminals get a fair trial. When a murderer declares himself guilty, mediator John Davidson refuses to believe him, and finds himself following secret leads into the wild, deserted outskirts of the city. The world is nicely drawn and creates an interesting image of Upper and Lower City life without falling into the temptation to detail its history. The plot is intriguing with a curious mix of secrets and high-tech danger. But the writing has some odd turns of phrase, making this a slower read than the story’s fast drama might merit and creating a slightly uncomfortable disconnect. That said, the disconnection becomes important as elements of truth are unveiled. My biggest complaint is a feeling that the final chapters resolved the story too quickly—the cynic in me declares it couldn’t be so simple. Given that there are more books in the series, perhaps it wasn’t; I’ll have to wait and see.
Disclosure: I received a free ecopy of this novella from the author in exchange for my honest review.