Home from a six-month assignment to war-torn East Asia, genetically engineered supersoldier Noah "Comet" Wu just wants to kick back, share a beer, and talk shit with his best friend, JT. But JT's home has been shot up like a war zone, and his friend has gone missing.
Comet's only lead is a smart-mouthed criminal he finds amid the mess. His name's Buzz Howdy. He's a con man and a hacker and deserves to be in jail. Or in handcuffs, at least. The only thing the two have in common is JT. Unless you count the steamy glances they're sneaking at one another. They have those in common too. But that just makes Comet all the more wary.
Despite their mutual distrust, they'll have to work together to rescue JT before a cyborg assassin gets to him first. Racing down a miserable stretch of road called Apocalypse Alley, they must dodge radioactive spiders, a killer Buick, and rampaging cannibals. They also try to dodge each other. That last bit doesn't work out so well.
Allmon's second fantastical romantic adventure (after The Glamour Thieves) is a rollicking story set in a magical and technologically advanced near future. Human soldier Comet died once, but was reborn thanks to genetic and cybernetic modifications. Fiercely loyal to his mentor and friends, he always comes home from war to Arizona and his best friend, JT. This time, however, JT isn't there, and his home and business are trashed. The only person who might know what happened and why is the slightly loopy hacker known as Buzz Howdy. Comet takes Buzz prisoner and embarks on an epic road trip to locate JT, pitting his strength and Buzz's intellect against wicked wizards, deranged druids, cantankerous cyborgs, and the terrifying trio who lead the hacker collective 3djinn, which claims Buzz as a member. The tense circumstances force the unlikely duo to admit their mutual romantic feelings, although that comes perhaps more quickly than the story requires. Smart, brisk pacing immerses readers in the terrifying landscape of the future, but the slight cliff-hanger ending leaves the impression of too many dangling threads, and the heroes are the only developed characters. There's enough here to keep series fans going, but new readers may not be won over.