Humanity has finally found the way to immortality. But, there are consequences to being immortal. In order to obtain this immortality, you must be subjected to the virus Ukruum and require regular booster shots to maintain your immortality. This is the premise of the dystopian, science fiction novel, Prime Vector by Diana A Hicks. The virus must be grown, along with the Ukruum plant, in order to keep supplies of the virus constant. The plant itself destroys the soil it grows in, so when earth was virtually destroyed by the plant, a group of scientists terraformed Mars and set about growing the product there. It soon became apparent, however, that immortality must be limited to just a few and the Immortals, through their Forever Queen and the QEC Army, would control and subjugate the rest of humanity to maintain their immortality. Catita John always thought she was just the unlucky younger sister of QEC Commando and Immortal Ry John, but when she sees her sister murdered (something which shouldn’t happen to an immortal) she vows to track down the killer. When she meets Tek, the son of an original immortal scientist, the sparks fly immediately and it is clear their destinies and the future of Mars and Earth will be inextricably linked to them.
Prime Vector is exactly what it sets out to be; a dystopian, science fiction story with a heap of old-fashioned romance thrown into the mix. Given that the story is from romance author Diana A Hicks, this is hardly surprising. Hicks has a style that allows the reader to make assumptions and draw their own conclusions about the plot, many of which will prove to be false. She has an expert ability to throw red-herrings into the mix that come back to surprise and trip up the reader. I particularly liked the slow release of information that had me guessing right until the end. Her two principal characters Cat and Tek were beautifully well drawn and their relationship was sizzling right from the very first chapter. Again, Hicks had the ability to allow her characters, Cat especially, to recognise the emotions she felt for Tek, but to still question their validity and their appropriateness, especially given their relative positions in the state of the story. I appreciated the fact that the author left a small door open at the end for the possibility of a sequel, should the desire take her. As a straight romance writer, I always find it pleasing when an author stretches herself and tries something new, as Hicks appears to have done here. Prime Vector is a fast-paced, rollicking story that action, science fiction, and romance junkies will enjoy. I certainly did.