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Black Madonna
Autorzy: Marc Gascoigne i Carl Sargent
Data wydania: marzec 1996
ISBN: 0-451-45373-5
Shadowrun #20 Nieśmiertelny elf-haker zdobył kontrolę nad systemami komputerowymi wszystkich korporacji. Jeśli nie zostanie zniszczony, każda korporacja na świecie zostanie zniknie. Stabilizacja i bezpieczeństwo świata również.

Enlisted by a panicked Renraku Corp, hardened decker Michael Sutherland finds himself face-to-face with an immortal elf, Leo, who has created a sophisticated electronic virus that is capable of destroying any computer system.

Michael Sutherland, ultra-rich and ultra-skilled decker, is back. A side character in an earlier book, now he plays the main man. It seems that somebody crashed the computer systems of all the megacorps - simultaneously, and with zero signs of penetration. Nobody dredged up any clues, but Fuchi was given one by the perpetrator. Mike is hired to track down the guy using only the single picture he left behind. He has a week before the deadline expires and they go down for good. Or the companies could pay twenty billion nuyen each to avoid disaster.

An intriguing premine, good writing, good characters... The main annoyance here is that the authors seem incabable of writing a main character who is actually hampered by a money shortfall. Everything and everyone is always at his beck and call. But that's only an annoyance, not really a problem, and this kind of case really des require a large budget.

Another nice thing is that this ties in with the new uber-villains, these demons from another dimension. What is revealed at the end of the book is a nice, logical tie-in with that.

If you read Shadowrun at all you should take a look at this one.

Black Madonna (novel)
By Carl Sargent & Marc Gascoigne
It is good to have another novel by this fine team. Messrs. Sargent and Gascoigne are my favourite Shadowrun authors, and that Sutherland's a fine chap, yes? But on to business: why we only gave Black Madonna a rating of three, rather than the four we wanted to give it. Suspending disbelief is one thing, but outright farfetched improbability is yet another. The story is well-written, and the character interaction is first-rate, but the premise is... shall we say...a bit hard to swallow. One would think that immortal Elves are lurking 'round every corner, and have had their fingers in every important historical pie practically since the dawn of time.

Black Madonna reunites Elven mage Serrin Shamandar, decker Michael Sutherland, and African street kid Kristen (now Serrin's wife), in addition to a smart-aleck British samurai named Streak, and Welsh nobleman Geraint (last seen briefly in Nosferatu and at more length in Streets of Blood). Unfortunately, Tom the Troll is nowhere to be seen; I rather missed him in this one. I would have liked to see how he was dealing with his newfound powers from the end of Nosferatu.

All in all, Black Madonna is a good read, and we recommend it with only mild reservations. If you like intricate plots and the behind-the-scenes machinations of powerful groups and entities, you'll like it. However, I wouldn't pick this one up if you're bothered by stories where the authors take some significant liberties with history, or if you've had quite enough of immortal Elves. OCENA: 3 (max 4)

Shadowrun Novels #20

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