My edition of this novel came with the following cover-puff, courtesy of Stephen Blackmoore: 'a jet-powered, acid-fueled trip of pure, rocking insanity.'
This raises the key question: by 'insanity' does he mean to refer to any one of a series of distressing and socially debilitating psychopathologies? Or does he mean, you know, irritating/whimsical, of the 'you don't have to be mad to work here -- but it helps!!!' sort?
See if you can answer that question from this thumbnail. Story takes place 500 years from now; hard-drinking, hard-shagging sexy ex-mercenary Koko Martstellar is running a brothel on a ultra-Westworld-style resort called The Sixty Islands. She's enjoying life, with her boy-whore and booze and customers. But then her fellow ex-merc and onetime friend, Portia Delacompte, now high-up administrator of the depraved holiday locale, sends in some goons to have her killed. Her brothel blown to smithereens, Koko takes a 'holiday' from holidayland and goes buzzing around the galaxy, looking for revenge, shooting stuff, blowing stuff up, dyeing her hair blue (see cover) and so on.
It's a fast-moving, wisecracky, video-game-violent sort of yarn, quick to read and as quick to forget. Obviously it breaks a butterfly upon a wheel to object that the whole jaunt is built on various linked mendacities, so I'll only mention two, and briefly: one, that violence and war are fun, cathartic distractions rather than deeply psychologically damaging to those who take part; and two that the magic key to unlock millennia of systematic sexist oppression of women is epitomised in the word kickass. Koko is an egregiously kickass heroine, of course; but lurking somewhere behind the valorisation of such chicks is the conscious or unconscious sense 'there's no need to make any structural alterations to the logic of society; all that we need to do is encourage sexually alluring women to dress in tight clothes and kick some ass! PROBLEM SOLVED!' It compares poorly to (picking an example from the hat) Kameron Hurley's Bel Dame books, where the costs as well as the exhilarations of the old ultraviolence are rendered. But, hey: it's just a but of fun, no? A bit of a lark. You don't have to be mad to pilot this acid-fuelled power-jet: but it helps!
Then again, there's a subplot concerning a disease called 'Vast Depressus' ('a severe, stage-classified psychosis' untreatable with pills that causes 'mass-suicide events'). So maybe the novel is really about the first kind of insanity, after all. ONLY KIDDING! The novel's all about the video-game lolz, like this
A massive rolling explosion shattered to the right of Koko's rooftop position ... and this
Entering the ship's cramped cockpit, Koko hacks a crisp half-strike into the first mate's neck and the young woman droops to the floor like a wilted flower. and this
The redhead springs deep and soars through the air. Flying like a spread-eagled amoeba, she lands and latches onto Juke's front and shatters his nose with a quick head-butt. The hammer blow to Juke's nose is a starburst of pain and a delta wash of blood squirts down his sweaty face. and ... wait, hold up. Like an amoeba? You what?