Pacific Red - a west coast metropolis infected with poverty and lousy with crime.


Citizens are largely left to manage their own affairs. In return, each must take part in the Ascension Program, a neurological treatment designed to enhance the brain’s capacity for logic and reason. Only when ascendants have acquired six progression bands are they permitted to join the mysterious ashers in their control ships and assume their ‘rightful place’ amongst the stars.

Citizens who cannot ascend, or choose not to, are known as ‘devians’ and are left to rot in their own filth on the lower levels of the city.

Max Holyfield, single father of twins Lily and Sabine, is working as hard as anyone to ascend with a minimum of fuss. As Pacific Red’s resident devian hunter, Max stalks the city’s darkest places in search of his next bounty or choice cybernetic implant.

When Lily fails to graduate from the Ascension Program, Max is faced with a heart-wrenching decision. Ascend with one daughter or stay behind with the other? A potential solution - or poisoned chalice - arrives in the form of a job offer from Gabriel Ahmar, chancellor of Ascension Corp.

Max must track and kill Giese, an infamous serial killer running rampant in the city’s lower levels. His only chance of landing a killing blow is to surrender his neuro-conditioning and become that which he has always reviled - a devian …

Stylish cyberpunk thriller and fearless meditation on what it means to be human, BRUTALE marries lust and violence in a dazzling near-future cocktail.

Steven J Shelley

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