REVIEW: Better Than Chocolate ~ Bruce Golden ~ Zumaya Otherworlds ~ Science

Title: Better Than Chocolate
Author: Bruce Golden
Website of Author:
Publisher: Zumaya Otherworlds
Website of Publisher:
Genre: Science Fiction/Action
Publication Date: May 2007
ISBN: Paperback: 978-1-934135-46-4; ebook: 978-1-934135-47-1
Length: 304
Format: Paperback, e-Book

As the story opens, SF Police Inspector Noah Dane and his partner are sitting in their pod (cruiser) watching the street. The scene could have been lifted from Back to the Future Part III. The young on hoverboards racing and weaving in and out of pedestrians while holographs; on signs, briefcases, and even on the hoverboards; offer various products for sale or advertise churches and other businesses. Mutants, androids, and Troloxians mingle with humans as they go about their day’s business.

In the midst of this seemingly chaotic scene ride three Scorpions, bikeroos, looking for trouble and Noah and his partner are more than willing to oblige. However, Noah’s partner is killed with a laser which is not a common on-the-street weapon. Noah kills a couple of the bikeroos, but the one who killed his partner gets away. From here on, Noah battles dead ends and false clues trying to track down his partner’s killer. In true Sci-Fi fashion, the story revolves around a conspiracy designed to take over the world.

Reaching a level where all mystery/crime/suspense stories and novels were beginning to sound alike, I began to wonder if ever a ‘new’ story would land on the market. A new way to tell about the crimes we, as a nation, face each day. Murder and mayhem may have many different aspects from one victim to another or one crime to another, but surely some new voice would come along and tell it all in a fresh way, I reasoned.

Along came Bruce Golden and his novel Better Than Chocolate. True, this is not rated as crime or police procedural, but Mr. Golden gives us both. Beautifully written and plotted,
with toned down violence, profanity and sex, and with lots of humor, Better Than Chocolate satisfies my desire for a new approach to telling an old crime story. Perhaps it’s because of the Science Fiction elements of aliens and the danger they imply or maybe it has something to do with the creative chapter titles, but the Sci-Fi elements and human elements are well balanced
and blended.

For those of you who want to peek into the future to see how the world fares on today’s issues and be entertained while reading about it, Better Than Chocolate is the book I highly recommend. I recommend it to the mystery/crime/suspense lover as well.

About the Author:

Satirist, journalist, novelist-Bruce Golden’s professional writing career spans three decades. He began as a freelance journalist, publishing more than 200 magazine and newspaper stories ranging from in-depth profiles to feature stories to satirical commentary. He worked for 14 years as an editor, and was the founding editor/art director responsible for the creation
of five different publications.

In addition to his novels, Golden has published 13 short stories over the last four years, five of which have been reprinted in anthologies. He was the winner of Speculative Fiction Reader’s 2003 Firebrand Fiction Award, and a co-winner of the 2003 Top International Horror contest.

Reviewer: Lucille P Robinson

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