Deragon Hex: The Vipdile Key – Carlie Martece

The Vipdile Key

I’ve been looking forward to Carlie Martece’s second novel since reading the wonderful Toxic Nursery a few months ago, and I’m pleased to say I wasn’t disappointed.

The Vipdile Key is written in the same fast paced, brutally honest style, and while it isn’t exactly a sequel, some of the themes from Toxic Nursery are expanded upon here. I certainly wouldn’t say it’s a pre-requisite that you read the books in order of publication, but knowing the background of some of the characters and their relationship to one another added dimension for me.

Deragon Hex is a dystopian future world where people are sealed in an underground network by a secret key code. Technology, social media and reality TV have all taken a step up in their influence, and now everything is under surveillance; the public may decide the fate of criminals and their victims using voting buttons, raping the unconscious is considered entertainment, and popularity is everything. Even research into medicine has taken an irrational turn:

“All thoughts create energy,” an oncologist is explaining to the narrator. “This new device harnesses the energy radiated when a so called ‘troll’ sends anonymous abuse over the com network to someone with severe depression. We’re investigating whether the frequency of this particular energy wave can slow the growth of cancer cells.”

In a world where justice is in the hands of the popular, how will Ash save and avenge their comatose best friend?

Continue reading “Deragon Hex: The Vipdile Key – Carlie Martece”

Blackened Wick

Remember when we learned Duvessa was dead? We were sitting on a park bench smoking spliffs in the purple rain.

We tried to make light of it; recalling the time the three of us got locked out and spent the night under the stars drinking cheap martini and telling stories in an empty fishing boat. And the time she almost had us convinced we could be the next big rap metal crossover band when she got us a gig at the local pub. And all those times we

just couldn’t breathe

for laughing at the most basic of sitcom jokes. They were good times mate, good times.

But then her heart became enchanted by a monster of a man who kept her in a cell under 24 hour surveillance. He would throw things at her and steal from her and coerce her into commiting lewd acts, while publicly declaring her a slut and a liar and a thief. He would roar at her until tears streamed down her face, making the inner flame we adored sputter and make strange shadows on the wall. He eventually succeeded in extinguishing her fire altogether leaving nothing but a blackened wick.

You’d rescue me, you said, maybe together we could bring her back. Your voice was full of doubt though, and I needed certainty. So when the monster called my name from the other side of the hedge having realised I’d escaped, whoever it was I had become trotted obediently back to his side.

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