“Joule: a young city founded by a faction of America’s elite claiming it would become “the spark of a new era of Humanity.” Most of the world saw it as a dangerous playhouse for a power-mad oligarchy, but to people like John Nakae it was a chance to escape a life of stagnation and decay. For five years, it was exactly that... Yet, real change proved difficult to grasp. Even as the people around him pursued progress with more fervency than any generation before, nothing had fundamentally changed for him or humanity.
“Until one night, under the shadows of that city’s shining towers, the new era truly began as a nightmare became flesh.
“John nearly meets his end at the clawed hands of that nightmare, but in the aftermath discovers a similar phenomenon has blessed him with the potential to twist a part of reality to his own will. Others like him emerge in the city — as do ever more abominations — and he soon finds himself on the frontline of an investigation into the growing mystery. Not merely to understand, but to control.”
Metanoia is a paranormal sci-fi set in a near-future America. It's a very character driven story supported by a setting that mixes optimistic, hard sci-fi with seemingly fantastical (often horrorific) phenomena. While not strictly a “mystery” novel, the city presents our protagonist, John, with a plethora of secrets and plots that he must maneuver through. It's a story for those that like fun dialogue and tense action first and foremost, but want it served in a thematically substantial package.
Fans of Blade Runner, Deus Ex, and Persona 3 should find something to like here, and I daresay even fans of Dune might find it compelling.