The Third Law – a Rico Dredd e-novel by Michael Carroll

dredd-third-law-michael-carrollRico Dredd: The Titan Years
The Third Law

Written by Michael Carroll

Cover by Michael Carroll and Pye Parr

Published by Abaddon Books
Kindle Edition 17 Jun 2014

File Size: 344 KB
Print Length: 103 pages

Rico Dredd created by Pat Mills and Mike McMahon

Judge Dredd. There were once two of them, Joe and his ‘twin’ Rico. I say ‘twin’ as they were clones not biological brothers. Clones of Eustace Fargo, the man who established the Judges of Mega City One.

Michael Carroll is one of the popular writers currently writing Judge Dredd for 2000AD and Judge Dredd Megazine. He has also written more than a dozen novels and novellas including the Quantum Prophecy series. You can read reviews of several of his works elsewhere on this blog. a list is at the bottom of this article.

Readers of 2000AD first encountered Rico in Prog 30 of 2000AD in 1977. Until now we didn’t know there had been two Dredds. Those not familiar with the comic might only know Rico from the 1995 Judge Dredd film, played by Armand Assante. I’ll not go in to that further here.

The story starts in 2079 shortly after Rico and Joe have graduated. Told in the first person from Rico’s point of view he starts by telling us he had accidentally killed a man called Livingstone, Joe witnessed the act and arrested him.

In flash back from here we learn how Rico reached this critical point in his life. We are treated to a scene in the Academy in 2073 where we meet the Judge-Tutor that oversaw the Class of ’79 – Judge-Tutor Semple. I had no idea Michael had named a character after this blog and I was thrilled to see it.  Quite a nice scene that features Semple, even if I may be slightly biased about that.

So we learn about Rico’s descent in to what Joe saw as beyond  help. We’ve seen it from  Joe’s point of view before but Rico’s version is different.

Rico proves to be an unreliable narrator. He recounts his story clearly, openly, honestly. However he doesn’t think he has done anything wrong. He certainly breaks more than one Justice Department Regulation even without all the murders and other crimes.

Unlike other times we’ve looked in to Rico’s life this time we see the human side of him. we get to see what he thinks of the city and the citizens. We get to see he loves the city as much as Joe, he just sees everything differently. While it was unlikely you had much sympathy for Rico before this book might alter this.

Action continues on Titan and we learn much more about the Prison Colony. Michael manages to add details that keep this story fresh for longstanding readers of 2000AD without altering the facts of the older stories.

The cast of characters is varied and interesting. Of course given Rico’s slanted world view we don’t necessarily really know these characters well. That’s fine though and I think we can draw our own conclusions about them. These characters help our insight in to Rico’s mind.

This is book one in a series, I don’t know how many parts there are expected to be but I hope there are many. Michael’s knowledge of the characters and settings is phenomenal and this is yet another example of this.

+++

My other reviews of Michael Carroll’s writing

Judge Dredd: Wolves
Judge Dredd Day of Chaos: Fallout
Judge Dredd: Year One – Cold Light of Day
What I Did On My Holidays –  a short story
Hunter: A Superhero Clash

Also about Michael Carroll

Badger! Judge Dredd software
An Interview with Michael Carroll – Writer of Judge Dredd (and other things…)

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