The future is simultaneously familiar and utterly ridiculous in Zoey Punches the Future in the Dick, the second Zoey Ashe thriller from David Wong, after Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits. As the story opens, Zoey is addressing a hostage crisis in one of the many businesses of various degrees of shadiness that she inherited from her extremely shady father. She and the team--whom she also inherited, and thinks of as the Suits--appear to resolve the situation, only to discover later that it isn't over when a corpse is shipped to Zoey. Even worse, the corpse gets up and rampages through her house.
The city of Tabula Ra$a is a funhouse mirror of modern society viewed through a superhero comic or a James Bond movie, where no laws are enforced and would-be supervillains get implants to give them superhuman abilities. Not having associated with her father during his life, Zoey is still relatively new to this world of constant scrutiny and the hatred that her sudden power can provoke. Although rich with commentary on celebrity culture, social media and toxic masculinity, readers will be laughing too hard for it to ever feel preachy, with dialogue such as "No, this requires finesse. Andre, send in the giant robot monster."
Readers who have not read the previous Zoey Ashe novel will easily gain their footing in this universe, but those returning will find all of the biting satire, sophomoric humor and laugh-out-loud moments they loved in the original. --Kristen Allen-Vogel, information services librarian at Dayton Metro Library