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Search tags: techno-thriller
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review 2017-11-08 00:02
The Trials - Linda Nagata

This is a genre that I seldom read, near-future, sort of post-apocalyptic, military fiction; but DAMN, I like this series. It's almost like ... well, I want to say good Tom Clancy with twists.

This is the continuation of the events in First Light, book one of the series.  Again, we follow the 1st person narrative of Lieutenant James Shelley as he navigates this screwed up world.  Shelley is the beneficiary of some high tech body modifications, even thought they sometimes seem like a curse and Nagata writes it so well that even a know-nothing like me understands what's going on.  Even the trial/court scenes were eminently readable and that's not always the case.

The world is dark and cynical and full of conspiracies and plots and counter-plots and the author does them all justice.  I never predicted what was happening until it was either happening or just about to go down.  And even then, there was always some twist I didn't see.

This is a techno-thriller in the true sense of the word, I think.  I was on the virtual edge of my seat almost the whole time I was reading.  We meet up with lots of old friends, make some new ones and come across some not so nice folks too, familiar and otherwise.  And I should have seen that twist coming at the end, but I didn't, and damn, it's a good one!

So yeah, I really enjoyed my read and I'm glad that I have the final book in the trilogy nestled nicely in my Kobo.

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review 2017-01-29 04:04
Weird Science
The Breach - Patrick Lee

After several false starts, I got into this book. I read most of it on the way to Illinois for Thanksgiving. This is one of those books that takes a while to get started, but once you're in, you're in. The concept is so crazy, it takes a while to figure out what's going on. I think the closest comparison I could make is the TV show "Fringe". It's that kind of crazy. Also it's the kind of thing that people who have tons of conspiracy theories and deep distrust for the establishment, corporations and the government will read and say, "I told you so." The ending is a bit of a mindblower. I am still trying to decide how I felt about it.

I am no physics genius, but I love the concept of time travel. I like the ethics and philosophical aspects. You know, the whole grandfather complex thing and the "if you could go forward or back, would you?" kind of thing. Also, there's the whole what happens when we open doors to places we don't know anything about. Should some doors stay closed?

As a scientist, I have asked myself that many times. I tend to be a big fan of scientific ethics and I think that you can't throw that out just in the search of knowledge. Seek it, but seek it carefully and cautiously. Some of the inventions in this book, I can't even. I mean, they should be buried in a very deep hole somewhere. I pray some of this will never exist in real life.

So anyway, my opinions of science and time travel aside, this trippy book really grabbed me and didn't let me go. There is a high body count and I asked myself what the hell is wrong with some people. They abandon right and wrong for power and ugly stuff happens. That's a big part of this book. Also, on the good side, there are people who will put their lives on the line to do the right thing. That takes a lot of moral courage and I feel that even from fiction, we can draw courage to face those tough ethical decisions in our own lives.

This one has some blood and guts, but nothing gratuitous. I would advise readers to plan to pick up the next book. I have it, and I will try to get to it in the nearish future.

This is my second book by Patrick Lee. I read Runner first, and I like his style. He's not afraid to go there and put the reader through their paces. He doesn't give them a cut and dried book. He makes them think about what they are reading. I like that in an author.

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review 2016-09-11 18:11
Map of Bones by James Rollins - My Thoughts
Map of Bones: A Sigma Force Novel - James Rollins

Map of Bones wasn't bad.  I had been hoping for more of an early Tom Clancy type of read, but this was a little thin on most counts.  

 

There was a lot of exposition, feeling as if one character telling the others the whole history of the world at times.  It certainly shows off that the author did a lot of research. I found it all a bit complicated and more than once it felt like a bit of a slog to get through things and get down to the action.  

 

The characters were okay - generic techno-thriller types with an interesting quirk or two that I thought could have been explored a little more.  There was a bit of a romance as there often is in this type of book, but it never hooked me.  I actually wanted to know more about what was going on with a couple of the secondary characters more than the main couple. 

 

There were some interesting twists and turns and one HELLUVA twist that managed to catch me completely by surprise.  I wanted more about the motivations though.  

 

All in all, this was a pleasant read and should the others in the series (yes, this is apparently the first of the Sigma Force books), go on sale for a reasonable price, I'll pick them up.  I wonder if they'll deal with the same characters at all?  Hmm...

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review 2016-04-03 17:37
Persona by Genevieve Valentine - My Thoughts
Persona (The Persona Sequence) - Genevieve Valentine

I thought Persona was a fascinating book with a fascinating premise and I went into it hoping that the characters lived up to the premise and luckily, they pretty much did.  

 

I saw the book mentioned by one of the authors I follow on Twitter (I get a lot of good recs this way, I have to say) and since I had enjoyed Valentine's The Girls at the Kingfisher Club I figured I could do worse than give it a try.  :)  

 

Persona is an interesting look at the world of diplomacy in the near future where the face or Face of diplomacy is just that - a pretty face, a young face, a person groomed for the job and handled once there, a celebrity more than a diplomat.  It's a future where the paparazzi - now called snaps - are even more intrusive and even frightening.  

 

It made me think of a Bourne novel, only 1/3rd the length.  :)

 

The two main characters, Suyana, the Face of the United Amazonia Rainforest Confederation and Daniel Park, a runaway turned paparazzi, are both young and both have secrets and both are in danger.  Both are likable and believable, I thought - even though I found them young.  *LOL*  I'm old, so hardly a surprise there.  

 

One thing that's odd about Valentine's writing is that I find it almost trying to be edgy and clever and while I usually hate that, somehow it works for me here.  I felt the same way with Kingfisher Club.  

 

Persona is the first of The Persona Sequence and its follow-up Icon, comes out at the end of June according to the publisher and I will be picking it up.  I need to find out what happens - Persona was only the beginning.

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review 2016-03-11 16:50
The Red: First Light (The Red Trilogy #1) by Linda Nagata - My Thoughts
The Red: First Light (The Red Trilogy) - Linda Nagata

I enjoy a good military techno thriller from time to time and I have to admit that at first I felt like I had not made a good choice (It was a Christmas gift from my list) with The Red:First Light.  The first maybe 75 pages felt like the novelization of an action/war first person shooter video game with it's present tense, first person POV and total fascination with every minute action the main character and his teammates were going through.  

 

Then suddenly I became invested in Lieutenant James Shelley and by extension his crew.  I sense that the author wanted it that way, but I'm not versed enough in story-telling mechanics to explain exactly why and how it happened as it did except that due to what occurs with Shelley in the field, he ceased to be just a soldier and a weapon and became a person.

 

There's technology abounding, but it's all fairly easy to understand in this day and age of the internet and Nagata is very good about providing explanations that don't feel like infodumps (past the first 'episode').   There are of course, many acronyms too - weapons, organizations, squads, all that stuff, but they never seem to be too many or too confusing.

 

Anyway, the action is fierce, the plot intricate and intriguing, the atmosphere believable and the characters all work for me.  I ended up quite enjoying my read and instead of regretting my purchase of the other 2 books in the series when they were on sale a couple of weeks ago, I'm looking forward to reading them.  :)

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