My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I grabbed the audio version of this from the library knowing very little about the book, really only that it had been one of the picks on The Sword and Laser podcast at some point. I didn’t even read the back; I just snatched up, checked out, and started listening.
I really wasn’t sure what I got myself into at first. It felt much more like a technological thriller than science fiction. The novel is set at pretty much present day and technology plays a huge role, but, at least for awhile, it’s all plausible. It’s far fetched, yes, but still possible (or pretty close).
My background is in web design and development and I work at a shop that also does IT and software so the technological aspect appealed to me (more than I would have even realized). I thought the author did a good job explaining things in a way that doesn’t require readers to have a technical background. If you do though, it probably helps.
There were a couple of things that kept me from going for 5 stars here…
1) Grag is a disgusting individual. I was so repulsed at one point that I just stopped listening for awhile. I’m glad I started up again though, because it was really just one scene towards the beginning that got me and the rest wasn’t nearly so bad. I also understand that a villain is not supposed to be a pleasant person, but it just didn’t sit well with me for some reason.
2) When it finally did start incorporating the science fiction bent, it felt out of place. As I mentioned, much of the technology was far fetched, but backed by real technology that exists today, which made it plausible. So when it finally went beyond that, it no longer felt believable.
One thing that caught me by surprise was that this is just the first book in a series. I didn’t realize that going in. I thought it was a one-shot. Now, I have no problem with series, but I don’t get that excited about thrillers in general so a thriller series doesn’t hold a ton of appeal. It makes me wonder where the story is going. It certainly could have been just one novel so I guess things will really escalate in the next one.
Overall, I liked it, but I didn’t love it. It really was probably more of a 3.5 stars for me, but I rounded up. I may read or listen to the next one when it comes out, but it won’t be at the top of my list.