Zero Sum Game by S.L. Huang

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Publication Date: 2 October 2018
Publisher: Tor Books
Format: eBook
Pages: 305
ISBN: 1250180252

Summary: Cas Russell is good at math. Scary good. The vector calculus blazing through her head lets her smash through armed men twice her size and dodge every bullet in a gunfight, and she’ll take any job for the right price.

As far as Cas knows, she’s the only person around with a superpower…until she discovers someone with a power even more dangerous than her own. Someone who can reach directly into people’s minds and twist their brains into Moebius strips. Someone intent on becoming the world’s puppet master.

Cas should run, like she usually does, but for once she’s involved. There’s only one problem…
She doesn’t know which of her thoughts are her own anymore.

****
Review:
I’ll be frank, I don’t usually like urban fantasy and as such, I could tell this book wasn’t really for me. I thought the initial premise was good: super-powered mercenaries fighting a secret organization. However, as I read, there were just too many other factors that distracted from the otherwise interesting story.

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City of Lies by Sam Hawke

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Publication Date: 3 July 2018
Publisher:
 Tor Books
Format: ebook, ARC
Pages: 512
ISBN: 0765396890

Summary: 

I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me… 

Outwardly, Jovan is the lifelong friend of the Chancellor’s charming, irresponsible Heir. Quiet. Forgettable. In secret, he’s a master of poisons and chemicals, trained to protect the Chancellor’s family from treachery. When the Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army lays siege to the city, Jovan and his sister Kalina must protect the Heir and save their city-state.

But treachery lurks in every corner, and the ancient spirits of the land are rising…and angry.

*****

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review:

City of Lies is one of those books that starts off slow and you’re not quite sure how you feel about it. The next thing you know, you’re staying up to 2AM to finish it. It’s a unique take on the epic fantasy genre with more character building than fighting.Read More »

Artemis by Andy Weir

34928122Publication Date: 14 November 2017
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Format: eBook
Pages: 305
ISBN: 0553448129

Summary: Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

***
Review:

This was not the review I was hoping to write. I haven’t read or watched The Martian but friends all over have recommended it to me, so I was expecting Artemis to be similarly mind-blowing. Needless to say, it was not.

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Steal the Stars by Mac Rogers, Nat Cassidy

35293339Publication Date: 7 November 2017
Publisher: Tor Books
Format: eBook
Pages: 416
ASIN: B0711QDMD6
Summary:
Dakota “Dak” Prentiss guards the biggest secret in the world.

They call it “Moss.” It’s your standard grey alien from innumerable abduction stories. It still sits at the controls of the spaceship it crash-landed eleven years ago. A secret military base was built around the crash site to study both Moss and the dangerous technology it brought to Earth.

The day Matt Salem joins her security team, Dak’s whole world changes.

It’s love at first sight—which is a problem, since they both signed ironclad contracts vowing not to fraternize with other military personnel. If they run, they’ll be hunted for what they know. Dak and Matt have only way to be together: do the impossible. Steal Moss and sell the secret of its existence.

And they can’t afford a single mistake.

*****

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an open and honest review 

Review:
That ending….wow… I can’t actually decide if I liked the last chapter, but the rest of this book was phenomenal.

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Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

autonomousPublication Date: 19 September 2017
Publisher: Tor Books
Format: eBook
Pages: 304
ISBN: 0765392070
Summary: Autonomous features a rakish female pharmaceutical pirate named Jack who traverses the world in her own submarine. A notorious anti-patent scientist who has styled herself as a Robin Hood heroine fighting to bring cheap drugs to the poor, Jack’s latest drug is leaving a trail of lethal overdoses across what used to be North America—a drug that compels people to become addicted to their work.

On Jack’s trail are an unlikely pair: an emotionally shut-down military agent and his partner, Paladin, a young military robot, who fall in love against all expectations. Autonomous alternates between the activities of Jack and her co-conspirators, and Joe and Paladin, as they all race to stop a bizarre drug epidemic that is tearing apart lives, causing trains to crash, and flooding New York City.

*****

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an open and honest review 

Review:

Hello reader. It’s Cyanide. Here comes my review.
 

What a journey! Autonomous was a heavy book and this review took a while to write because of it. This story builds a beautifully rich world futuristic world of bio-engineering marvels where sentient robotic AIs coexist with humans. Through this story, we follow Jack, a Chinese-Canadian medical pirate attempting to find a cure to a disaster of a drug she’d recently distributed. Attempting to arrest her are Eliasz and Paladin, a human operative and his indentured military robot from the IPC (International Property Coalition), for violation of pharmaceutical patent law.

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Broadcast by Liam Brown

broadcastPublication Date: 15 September 2017
Publisher: Legends Press
Format: eBook
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781787199927
Summary: The idea behind MindCast is simple. We insert a small chip into your skull and then every thought, every feeling, every memory is streamed live, twenty-four hours a day. Trust me – within a few months you’ll be the most talked about person on the planet.

When David Callow is offered the lead role in a revolutionary new online show, he snatches at the opportunity.

Rapidly becoming a viral sensation, David is propelled to stratospheric levels of celebrity. However, he soon realises the downside of sharing every secret with the world.

A prisoner to both his fame and his own thoughts, David seeks to have the chip removed, only to discover the chilling secret lurking at the heart of MindCast, and the terrifying ambition the show’s creator has for him.

I recieved this book from NetGalley in exchange for an open and honest review 

Review:
Broadcast is a Black Mirror-esque novel that follows Dave, a stagnating video blogger who is given the opportunity to boost his popularity with a new technology that broadcasts every thought and emotion in real time. However, his life is quickly turned into a nightmare as he slowly realizes how invasive this technology really is.

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Sorcery for Beginners (Codex Arcanum #1) by Matt Harry

sorcery for beginnersPublication Date: 10 October 2017
Publisher: Inkshares
Format: eBook
Pages: 403
ISBN: 1942645686
Summary: Five-hundred years ago, sorcery began to fade from the world. As technology prevailed, combustion engines and computers replaced enchanted plows and spell books. Real magicians were hunted almost to extinction. Science became the primary system of belief, and the secrets of spell-casting were forgotten. That is … until now.

Sorcery for Beginners is no fantasy or fairy tale. Written by arcane arts preservationist and elite mage Euphemia Whitmore (along with her ordinary civilian aide Matt Harry), this book is a how-to manual for returning magic to an uninspired world. It’s also the story of Owen Macready, a seemingly average 13-year-old who finds himself drawn into a centuries-long war when he uses sorcery to take on a school bully. Owen’s spell casting attracts the attention of a ruthless millionaire and a secret society of anti-magic mercenaries, all of whom wish to use Sorcery for Beginners to alter the course of world history forever

I recieved this book from NetGalley in exchange for an open and honest review 

Review:
This book was AWESOME! It’s been a while since my last middle-grade book, so I admit, it took me a while to get into the proper mindset for it. Once I hit that point, however, I flew through this book in one sitting.

A mostly accurate summary:
The adventures of five D&D playing middle schoolers and one average 13-year-old boy as they discover a book on sorcery.

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