Read Hammered by Elizabeth Bear Online


Once Jenny Casey was somebody’s daughter. Once she was somebody’s enemy. Now the former Canadian special forces warrior lives on the hellish streets of Hartford, Connecticut, in the year 2062. Racked with pain, hiding from the government she served, running with a crime lord so she can save a life or two, Jenny is a month shy of fifty, and her artificially reconstructed boOnce Jenny Casey was somebody’s daughter. Once she was somebody’s enemy. Now the former Canadian special forces warrior lives on the hellish streets of Hartford, Connecticut, in the year 2062. Racked with pain, hiding from the government she served, running with a crime lord so she can save a life or two, Jenny is a month shy of fifty, and her artificially reconstructed body has started to unravel. But she is far from forgotten. A government scientist needs the perfect subject for a high-stakes project and has Jenny in his sights. Suddenly Jenny Casey is a pawn in a furious battle, waged in the corridors of the Internet, on the streets of battered cities, and in the complex wirings of her half-man-made nervous system. And she needs to gain control of the game before a brave new future spins completely out of control....

Title : Hammered
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780553587500
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Hammered Reviews

  • Megan Baxter
    2019-06-16 12:24

    It's funny. I got a fair ways into this book, and had a moment where I realized that Jenny Casey is very much like a character a friend has been playing in a game I've been running, about revolution on Mars. Said friend has never read Elizabeth Bear, to the best of my knowledge, but the synchronicity was startling. I've told her now she should read this. I think she'd get even more out of it than I did.Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

  • Sandi
    2019-05-31 15:45

    I find it really hard to believe that Hammered was Elizabeth Bear's first novel. The plot was so tight; the characters were so interesting; and the story was both intriguing and exciting. It was one of those books that took great willpower to put down when I to go do other things. I have read and listened to a few short stories by Bear that I thought were fantastic. It's nice to see that she handles the novel format just as well.Jenny Casey is a protagonist that I can relate to. She's a middle-aged woman. Like all us middle-aged women, she has a history that has shaped who she is. She has aches and pains that are related partly to cybernetic prosthetics and partly to just plain aging. She thinks of herself as old because she has been through a lot in her life and because she just plain feels old. Right now, I can really relate to that. You know that she's a better person than she thinks she is because of the loyalty her friends display. I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading more of Elizabeth Bear's work. This is hard science fiction that doesn't over-explain the science and has terrific characters.

  • Carolyn F.
    2019-05-22 15:23

    I had read this author first in a short story so thought I'd see if I liked her in a full-length book. I do, I loved that the female protagonist isn't 30 years old or under. It did seem to drag in the middle and then hugely sped up toward the end. I'm planning on reading the rest of the series. Great book!

  • Carolyn
    2019-05-27 18:38

    This is a terrific debut novel. Set in the near future, 2062 with Jenny Casey, a 49 y old, Canadian female retired soldier as protaganist. Following a horrific accident in which she lost an eye and an arm, Jenny's body is part cyborg and neurologically enhanced for faster reaction times. However, now she is retired and has taken refuge in the US where she is trying to deal with the pain she still suffers without the addictive drugs provided by the army. In the US civilization has falling apart, drug lords and crime gangs rule the streets and China has become the dominant world force. Canada has largely survived the collapse of the US but is in a battle with China to reach the stars and find a new home for mankind before the world self destructs. This is a gritty, fast paced story with some great characters. Jenny is a great antihero with a wry look on life. Her best friend, Razormouth is a crime lord is well drawn as are many of the other characters. There is a lot going on in this novel and some interesting ideas. When a private Canadian company involved in the race to develop the first star going ships becomes interested in using Jenny she and her friends become embroiled in a plot to draw her in which encompasses Razormouth and his gang as well as her sister, a trained killer.A great start to a trilogy. I'm looking forward to the next episode.

  • Wealhtheow
    2019-06-02 20:47

    Jenny Casey is a war hero, but she's also a middle-aged woman with increasingly debilitating disabilities and a drug habit. Then tainted batches of Hammer (the combat drug she was addicted to) pop up on the streets of her home town. While her friends trace the drug back to its source, Jenny is coerced into joining a dangerous research project. I really wanted to like this book, but it frustrated me all too often. This is the first in a trilogy, but there's a lot of backstory to this universe. I generally love in media res, but all the characters made vague statements like "She wouldn't let him try--not after the last time" and what happened "last time" is never explained! There are a half dozen different point-of-view characters, and all but two or three of them are unnecessary. I'd have preferred a single view point with a single tense than mishmash of every character even tangentially involved getting their own chapters. The narrative randomly jumps forward and backward in time, going from three weeks ago in one person's narrative to the present told from Jenny's pov to fifteen years's needlessly confusing. I also don't see why the entire subplot of Razorface, Barb, Mitch, and the tainted Hammer existed. This is only the first book in the trilogy, so perhaps it will gain greater importance later, but as it stood it just provided more proof that Unitec was up to no good. Obviously! We already know! 50% of this book doesn't need to switch between Razorface, Mitch, etc's povs in order to tell the really basic story of "Unitec dumped some tainted drugs onto the street to test them." Look, I just did it in one sentence! Hell, the characters themselves figure it out in the first few chapters, so I'm confused by how drawn-out it was. It was like Bear had originally written this drug war as a stand-alone story, and then awkwardly grafted it onto Jenny Casey's. I did like the characters. Jenny Casey is my favorite kind of badass--the kind that's very damaged but has mostly come to terms with it, and still inspires a mixture of fear and awe in those she meets. The lady psychiatrist was pretty fun too, with her blase attitude toward romance and sex. But my appreciation for the characters was hampered by the often unnatural dialog (there's a great collection of examples here) and the fact that by the end, half the dialog was in untranslated French. I do not speak French! When I come across whole pages of unintelligible dialog in nineteenth century novels, at least those authors have the excuse of assuming their readers are polyglots. Bear is writing in the 2000s! At least give us endnotes or something! (ps, sex scenes often have unintentionally hilarious dialog, but the repitious "je t'aime"s and "mon amour"s tipped it over into farce)And I did like Jenny Casey's plot. I would have loved to read more scenes of her figuring out how to (view spoiler)[ use her new body, or pilot the space ship.(hide spoiler)] What is there is written pretty well, although Bear has to strain to get her prose beyond "workman-like". If there had been more of Casey's adventure, and less incredibly obvious and unnecessary street fighting, I would have enjoyed this more. As it stands, I doubt I'll bother reading the rest of the series.

  • Chris
    2019-06-15 12:28

    Honestly, why can't there be a warning label on books that have loose ends or straight cliff hanger endings? But outside of that, this is a great book for several reasons. The first reason is that Jenny Casey is a mature woman. She turns 50 by the end of the book. This is a refreshing change from books where the main female character never seems to leave her twenties. In fact, outside of the two children, the bulk of female characters in the story are mature. Because Jenny is a mature woman, her back-story makes sense. It fits her in a way that back-stories about other "Dirty Henrietta" or "Samantha Spades" do not. Additionally, while Jenny might be a "Samantha Spade," she is far more likable and believable than, say, the early Anita Blake. Jenny has that same toughness and no nonsense attitude, but she is still a very believable and living character. She is a toughwoman, not a woman who acts like a man. And no, I don't mean that Jenny likes pink and wears dresses; it’s about mindset and response. She's not a girly girl, but a woman. What I really liked about Jenny, however, was her interactions with Elspeth, and how the two mature women got along.Another reason why the book works is that the children, while a part of the story, do not take over the story. They are not "cutefied" and act like children. Another plus was Bear’s look at PTSD and how it affects a character. Too often in books, character’s reactions to trauma are not dealt with at all or dealt with quickly. To a degree, this is understandable. SF functions as escapist literature, but some series take such non-dealing too far. It’s nice that Bear deals with it. While Jenny does not get therapy, she is dealing with the fallout of what she has been though. It is nice to see that in a book.The only false note really concerns Barb. While it is understandable, eventually, how Jenny reaches a major conclusion about her sister, it would have worked better if the reader had seen how Jenny had reached that conclusion.

  • Tamahome
    2019-06-09 17:48

    I liked the kindle sample. Seems to be gritty cyberpunk with a lot of women characters.Status updates:9% "Stares at my tits, laughs at my jokes, the boy knows the way to an old woman’s heart."20% "If you live long enough, you eventually put a real fine point on what you’re willing to do to stay alive—and what you’re willing to sell. The first thing I sold was my body—first on the street, then to the army once I got old enough. Later on, I graduated to selling the intangibles. I like to think I stayed loyal to my friends, though. That was something."42% "Getting heavy on the setup, like a Christopher Nolan movie."43% ""So how would you feel about a little friendly sex once in a while?" -- Does this ever work? I'd really like to know. (The whole book isn't like this, really. -- Well, there is some.)"52% "Psychedelic, man."60% "I might say that the main character is so eloquent that they sound like a writer, which seems to happen a lot. So I won't."72% "There sure is a lot of French. When does Jenny start the ass kicking?"79% "Ok, the science fictional element is really picking up."91% "30 pages/1 hour to go. Things are getting intense. But something tells me this won't be a standalone novel."95% "Well, that was definitely a climax."Pretty good. Elizabeth Bear can definitely write. A little too much French though, at key times when you really want to understand what's being said. After all if it were a movie, there would be English subtitles. And it's totally a setup for the second novel in the series. But by the end of the novel a lot of cool things you like in science fiction are definitely there. There's some action with her friends, but Jenny never quite gets to any ass kicking in the first novel. I'm not sure whether to go to the 2nd book in the series, or check out Bear's latest fantasy series instead. There's actually a sample of the 2nd book at the end of the first ebook, so it ended 10 pages before I expected. The prose is a bit more work to take in than usual. I don't think John Scalzi's grandmother would get it (that's who he says he writes for).

  • Diane
    2019-06-17 13:26

    I've read several stories by Elizabeth Bear and often read her blog, so I was curious how she would handle long-form story telling. I was not disappointed. This is a tight story, fast-paced and exciting. It has all sorts of elements that I really enjoy in my SF: female protagonists who are "real", robots - or in this case AIs and cyborg elements for the humans, dystopian society, space exploration. This is very definitely a hard SF novel, but the story is really character-centric and Bear doesn't get bogged down in long description of the tech involved. The characters, and there are lots of them (perhaps too many - that would be my only gripe), are all well-rounded, with shades of grey in their personalities. Just the way I like it. Even the baddies are not made out to be completely evil. OK, well maybe Jenny Casey's evil sister Barb is a bit black, but we are not given much back-story for her. The main character is a mature woman (which is rare in and of itself), whose cybernetic implants are breaking down. She has had a tough life and she gets caught up in the machinations of people she had cut out of her life as soon as she was able. She is hard on herself for her past deeds, but she inspires fierce loyalty in all the people she now calls friends, which is a testimony to her inner integrity. The lesser main characters are also unique and full personalities.Besides the fact that it was a little hard for me to hold so many characters in my head, my only other problem with this book is that it really isn't the end when the novel wraps up. There are certain events which have satisfying developments, but they seem to usher in the next era rather than really conclude anything at all. Actually, now that I write that I'm not sure that's really a bad thing, because that is the way life is, isn't it? It does make it imperative to acquire the rest of the series, though. But I'm not really complaining.

  • Gaijinmama
    2019-06-12 15:31

    I actually picked this one up for a reading challenge, which asked us to choose a book set in the place we were born. Well, let me tell you, there are not a heck of a lot of science fiction books where even part of the action takes place in Hartford, Connecticut!In the not-too-distant future, Hartford is a hellhole. OK, that's believable. Certain parts of the city were headed that way even when I was a kid in the '80's. Another cool thing: in this version of the future, Canada is a superpower. Speaking as an American, who has had the pleasure of making lots of Canadian friends during my time over here in Japan, I sort of enjoy that premise.(Pass me a beer, eh?)Finally, along with a sarcastic, arse-kicking protagonist, world-weary but trying to do the right thing, there is a great ensemble cast of characters, and the point-of-view shifts enough that we really get to develop a connection with them.I'm actually reading the second book, Scardown as I write this, and I'll be jumping into book three as soon as I finish it.I'm glad to have finally started reading Bear's work and have added her to my favorite authors.

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    2019-05-25 16:23

    Tamahome brought this book to Episode 5 of the Reading Envy podcast, so I tried it in a round of speed-dating my books. Ultimately it wasn't really my style, as I'm just never able to get into military anything, aging cyborg or not. I know the author writes in a lot of styles, so I will probably try something else by her someday.

  • Kelly H. (Maybedog)
    2019-06-04 18:48

    A plausible near-future book but not the most original novel I've read. I'm interested enough that I may read the next book. Not sure, though, it's not something I'm dying to do. We'll see.

  • Chris
    2019-05-30 20:23

    I grew up near Hartford, and I have to say that there was very little that appealed to me. Sure, it has insurance companies and.... and.... umm.... a river. Anyway, after giving it some thought, I figured, "Why not Hartford?" After all, if the United States has collapsed under its own weight to the point where Canada has to come in and do peacekeeping operations, Hartford is probably even more of a hell-hole than most other more made-for-fiction cities. I'm sure Ms. Bear had the same thought, since she grew up in the same area that I did ("Hartford? What a hell-hole THAT would make!") and Hartford fits the bill indeed....Jenny Casey had a life, but not a very happy one. Estranged from her family, maimed in the service of her country, crippled by the cybernetics that were supposed to make up for the loss of her arm and her eye, she's come down to Hartford to wait to die. She has a cat and a home and a certain reputation for being a tough old lady in the rough streets of Hartford, but as far as she's concerned she's a used-up cripple whose worth to this world has pretty much been blown away.But this world has other plans for her, of course. A knockoff of a Canadian military drug has hit the streets. A police officer has been found dead, murdered. These two events bring Jenny Casey back into the world, angry and resentful and, let's face it, kind of depressed. I can't say I blame her. As with so many veterans, she was used up, chewed up and spit out by the military she gave her life (and eye and arm) to. She feels no debt to them, or to her country, but her very few friends in Hartford are important enough to get her to start asking questions. And we all know what that leads to....Elizabeth Bear has done a very nice job with this book. It's very real - multi-sensory descriptions are something that a lot of writers, new and veteran, overlook, but they add a certain depth to a story that can't be achieved otherwise. It does require some focus, though, as there are several parallel character tracks that don't really meet up very often, as well as flashbacks that require you to read the chapter heading so you know when you are. Reading this in a distracting environment, such as the staff room at my school, is probably not the best way to enjoy the book....Anyway, this is the first of three, I believe. I'll have to find a way of getting the next book....

  • heidi
    2019-05-31 13:52

    We all bring the books that we have read before to the books we read now. I am certainly no different. So when I say that this book felt like a loving homage to Trouble and Her Friends, with a flip of Fool's War, please understand it that is a commendation."A holstered equation hung at his hip, and his pockets were heavy with binary. His eyes lighted as they fastened on the bartender, and he came up against the brass rail like a knife against a butcher’s steel while patrons turned to look, and just as quickly turned away."Jenny Casey is an adult, with all the history and troubles and responsibility implied in that. She has things that she needs to do, and she hurts when she wakes up in the morning, and she has to choose a lot of least-bad options. I loved Jenny Casey and her hardscrabble life."You were right. I didn’t want to know. Because every girl dreams of growing up to share her highly augmented brain with an Artificial Intelligence of Opposite Gender. I drift off to sleep wondering how the Census would abbreviate that."Jenny needs to use her connections and contact and history and every bit of her wit and rebuilt body to try and maintain the fragile status quo of her world. Of course, as in any novel, normal is a place you can never get back to again, but Jenny can TRY. She can dungeon crawl with her gang-boss friend, and scheme with or against the doctor who rebuilt her, and have extremely complicated family history. She can feed stray cats and take care of kids, but her world is not stable, no matter what she wishes. Poor Jenny. Lucky us.Read if: You are always on the lookout for books with adult protagonists. You have fond memories of early cyberpunk books. You like retired-vet stories and/or criminal conspiracies.Skip if: You are looking for a shiny pretty future. You want big-scale politics, ala Starship Troopers.Also read: Trouble and Her Friends for cyberpunk with women in it. Fool's War for adults and AIs.Bonus point! Sealand reference.

  • Michelle
    2019-05-18 18:42

    a very solid 4.5 stars, dinged mostly by the climactic ending - have the 2nd book ready to hand if you pick this one up.some day, i'm going to have to remember to mark down WHO has recommended these gems to me. this is one of so many books that got buried on mount TBR (for 2 years!), and if only i knew who had told me that Elizabeth Bear was amazing, that person/s would be getting large hugs from me today."hard" SF generally focuses on speculating the nuts and bolts of future technology, and it does so often to the detriment of story or characters. the world can be interesting as anything, but if i wanted to absorb a dryly technical read-out of that battlestation, well, i'd just pick up a copy of 'popular mechanics'. Bear doesn't skimp on the tech details - contact lenses grant their wearers HUDs for both casual email and tactical battle info, the internet and VR have matured into a realistic future version, and the transhumanist singularity is upon us - but 'hammered' isn't only about the hardware. this is a gritty, lived-in future vision of our world with a very interestingly speculated political playing field, populated by amazingly rich characters, including (view spoiler)[an AI named "Richard Feynman." when his VR-self winked at someone and she thought, "if he were human, he'd be a terror with the ladies," i died (hide spoiler)]. our main character is a battle-scarred 50 year old war veteran, and has a depth of age and experience (and regret and loss and flaws) unmatched by the standard-issue junior cadet on his first mission out.the story zips back and forth between the current time and some memory flashbacks, letting you pick up the details without info dumping. the story and the people walking around in it feel rich and real, and just like in real life, things aren't all neatly tied up in a bow at any point. if you like your morals grey and your tech being used (rather than shiny heroes shooting shiny guns), this is highly recommended.

  • Victoria
    2019-05-25 14:25

    This wasn't the easiest book in the world to get into, but once I did, I found the characters compelling and the future world vivid and unique.Set in a world where the US has crumbled and Canada has become the major military superpower of North America, this is a strange, (almost) dystopian story about a former soldier who is breaking down under the wear and tear to her decade-old cybernetic modifications, and the scheming former superior officer who wants her back under his thumb and working to beat the Chinese into space on reverse-engineered alien spaceships. It's weird, it's fascinating, and it's peopled with characters whose prickly exteriors hide unreasonably good people who care deeply about each other.Two flaws:First, the French isn't perfect. I love the concept, but why would Bear try to write bilingual Quebecois characters if she can't speak French? It's not terrible, but it does have occasional flaws - worst of all, I caught one in the midst of the novel's single sex scene. Argh. Mostly, though, the bilingual conversations were handled very adeptly for a non-French-speaker.Second, some of the characterization is redundant, especially superficial details - if the narrator had told me that one more male character had big hands, I was ready to... But there's just something about the unique narrative style that was both frustrating and very compelling. I'm not sure I loved it, but I'm looking forward to reading the sequels.

  • Sherwood Smith
    2019-05-30 12:43

    'd already discovered her writing in some short stories; the one I really liked-in fact it was my favorite of the anthology-was her zeppelin story taking place in Chinese history for Zeppelin Adventure Stories. My expectations were high, and she met them head on.Jenny Casey is near fifty, a combat-traumatized soldier living in a very grim future Hartford, Connecticut. Her extensive cyberware is going bad, there are ugly drugs being dispersed on the streets of her town and the local ganglord-a friend of hers-was not only not selling it, he lost some of his followers to it. Her friends, a neurosurgeon, a cop, and a street fighter (ronin) named Bobbi Yee, are concerned either about Jenny, the drugs or both-at which time her sister, long and deliberately lost, shows up to yank Jenny back to Canada for treatments to save her life. But there are stings attached. Of course. There always are when you deal with either governments or big corporations, and Jenny has managed to intersect with both.I don't want to go into too much detail, because the unfolding of the story, the connections and discoveries, are one of the pleasures. Just know that I loved the characterizations here: they are strong enough to stand against the backdrop of myriad sfnal concepts.Virtual reality, a Mars station, discoveries kept silent, arms race, ecological disaster, A.I.s and future biotech all get examined, and Bear does not cheat by offering easy answers.

  • LindaJ^
    2019-05-26 17:37

    Canada is the most powerful "free" world nation and engaged in a battle with China to be the first to successfully launch a star (not a space) ship, using "technology" discovered in two alien ships seeming left for humans on Mars. Yes, humans are in space and have a base on Mars. Jenny Casey is retired from the Canadian military. She's a couple of months shy of 50 and is feeling the effects of aging - both in her human parts and in her cyborg parts. Jenny has many serious military decorations from her peacekeeping missions to the US, South Africa and other spots where Canadians helped to keep the peace after climate changes created upheaval around the world, including the demise of the UK.Helping the Canadian government in its starship endeavor is a private company. The Colonel in charge of the mission wants Jenny because she is just about the only person who received cyborg implants that has been able to function productively. He wants to upgrade her so she can pilot the starship.But there's more going on -- lots more. There is virtual intelligence, gangsters, assassins, virtual reality games, and more. I enjoyed this first installment of the trilogy.

  • Celia
    2019-06-17 18:39

    Jenny Casey is an old soldier. She's middle aged, in constant pain due to her artificially reconstructed body, and suffers from vivid flashbacks. The appearance of a deadly new drug on the street alarms her, as does a murdered police officer, and Jenny Casey starts asking questions. Soon she realises that several people seem to have plans for her, and they're certainly not telling her all of the truth. There's a couple of subplots (that spin their way together into the one major plot), with different narrators (including an AI), and occasional trips into the past, but overall it avoids confusion. It's very definitely the first in a trilogy, as is a bit frustrating if read alone and with no easy way of getting hold of the next few books!Jenny is an interesting main character - hard and defensive, and I liked the perspective of a character who's seen a lot and is justifiably cynical about people's intentions. I liked her, and I'll seek out the other books in the series if only to see how the set-up created by this book pans out.

  • Jennifer
    2019-05-21 19:50

    I've been reading Elizabeth Bear's blog for several months now and finally decided to pick up one of her novels. I was afraid to read one for a while, worried that I wouldn't enjoy her fiction as much as her blog. I needn't have worried.Jenny (what a great name), the main character, is a Candadian veteran, an ex-addict and current alcoholic and at least half machine. She buries herself in the Hartford (another excellent choice; did I mention Bear lives in West Hartford?) underground, befriend mob bosses and assassins. A sudden influx of a military grade drug on the street leads Jenny to explore parts of her past she'd rather remain hidden.Bear's world is creative and nuanced, futuristic without being unbelievable. Her characters are engaging and her writing style keeps you turning the page -- I read this in one sitting.A fun read without being mindless. Indulgent without being guilty. I'm looking forward to reading more.

  • Katrina
    2019-06-08 12:42

    I quite liked this book, particular as it was set partially in Canada and that's always a nice ego boost to a Canadian reading an American author. My only issue with it was the bits worded in French. Many of them weren't correct, and these completely yanked me out of my "suspension of disbelief" mode. This also happens to me when watching a movie where the director has hired an English-speaker to put on a simulated French accent, which falls apart the minute the actor actually has to speak French (ie, the French president in "The American President". With that kind of budget is it really so hard to find a real French-speaker?). It's just a personal pet peeve so shouldn't detract from most readers' enjoyment of the book.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-18 12:28

    Jenny Casey is an obsolete Canadian cyborg struggling to maintain a little humanity in a near-future dystopia. Instead, after a few mysterious deaths and the reemergence of several sociopaths from her tortured history, she finds herself sucked into a dark conspiracy for control of humanity’s destiny. A multitude of richly textured characters (even the ghost of Richard Feynman) and a deftly unfolded storyline more than make up for the irritatingly untranslated French passages. There is an awful lot going on, though, and the end doesn’t really tie up most of it, which is a more serious flaw.

  • Sara
    2019-05-18 17:45

    I really enjoyed this -- it's the first book in a LONG while that's made me consistently (and accidentally) read past the end of my break.When I was telling him the plot, Michael said it was made up of a whole bunch of cliches, but I disagree. I am of the opinion that it's only a cliche if you do it poorly. Also, the end(ish) featured one of the best locations for a fight I've ever read.Looking forward to the other two.

  • Andrew
    2019-05-29 13:37

    From the little I've seen of Hartford and Canada, the pretense to Bear's story seems...appropriate. Jenny's vulnerability and self-medication - along with the pervasive role Unitek plays in the story of a damaged Earth - keeps the plot believable. This book served me well as bedtime reading from start to finish.

  • Dawn
    2019-05-31 20:33

    This series looked so interesting that I bought all three books at once. Too bad this turned out to be a waste of money.The story in and of its self was good but much as I wanted to like this book, the writing style and story telling defeated me and I stopped reading about halfway through.

  • Alexa
    2019-05-27 16:46

    The plot just kept drawing me in further and further. I was totally immersed and loving it. This is great character driven sci-fi with just enough science to keep it intriguing, and with a 50-year-old female protagonist to keep it real. A thoroughly entertaining read. I’m eagerly looking forward to the next in the trilogy.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-29 15:28

    I read Elizabeth Bear's livejournal, so I'm a little biased, but Jenny Casey is a great character, and Bear is great at my favorite trick - making things clear without spelling everything out. Her characters feel like real people and this story has momentum and surprises.

  • Kelly
    2019-06-07 13:27

    Just ordered the next book, I have to know what happens next!

  • Mike Maurer
    2019-06-01 14:50

    I like cyberpunk, the melding of human and machine. AI's with a sense of humor help too.The author paints a world that is a mess. You think today is bad, here it is an order of magnitude worse. Not because the Canadians have taken it upon themselves to do something. They are trying to hold the line. The main character is Canadian Special Forces, a choice not usually seen in speculative fiction.There is a lot to like about the book. The main character is flawed and just trying to survive. Everyone has their own agenda, though a lot of that is pretty linear. Having Richard Feynman pop up is a lot of fun. Mother Nature is really pissed, too. But some of it doesn’t make a lot of sense. The linking of characters within the plot gets weird. Or how does Valens know everything, which would take a big hacker crew, but never once were they seen or discussed. Also, where are the robots?In writing this and seeing what the next book is about, I’m not sure what to think. It starts out as one thing and then swerves into alien ships on Mars. I was going in believing it was retired cyber soldiers dealing with a messed up world. But the end of the book ensures there are other books, as most things in the plot are not tied up, but left hanging in the solar wind.

  • John
    2019-05-27 16:37

    Confluence This book requires the reader to do a little more work than many. That is part of what makes it more satisfying. The variety of characters and perspectives doesn’t hurt a thing.

  • Misha
    2019-05-27 19:48

    Hadn't gone back to read Bear's first novel. It's definitely a first novel, but it's decently fun.