Hammered: Jenny Casey Series, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
She was engineered for combat—in a world that is running out of time.
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 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.
|Listening Length||10 hours and 6 minutes|
|Audible.ca Release Date||September 20 2022|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #57,722 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#773 in Military Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#936 in Cyberpunk Science Fiction (Books)
#1,390 in Adventure Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
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This near-future dystopian view of Earth has climate change having redistributed the political power dynamic and you won’t be surprised to learn that government departments are every bit as ruthlessly determined to get hold of the latest tech to give their struggling countries some advantage. Jenny is a casualty of a previous entanglement and has been living with the consequences, ever since. Facing premature death from a systemic failure in her cybernetic implants, she is determined to end it herself before she is left a drooling dementia patient. But that is before people from her old life crash back into her current existence. Bear’s writing style grabs my head and heart and won’t let go until the end. I’m aware that there are places where the pacing could be tighter, but I didn’t care. I am pulled into this world of shifting loyalties, where old fury and hurt is hauled into the light and re-examined in the light of new priorities.
For me, the triumph of Bear’s writing is that in a sub-genre exploring the interface between Man and machine, it’s the humanity of her characters that leaps off the page, in all their complexity and differing needs. It’s one heck of a trick to pull off and while this isn’t a flawless book, it is a glorious read. Highly recommended for fans of intelligently written near-future sci fi adventures.
Maybe her stuff gets better as she goes along, she has quite the back catalogue so someone obviously loves it. I may give another of her later books a go, but I won't be getting the next one in this series.
Except the author, having come up with those ideas, isn’t actually interested in them. This is a book focused on emotions, and emotions of an especially overheated sort. And they kind of just hang in space, not rooted in action or event. All the other characters think the cyborg heroine is utterly wonderful, but you are never told why. She develops this super-intense relationship with her saviour/boyfriend but it is just there, never explained or filled-out. And what is so terrible about her ex-boss, the evil thing that causes her to so loathe him? It’s all like this. The situation isn’t helped by the fact that while this book is notionally character-driven, there is actually very little characterisation: I finished it with no real sense of any of them, really. Add the fact that the writing is relentlessly but unnecessarily oblique (at times you have to focus hard to establish simple plot points, like WHERE THEY ARE) and you have a book that fails to tick the very boxes it draws up – especially since the interesting bits, the conspiracy, the revenge story, are casually finished off, tucked into a corner like inconveniences.
I suspect a lot of this is due to gender. This sets out to be more a bodice-ripper than a thriller. From that point of view, the overheated emotion doesn’t have to be plausible or explained, it is the POINT, the thing the author wants to get TO, and so is its own justification. It doesn’t help that the story, so slow to develop, ends before it has really started (rather, it just stops, inviting you to buy the next book). I genuinely do not know where I am supposed to find the pleasure in this novel. If you are into this emotionally-based stuff, it is probably great. If not, then you, like me, might find it a bit bewildering.
I enjoyed reading this book and I thought that it was full of excellent ideas but it is the first in a series and not everything is explained in this volume. That meant that there were times that I didn't understand what was going on because the author had not yet given me the information I needed. I usually find this way of writing unhelpful and often boycott the rest of the series in a type of protest but I did find that there was enough here to keep me engaged and to make me want more.