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Insidious (Synchronicity Trilogy Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Michael McCloskey
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
You Save: $10.00 (77%)

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Book Description

Leaked stories of strange new rules and codes of behavior indicate something's gone sour in the deep space retreats of the superrich corporate execs. Some say that it's only the eccentricities of the powerful leaders of capitalistic society. But others speak of dark, twisted rituals, human slavery and illegal experiments in banned technologies.

Bren Marcken is a robot handler and strategist on a special team of the United Nations Space Force, formed to occupy the corporate space stations and seize their technological secrets. To accomplish the mission, he's been authorized to field artificial intelligences that he considers just as dangerous as the enemy.

Chris Adrastus is an aggressive young executive whose careful machinations have carried him to a high position at the powerful European Union company, Vineaux Genomix. Instead of finding satisfaction, he's become disillusioned with what he discovers at the top of the executive world.

Aldriena Niachi is a covert operative of Black Core, a Brazilian software company with a global sphere of influence. She's about to find out what Black Core will do for a technological lead. Do some kinds of knowledge come at inordinate cost, even for a supercorporation?

Editorial Reviews


Weapons-laden action, corporate nastiness, incipient robot rebellion and deep-space mystery mesh nimbly in a great ride for sci-fi fans that seldom lets up. 
Kirkus Reviews

From the Author

Insidious is the first book of the Synchronicity Trilogy, which is a concurrent trilogy, not a sequential one. The events shown in all three books occur at the same time, telling a story from three radically different points of view, each of which offers new information not seen in previous books. A science fiction adventure of 92,000 words.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1243 KB
  • Print Length: 339 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1492744794
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Squidlord LLC (January 8, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,239 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for the sequel! February 27, 2010
Insidious is a real page-turner: it has a fascinating central mystery whose resolution really took me by surprise and, if that's not enough to keep you reading, plenty of suspense. I just *had* to find out how it all turned out.

The book has an interesting angle on A.I.s with super-human intelligence. It expertly portrays the visceral fear of A.I.s taking over, the dilemma of the protaganists who feel like they have no choice but to use them, and how they feel like they were walking a tightrope when they did so.

The battle sequences are taught and compelling, and do a good job of conveying the "fog or war."

Like I said, I really liked the book and look forward to more work from the author. Still there were a few things I didn't like....

- The prologue. I don't think it really added anything, and the writing there felt less accomplished than the rest of the book. It felt like he was trying too hard to impress with flowery language. I would rather he had led off with his strong foot--action or mystery--and use flashbacks to cover anything important that got skipped.

- Explanations or insights into Aldriena's psychology. The flashbacks to her youth seemed to encourage a too-simple interpretation of her use of her own sexuality. I'd rather the book had just presented her as a fact, without trying to explain her. Better to leave her mysterious and let the reader fill in the missing details.

- Descriptions of sexual positions and acts, which felt like they detracted from the main story arc. It's enough to know the characters had sex, without going into the details. Of course a lot of sci fi is guilty of this.

- The occasional clunky turn of phrase, such as the use of "incarnate" to mean "in person.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh, creative Sci-Fi about AI February 3, 2010
A fascinating sci-fi story based on a novel premise of links--circuitry that allows the brain to interact with computers and AI cores which almost seem... human. The plot revolves around some strange happenings on corporate space stations.

The various characters, Aldriana, a crack secret operative, Bren, an AI handler, Chris, an ambitious exec, an Meridian, an AI robot that are drawn together to find exactly what is happening out in space.

It was an enjoyable read that built to an unexpected ending where you find out that there's something more than deep space corporate shenanigans going on. I look forward to more from this new writer.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Start and Military SF July 21, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just finished this book on my Kindle and it was a great value. Kept me interested from the start. Never got boring. It was a little hard to follow at first but the characters soon developed and kept my interest. A good book if you like SF and Military fiction. It all made since to me and had an interesting viewpoint about AI's that I had not seen before. My only real complaint is it left me hanging. I need the next one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like cyberpunk? AIs? Give this a try. March 12, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
(I've read all 3 books in the trilogy - consider this to cover them all - some spoilers at end)

INSIDIOUS starts out with a bang, and quite a bang it is.

Imagine translating fantasy's standard demon summoning rites into the 21st century, carried out by the space-faring armies of Western countries. The demons are AIs, used to operate autonomous combat robots. Like demons, they have, and will, take any opportunity to turn on their masters. But they are so very, very, useful. And needed, as the Chinese and the West are in a new cold war.

However, it seems that the AIs have met their match when they encounter an unexpected type of robots while raiding a space station. Essentially, Insidious is told from the point of view of the AIs' handlers.

On a side note, the handling protocols for the AIs are quite interesting and cleverly thought out - way above the usual cyberpunk blather.

We have some not entirely inspired or useful sex scenes, except that not all is what it seems in one instance. Quite a bit cleverer than it looked at first.

INDUSTRIOUS continues from the point of view of two Chinese protagonists, in the Divine Space Force.

McCloskey likes to switch perspectives - he is still not 100% there, but deserves big kudos for trying to put us in the shoes of the other side. Overall, Industrious comes off pretty well - the Chinese also use secret AIs, but have different tactics from the Westerners. The motivations of the girl aren't always super clear - from playing hard to get to wanting to do the right thing by her love.

What makes things interesting is that the events are simultaneous with Industrious, but with a different viewpoint.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced science fiction with just the right twists February 15, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Insidious is a big step up from Slave of Chu Kutall, McCloskey's first novel. Slave of Chu Kutall was readable, but it often limited itself to accurate descriptions of fights between heroes and fantasy creatures. This book is a lot more than that: its universe has properly defined constraints, a background that makes sense in a human way, and a plot that makes you hunger for more. The novel has the expected structure, but diversions are only used to serve the plot, and not as artificial literary devices. The characters may be one dimensional, but they can all be appreciated by the reader. I was pleasantly surprised by this novel, it has just the right amount of mental challenge and ease of reading, and, although it copies many ideas from past science fiction, some things are presented in a new, enticing context that makes you think of other possibilities.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
as advertised
Published 7 days ago by jbp
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book, lots of action, good pacing
I wandered here after reading the trilisk series, and it's like going back in time, pretty awesome. Everything is a bit closer, like looking 50-100 years from now, overall a nice... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Richard M. Mathis
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
one of the three would have been enough
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Interesting but too much like playing a video game.
Published 4 months ago by Anthony L. Medley
3.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe in this world
I really like the Trilisk series, but this one was just... ok. I kept getting dragged out of the story because I simply can't believe in this world where you only have two choices,... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun romp for pulp sci-fi
It makes for a pretty quick read.

note: each book in the trilogy basically re-tells the story from a different perspective adding very little. Read more
Published 11 months ago by willCode4Beer
5.0 out of 5 stars Substance
This is one of the rarer books that does not let you know who the good guys and bad guys are from jump. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mark C
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, fast, engrossing read
Reminds me of William Gibson's 'Neuromancer' without the extreme density of prose and ideas.

This is not a particularly deep book, but is well thought out, briskly... Read more
Published 14 months ago by B. Wingfield
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad read
Starts out good. Middle is good except that pretty wasted pages of unnecessary sexual content that draws away from the story. End was okay but felt unfinished.
Published 16 months ago by PMC
3.0 out of 5 stars Simple, good writing but a tad shallow
Insidious is a good mix of Sci-fi thriller and spy drama with a small part of alien invasion and human extinction thrown in. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Roy Larke
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More About the Author

Michael McCloskey is a software engineer in Silicon Valley afflicted with recurring dreams of otherworldly creatures, mysterious alien planets, and fantastic adventures.

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