- File Size: 901 KB
- Print Length: 384 pages
- Publication Date: April 8, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01E1HDGTE
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #795,525 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$9.99|
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Dopamine Kindle Edition
|Length: 384 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top Customer Reviews
The structure of the novel is, perhaps unsurprisingly, highly evocative of a Shadowrun pen & paper RPG campaign. The roles of characters on the team can be viewed through those terms (face, rigger, deckers, street samurai), and if you squint your imagination a little bit then you can see this tale playing out in the Seattle of the Sixth World rather than our own early twenty-teens. This isn't to suggest that the novel is derivative; anyone familiar with these kinds of games knows that a well-done campaign will be at once familiar to its players without being a copy of anything. Adapting this approach to novel-writing works well here.
The only complaint I have at all is the subtitle, "Nerds behaving badly." This is a goofy conceit that I think confers false expectations about the novel because it implies a rather negative image of nerds that it doesn't use. I work in information security, I've read and/or experienced plenty of what nerds behaving badly looks like. While there are touch points between those two spheres, the tone struck by the book is frankly a lot more positive and fun.
On the subject of hacking, what Mikhail has worked into his novel passes my litmus test for accuracy. I'll testify that what's in the book is authentic without, I believe, proving inscrutable to those of a non-technical background. This is a laudable feat; it requires more attention and research to execute but provides a more satisfying experience for readers.
One of the things I like best about Dopamine is that it's not stuck in just one area of interest. I've given most attention to its machine aspects because that's the closest affinity to my own skills and interests. But it's a novel about the frontiers of biochemistry as well, not to mention the crime thriller aspect. Often times, you'll see an author try to straddle areas of expertise and fail. Jeffrey Deaver's The Blue Nowhere comes to mind: a novel which demonstrates understanding of neither criminal investigation nor hacker culture. Dopamine does this well, because it doesn't over-invest in any subject the author isn't studied in.
Dopamine is an excellently-paced thriller that should please most any reader. I'm happy to recommend this for anyone.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Mikhail is a friend of mine going back to our college days. Nevertheless, I paid for my own copy of the book and received no compensation in exchange for my review.
Soon, it becomes apparent that Tungsten, the medical technology facility that doesn’t act too much like a company should, is up to something… and has been for a while. Biotechnology wears a nefarious and deadly mantle in a work that’s filled to the gunnels with violence, to be sure, but a big point underscores what’s going on—actually, two big points. One is the volatile aspirations of the Russian mafia, whose merciless and cynical tentacles follow our small team of nerd heroes and attempt to throttle them. The other is the message of this work—that the chip is mightier than the sword. Intellect triumphs over the impossible as minds that belong in less dangerous environments find themselves up against the legacy of Soviet might in the form of the most lethal, cruel members of Russia’s diaspora.
Through a deliciously, deviously clever plot, ocean-deep characters—some affable, many not so, but all believable—this author takes the reader down a curving, fire-streaked corridor whilst conjuring all the ingredients necessary for a work which, quite simply, stands above the cyberpunk conventions and deserves to sire a sub-genre of its own. High expectations await his next release, even if this one will involve a few rereads (one of those rare titles that has one returning for more, hoping for even more than before!).
There's certainly a measure of cheezyness and adolescent wish fulfillment here, but it's practically a requirement in this sub-genre, and it did not detract for me.
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