- File Size: 3906 KB
- Print Length: 210 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Castalia House (February 22, 2014)
- Publication Date: February 22, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00ILU0RC2
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,711 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
QUANTUM MORTIS A Mind Programmed Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Here is the plot: Humankind has spread throughout the universe. It is governed by the Ascendancy, which in turn is ruled by the House of Malhedron. Not everyone is happy with Malhedron’s rule, however. Prince Li-Hu of the House of Dai Zhan, for example, aims to challenge its power. So does the Integration, the confederation of man-machine cyborgs existing on the edge of the Ascendancy’s borders.
When agents of Dai Zhan somehow hijack the Shiva-class Navy vessel Rigel, with its sunbuster technology (basically, a weapon that makes a sun go nova), the Ascendancy and the Integration move their best agents into play—Daniela York and Miranda Flare, respectively. Using false identities, hiding their true purposes, ruthlessly working to uncover the location of the Rigel and recover (or steal) its sunbuster before it’s too late.
But just when you think the mystery has been resolved, the plot twists, and you find yourself with a new set of questions.
I’m new to science fiction, but I enjoyed A Mind Programmed. Though a bit dialogue heavy and slow in the middle, the book spun a good yarn and kept my interest throughout. I plan to read the previous and future installments of this series.
The settings are well done, the characters unique with their own voice. Sane stereotypes, and by that I mean a young man early in his career is going to be more excitable than an older captain. That sort of stereotypes, not the typical fare that populates far too many works. World building is great, the motivations of the characters may appear opaque at first but by the end everything important was clear.
There were a few things that made me laugh that were outside of the story. The mention about the Böhm-Bawerk sector pirates made me chuckle, sneaking in a reference to one of the founding thinkers of the Austrian School of economics is alright in my book. Another was the hex. After translation of it to ASCII, I laughed.
The two big surprises are adroitly handled. The first one a fan of scifi should see coming. The second is revealed to the reader paying attention long before the last pages. I thought the clues were written in very well, and the logic leading up to Flare's role sound. The other option I had considered was Flare was in York's body and the fake Flare was just some poor patsy.
Some stories like this fail by thinking that technology and imagined worlds compensate for a dearth of interesting characters. Not here. This imagined future world is simply an interesting backdrop for a contest of wits between three major forces, actualized in two female spies (and their handlers) fighting to be the first to intercept the mysterious collection of saboteurs who have stolen the most dangerous military technology humans possess.
Vox Day's background in game design is evident in the complicated stratagems and derring do of the main characters. At times I feared the book was going to be too much work, where what I wanted was a fun distraction. "A Mind Programmed" delivers with a plot that's deep enough to keep your attention without feeling like algebra homework.
A Mind Programmed has tight plotting and really strong characters. I could identify with every spoken role. The fictional universe Vox constructs is credible. He knows the deception game and he knows military jargon and maneuvers.
The book is no longer than it needs to be. You could read it in about 6 hours in one sitting.
Elements of game theory and strategic maneuvering highlight the many conversations between the major players in what amounts to a half spy, half military sci-fi novel. The tension builds until the final third of the book, which resolves everything and shows quite a number of people who thought they knew what they were doing to be fools. Pretty close to reality. A couple of clever twists keeps you on your toes.
Considering the plot, I was surprised to find myself reflecting afterwards there was not a single curse word uttered, or gratuitous violence, or sensual encounter. The writing is clean and appropriate for anyone old enough to understand the spy game.
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