- File Size: 1438 KB
- Print Length: 282 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: SL Huang (September 30, 2015)
- Publication Date: September 30, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B013ZCK4BY
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,416 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Root of Unity (Russell's Attic Book 3) Kindle Edition
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Fresh from her adventures in Book 2 ( HALF LIFE) Cas finds her morality-map fraying at the edges, and her usual coping methods are collapsing around her, at the worst possible time. The third book in the series sees her lethal brand of math-fu joining forces with a hacker named Checker, and a former private investigator named Arthur to find a kidnapping victim, and apparently the answer to a math problem that would change the world forever.
The stakes are higher for everyone this time, with Cas’s calculus martial arts ratcheting up even as she personally begins to fall apart. Expect no easy answers, and the slow simmering build-up to the Twist is presented excellently. Huang’s prose disappears behind the story, which is by turns hilarious (“He’s fine. He had a building fall on him.”) tragic and always action-packed. As someone who HATES math (I have dyscalculia) I love how the story presents mathematical ideas in a way that a total non-numbers type can follow, and the plot never slows down for it.
Cassandra Russell is an excellent heroine, a woman of color who is bad ass, not beautiful, competent, not cute, and would likely hold her own against James Bond and Indiana Jones. Huang’s a rising talent in the sci-fi world, and I would not be surprised to see her books optioned in Hollywood soon.
S.L. Huang’s book is tightly written, and is a perfect example of a compelling page-turner. I read it in two sittings, in the middle of the night and as soon as I woke up the next morning. 6 out of five stars.
I'm drawn to Cas because she is tough--as tough as any male action lead--and takes her hits repeatedly. (And she does take a lot of hits in ROOT OF UNITY.) Without going into the plot too much, in this third book in the series, Cas is once again called upon to use her skills as a retrieval specialist to retrieve stolen math formulas so important and sensitive, the fate of the world's global economy depends on them not falling into the wrong hands. And some pretty bad guys want the formulas. (And the subject of encryption codes and the mathsy stuff is so far beyond my limited capabilities, I won't pretend to understand it all. Even so, I was able to follow along without a problem. So I'm kinda proud of myself.)
While little bits of Cas's past are revealed in book 3, it is clear that there is much more to learn, so I guess I'm going to have to wait until book 4 to find out what it is that makes Cas tick. And also for more Rio, hopefully?
A fun, fun read.
I'm going to have to think on who will play her in the movies. :)
"Root of Unity" felt like a return to form with Cas Russell investigating the loss of a mathematical proof that could undermine the encryption technology that underlies all cybersecurity. BIG STUFF. Perhaps more importantly, it's BIG STUFF that falls in line neatly with Cas Russell's unusual (and delightful) super powers - the ability to use math to Make Things Happen.
Even better, the narrative slowly reveals bits of Cas Russell's own mysterious past (I'm assuming we'll get more insight in the last of this series) in ways that were...well, ultimately delightfully, nerve twingingly chilly.
So why 4 stars vs. 5? Mostly I'm really stingy with my stars. :) Also, for all that I enjoyed "Root of Unity", there were a few plot points that felt a bit too convenient (not many, but I'm a deeply jaded person) and the villain seemed to exist almost more because, you know, someone needed to be causing the action than much else. (I was rather curious, too, as to how he got his seemingly endless resources. But hey, another question for another day.)
Still, a fun read, would definitely recommend if the idea of a super powered mathematician is appealing to you (how could it NOT be)? Although I would throw in that if you *haven't* read any of the "Russell's Attic" series before, it's worth starting with "Zero Sum Game". (I'm fairly sure "Root of Unity" would make sense without it, but the books definitely build on each other.)
I've enjoyed all three books in the series. This is one of only a handful of instant-buy series for me.
In this one, we get lots of action and some interesting character development. We find out a bit more about Cas, with some tantalizing hints about her origin story. Refreshingly, Cas is allowed to be cranky and socially awkward. I require my characters to be interesting but not necessarily nice, and that describes Cas. All the characters in fact, are believable and well written. For the math geeks out there, a plot plot hinges on whether P equals NP or not, which is pretty hardcore geekery