Darren Bloomquist & Angelia Sparrow – Hard Reboot

hard reboot

Author: Darren Bloomquist & Angelia Sparrow
Reviewed by: Vivian
Publisher: Amber Heat
Genre: M/F Sci Fi
ISBN 13: 9781611243031

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

 

Summary:  

Two years ago, Sean O’Neill’s wife, Caitlin—the ace net-runner called Irishgirl—was stolen from their bed. Now, he knows where she is, but getting her back is only the first step in a long journey.

Caitlin has been trained as a sex slave, her former skills as a net-runner and cyber-thief totally stripped from her, along with her identity and most independent thought. Powerful and wealthy social elites, playing their own dangerous high-stakes games, have hired Sean to retrieve her and again make her what she once was.

But two years is a long time to be out of the net and out of normal society. A lot of new programming has been laid down. Now, giving Irishgirl a hard reboot may take everything Sean has in him, and more… 

Review:

Machiavelli meets virtual reality in a dystopic future. 

There’s only one thing Sean wants and he’ll pay any price to have it–his wife, Caitlin. A high-ranked hacker, Caitlin plays games and is played. There are questionable allegiances, corporations with unlimited power and the few individual people who control them running amok. Sean is a small time player in a world split into two realms–the real and the virtual. Forced into games by bigger players he maneuvers best he can with the hand he’s been dealt. But, just which team and who is really in charge.  

 

There is an exploration of TPE (total power exchange) with the Master/slave relationships outlined. Readers should be aware that there are non-con, dub-con, and incestuous elements (not explicitly depicted). I, personally, think that their non-graphic nature and the way they are fundamentally structured into the story that they are not disturbing or gratuitous. 

Lovely twisty turns and double crosses, this is an absolute mess. The stupidity of one man and all the effects born from an obsession. The pace is brisk and just when you think you’re getting a grip there’s another wild turn and we’ve entered no man’s land.  

I like the complicated machinations, the gamesmanship demonstrated here, but this is major code monkey/RPoL geeking out. The reader needs to be comfortable or intrigued enough with a high degree of computer technology or certain portions of this are going to be like reading an installation manual for an operating system.  

The story keeps turning until the very end, which leaves more than enough room for a sequel. I hope, because there are too many dangling threads.  

Recommended for hard sci-fi fans with a taste for non-entry level BDSM.

 

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