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Rationality Zero by J. M. Guillen
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Rationality Zero

by J. M. Guillen

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204515,329 (4.2)None
cyberpunk (1) cyberspace (1) free (1) sf (1) to-read (4)

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Michael Bishop has a cushy life complete with female companionship. That is when he’s not on active assignment as Asset 108. The Facility uses it’s cyberenhanced humans as it will. Now Bishop and his little cadre are on assignment in the Mojave desert. It’s not what they expected. It’s much worse, involving monsters that assault their sanity as much as their physical bodies.

This was a fun, brain candy kind of cyberpunk with Cthulhu monsters story. It’s fast paced with little character development but lots of monsters and tech. Bishop gets the most screen time and he’s fun, having both brains and brawn. Wyatt is a bit of a loose canon cowboy who also happens to have some serious cyber skills. Anya is their coordinator and spends most of the book on overwatch. She’s monitoring the situation and feeding them intel as it comes in. She can also upload packets of info & skills to them, allowing their cyberenhanced bodies to take on new weapons with full aptitude.

While much of the story is just action, Guillen has the basis for something really good here. Who doesn’t want to witness a big throwdown between cyberpunk warriors and Cthulhu minions? There’s plenty of creativity on display here. I would like to see the character personalities expanded and deepened. This is probably a bit tricky since Michael Bishop doesn’t retain his memories from his Asset 108 assignments. Still, I have faith that this author can do it. Wyatt and Anya could use some deepening too. I wonder what Wyatt does when he’s not being used by the Facility? Perhaps he runs a kangaroo & capybara ranch in Utah.

I really liked that the monsters were both strange and deadly. There’s some tentacle action in a few scenes which makes me wish I was safely sealed in a big environmental bubble! There’s no reasoning with these monsters. You can’t bargain with something like this.

It was fun and I look forward to Book 2 in the series. More Cthulhu monsters? I can only hope!

The Narration: Joel Richards was a good match for this book. He is Michael Bishop, Asset 108. I also liked his feminine accent for Anya. He also makes a good old boy Wyatt. ( )
  DabOfDarkness | May 4, 2017 |
This is a science fiction novel with a sleeper agent as the main character who battles entities that do not belong in our reality. I enjoyed the creativity of the book but found some inconsistencies in the technology. Still an enjoyable read. ( )
  ladyoflorien | Sep 3, 2016 |
My original Rationality Zero audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

This was fascinating!

I read the synopsis and I was not completely sold. Mostly because it is sci fi. There was just something about it that sounded intriguing enough to give it a go, and it paid off!

First off, the beginning starts with a note. Each of these can be read separately but to get all of the clues, all of them must be read! Interesting!

Michael is sort of like a cyborg or something. He is able to download and remember information much like a computer. He processes information, and even needs certain upgrades depending on his assignment. But, those upgrades can only be used if he has enough room.

The language is pretty easy to pick up. There is a bit of jargon, but not so much that I felt totally out of my element. The main characters, pull you right in but at the same time, almost keep the reader at arm's length. Not enough to cause the book to become boring, but just enough to feel like they are way too busy working and fighting abnormalities to worry about telling each other about themselves.

When they are not working, they slip back into their lives, but forget that they are agents. They have lives but their lives are far and away from being agents!

This was a short story, but pretty much had me from beginning to end. It did take me a minute to get into the Sci Fi atmosphere, but I attribute that to my lack of love for sci fi.

Really curious about the next book in the series now.

The audio was brilliant. I could have listened to this and to the narrator, Joel Richards, forever. He has a deep, rich voice. He was great with the different accents but also with the highs and lows of the story. As Michael is getting upset Joel's voice kept up with the anxiety. The three main characters are also easily distinguishable even though they talk to each other, and sometimes over each other, often!

In short: lovely, quite fascinating story. Took me a minute to be fully engaged but once I was I didn't want the story to end!

On a side note: Cool cover!

Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator. ( )
  audiobibliophile | Feb 15, 2016 |
The book is set in an extremely imaginative world. I'm 31 and I had trouble grasping what's going on in the world. There are way too many new concepts which are just mentioned as if it's normal everyday language with little explanation. It was fascinating at first until it started becoming annoying because you don't understand what the hell is going on. All the new concepts started becoming too much for me. so I had to drop the book.

but I can't give it anything less than a 4. It would be a sin to do that because so much effort has been put into it. I was really impressed by how imaginative and thought-out his world is. Maybe some day when I get some leisure time I'm going to re-attempt this.

The "about the author" page has been written very very brilliantly. Very articulate in his writing and a bit of humor mixed in in that page. If anyone gets a chance to pick up this book I would highly recommend that you read that page definitely. ( )
  MugenHere | Jul 12, 2015 |
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