HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Hammered by Elizabeth Bear
Loading...

Hammered

by Elizabeth Bear

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Jenny Casey (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6871713,880 (3.78)76

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 76 mentions

English (15)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Jenny Casey is a war hero, but she's also a middle-aged woman with increasingly debilitating disabilities and a drug habit. Then tainted batches of Hammer (the combat drug she was addicted to) pop up on the streets of her home town. While her friends trace the drug back to its source, Jenny is coerced into joining a dangerous research project.

I really wanted to like this book, but it frustrated me all too often. This is the first in a trilogy, but there's a lot of backstory to this universe. I generally love in media res, but all the characters made vague statements like "She wouldn't let him try--not after the last time" and what happened "last time" is never explained! There are a half dozen different point-of-view characters, and all but two or three of them are unnecessary. I'd have preferred a single view point with a single tense than mishmash of every character even tangentially involved getting their own chapters. The narrative randomly jumps forward and backward in time, going from three weeks ago in one person's narrative to the present told from Jenny's pov to fifteen years ago...it's needlessly confusing.

I also don't see why the entire subplot of Razorface, Barb, Mitch, and the tainted Hammer existed. This is only the first book in the trilogy, so perhaps it will gain greater importance later, but as it stood it just provided more proof that Unitec was up to no good. Obviously! We already know! 50% of this book doesn't need to switch between Razorface, Mitch, etc's povs in order to tell the really basic story of "Unitec dumped some tainted drugs onto the street to test them." Look, I just did it in one sentence! Hell, the characters themselves figure it out in the first few chapters, so I'm confused by how drawn-out it was. It was like Bear had originally written this drug war as a stand-alone story, and then awkwardly grafted it onto Jenny Casey's.

I did like the characters. Jenny Casey is my favorite kind of badass--the kind that's very damaged but has mostly come to terms with it, and still inspires a mixture of fear and awe in those she meets. The lady psychiatrist was pretty fun too, with her blase attitude toward romance and sex. But my appreciation for the characters was hampered by the often unnatural dialog (there's a great collection of examples here) and the fact that by the end, half the dialog was in untranslated French. I do not speak French! When I come across whole pages of unintelligible dialog in nineteenth century novels, at least those authors have the excuse of assuming their readers are polyglots. Bear is writing in the 2000s! At least give us endnotes or something! (ps, sex scenes often have unintentionally hilarious dialog, but the repitious "je t'aime"s and "mon amour"s tipped it over into farce)

And I did like Jenny Casey's plot. I would have loved to read more scenes of her figuring out how to use her new body, or pilot the space ship. What is there is written pretty well, although Bear has to strain to get her prose beyond "workman-like". If there had been more of Casey's adventure, and less incredibly obvious and unnecessary street fighting, I would have enjoyed this more. As it stands, I doubt I'll bother reading the rest of the series. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Entertaining and readable cyberpunk thriller that is transitioning to another subgenre for the next volume. It's got a creaky ex-military cyborg whose metal arm is sending her to a early grave living n a bad part of town, friends with gangsters and cops, it's got ronin bounty hunters and evil corporations and AIs and hacking and VR, and it all hangs together divertingly well. ( )
  Nigel_Quinlan | Oct 21, 2015 |
This was a reread but I didn't remember anything about the book and I had rated it 2 out of 5.

This is a first for me I reread that I am going to review. I read this back in 2006 and I honestly didn't remember the plot of the story at all. My previous review says that I didn't care for the book but that it might have been at the wrong time to read it. Everything else I have read by Elizabeth Bear I have really liked so it was interesting to read this again. I liked the book and how Canada is a world superpower and corporations play a large role in society. Jenny is a badly scarred veteran who is half cyborg and is approaced by her former commander for an upgrade to use her to pilot a ship. Lots of powerplays and some wrap up of story plots but lots more to keep you wanting to read the other two books in the series. The second time around I will give this a 3 out of 5 ( )
  Glennis.LeBlanc | Jul 8, 2014 |
First of a trilogy, this near-future tale is about a woman for whom time is running out.

Set in the mid-21st Century, Jenny Casey is a former member of the Canadian Special Forces. She was part of the UN peacekeeping troops sent to New England in reaction to the food riots of the 2030's. She decided to stay in Hartford, Connecticut, mostly hiding from her government. A new, and very deadly, drug, a Canadian military enhancement drug called The Hammer, has become available on the streets of Hartford. Not even Razorface, the local crime lord, can discover the supply route. Much more important to Jenny is that her cybernetic enhancements are failing.

Years earlier, in a different war, Casey was severely injured. She walked out of the hospital with a metallic left arm, an artificial eye and various internal "improvements." If she doesn't have the required surgery now, she will die. Traveling to Toronto on the track of The Hammer, she is roped into having the surgery (she is pushing fifty years old). Casey is given a chance at what might be the ultimate pilot job (she is a former medevac pilot). It has to do with the "space race" moving to Mars, and shifting from Russia vs America (which is now a Christian Fascist state) to Canada vs China.

Bear does an excellent job from start to finish. I live just a few miles from Hartford, so I was most interested in her portrayal of the city (she gets it right). The book has enough high-tech and near future dystopia to keep anyone happy. This is a gem of a book. ( )
1 vote plappen | Oct 16, 2012 |
Jun11:

Re-read the whole series.

Characters: Yes, the AI stole the show, but the other characters were pretty solid too. The first book also featured a little bit of film noir detectives. Actually, I also have a soft spot for Fred Valens. A really well done sorta anti-hero.

Plot: This plot is actually rather coherent and interesting. Standard cyberpunk villain of run-amuck corporation but I still liked it.

Style: Solid Cyberpunk. Maybe even less confusing and high-handed than much of cyberpunk. Maybe just better on the second go-around. This book had a bit of grit too.

Pre09:

Yea, this series was alright overall. The plot really just fell apart in the long run. What is wrong with most cyberpunk authors? I guess that's why I like Neal Stephenson. At least he keeps a plot going.

The AI was super cool in this series though. And the lead was cool enough in the first book and a half or so. ( )
  Isamoor | May 23, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Bearprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Youll,PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553587501, Mass Market Paperback)

Once Jenny Casey was somebody’s daughter. Once she was somebody’s enemy. Now the former Canadian special forces warrior lives on the hellish streets of Hartford, Connecticut, in the year 2062. Racked with pain, hiding from the government she served, running with a crime lord so she can save a life or two, Jenny is a month shy of fifty, and her artificially reconstructed body has started to unravel. But she is far from forgotten. A government scientist needs the perfect subject for a high-stakes project and has Jenny in his sights. Suddenly Jenny Casey is a pawn in a furious battle, waged in the corridors of the Internet, on the streets of battered cities, and in the complex wirings of her half-man-made nervous system. And she needs to gain control of the game before a brave new future spins completely out of control.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:05 -0400)

Once Jenny Casey was somebody's daughter. Once she was somebody's enemy. Now the former Canadian special forces warrior lives on the hellish streets of Hartford, Connecticut, in the year 2062. Racked with pain, hiding from the government she served, running with a crime lord so she can save a life or two, Jenny is a month shy of fifty, and her artificially reconstructed body has started to unravel. But she is far from forgotten. A government scientist needs the perfect subject for a high-stakes project and has Jenny in his sights. Suddenly Jenny Casey is a pawn in a furious battle, waged in the corridors of the Internet, on the streets of battered cities, and in the complex wirings of her half-man-made nervous system. And she needs to gain control of the game before a brave new future spins completely out of control.… (more)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
16 wanted1 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.78)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 6
2.5 7
3 32
3.5 22
4 60
4.5 10
5 27

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 172 books! | Top bar: Always visible