Elise Corto-Intel and Bastion

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susanbeamon Avatar


I haven't read much cyber-punk lately. I'm not really a fan of that sub-genre of science fiction. There is something about changing your arms and legs depending on what you are doing that just doesn't do it for me. Putting that aside, I thought the story was interesting.
Our lead, Elise Corto-Intel, is requested to be assigned to steal/recover a chip. For her, it's a standard job. Only things start to go wrong right away. She is successful anyway and drops the chip into the top secret, hidden, high security vault. Shortly later, the vault is attacked and only the chip is taken. This act activates the "Hermes Protocol", where the vault is moved to a new location and the agent who brought in anything that was stolen is tasked with recovering the item and removing the enemy who breached the vault on pain of losing their job and maybe their life as a traitor to the corporation.
The world building here is very good. We get just what we need to see the world as we need it. That way our imagination is not insulted with chunky data dumps displaying the world.
When one removes the cyber-punk elements, we are left with a very tight thriller. There is lots of spy verses spy action. I really enjoyed that.
There is another character I should mention. The chip in question has a program that is an illegal artificial intelligence selfnamed Bastion. The program was intended to be a superior administrative assistant. Bastion is a little annoying, but busy doing the assisting he was designed to do.
I won the copy of the book I read for this review from the publisher via a website contest.