Series: .EXE Chronicles #1
When a technology company can buy your personal freedom Scott is a hacker ready to prove that a single voice can be a powerful weapon.
Scott’s skills as a surveillance expert are useful when he’s breaking down firewalls. But hacktivism isn’t enough; he’s going after the holy grail—UltSyn’s Human Information Drives, human assets implanted with cerebral microchips. After digging deeper into restricted databases, he discovers that those who enlist with UltSyn get far more than they bargained for. Plunged into a world of human trafficking and corporate espionage, Scott is determined to find his sister, no matter the cost. But when the information reveals the people closest to him have been working for UltSyn all along, he has to find her—before UltSyn finds him.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of Hello World and it started off hitting one of my pet peeves. It’s first person and Scott adamantly refused to tell us who he was trying to find (or why) for ages and I really hate first person coy-about-motivation narratives. Just tell the reader, damn it. Or at least give us a clear reason why the narrator can’t.
That aside, though, I zoomed through this book in, what, one whole sitting? Maybe two. But very quickly. It’s a lot of fun to read. Scott is a great anti-hero, getting roped into protecting the world from an evil corporation, while Sonia is a fantastically sassy, sarcastic foil to his antisocial behaviour and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them bounce off one another and find themselves growing closer as time passed.
I would have liked a little more detail on the world and the differences to ours when it comes to technology because, at the end of the book, I still wasn’t quite sure how HIDs were supposed to work or why Sonia didn’t respond the way HIDs are programmed to. I hope that this is something that will come up in future books in the series, but it was something that I’d really really have preferred to learn in this one.
But. Like I said, this book is a great romp through Europe. Scott is snarky and curt and, while he certainly pretends not to care about the rest of the world, he kind of does. I loved watching him struggle with the kind of person he thinks he is, or had to become, and the kind of person he really is as well as with the changes that Sonia brings into his life.
It’s a fast-paced near-future thriller, so expect several great action moments among the quiet. As I read, I could easily imagine this getting rewritten for a film and, honestly, I would be all over that. It would be glorious and so much fun to watch, so if you’re a visual reader who pictures films as they read? Oh, the treat you’re in for. I envy you. It’ll be glorious. <3 Rose and Tauber have a great balance between scenes with a lot of action and quieter, more tender scenes and I loved the pacing. It feels just right and the ending is suitably creepy.
I loved the stakes of the story and how they shifted and changed as Scott adjusted his sense of who he is and who he wants to be. I loved that it didn’t wrap everything up in neat little bows and everything neat and tidy. And… I feel like I keep repeating myself, really, and this book deserves so much better than that. I had a blast reading it. If you’re looking for snarky, sarcastic protagonists in a near-future thriller setting, this is a terrific book and I highly, highly recommend it.
I enjoyed it a lot. ^_^
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