Review: Necrotech (SINless 1)

Necrotech CoverMy review @ Goodreads
Necrotech by K.C. Alexander
Genre: Cyberpunk

I was searching for female-written female SciFi protagonists when I stumbled across this gem. Even better: this qualifies as Cyberpunk with the emphasis on Punk, very much in the “the street finds its own use for things” kind of way.

The world is an immersive not-too-far-away future in which climate change (among other issues hinted at) have forced all humanity to live concentrated in a few protected places – mega cities. The Ozone Layer has been burnt away completely. As is usual with Cyberpunk there’s two kinds of people those who work for the corporations and those who don’t. Riko doesn’t, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have nanos in her blood, a chipset in her brain and a bunch of other tech enhancements … but she likes flying under the radar of the massive surveillance practiced by the corps.

Riko is a Saint – meaning she doesn’t have a SIN – a Security Identification Number. She is not only a Saint but also a mercenary with an impressive array of profanity at her disposal and a not-so-small capacity for violence. The story is told from her perspective (1st person) and her voice is at once compelling – full of snark and profanity – and sometimes a bit too much in the ways of slang, street jargon and cliché. At first it’s fun, then I got a little annoyed (minus half a star) and then the plot got just too damn interesting …

It all starts with Riko waking up in a lab, she has a terrible hangover and she doesn’t remember how she got there. I find the Amnesia trope a bit tired but this execution was good – maybe even great. When she gets back to “her team” it turns out that her (street-)cred took a big hit because of whatever she did and now can’t admit that she doesn’t remember. All her allies – there are no friends in a life like hers – are suddenly wary if not hostile …

The first half of the book Riko is slowly trying to recover and find leads but in the second half the pace ramps up especially when it turns out the corps are involved in whatever has happened.

The showdown is worthy of being made into an action movie as the bullets fly and the – read the book – splatter …

A word on diversity. Riko is bisexual, stares at every butt and flirts with anyone she finds attractive and that’s quite a few people. But neither her gender, nor her mixed race or her missing arm – replaced by a “diamond steel” appendage – are the big themes of this story. The cast – to me at least – seems diverse because in this future world everything is mixed-up.

I do enjoy reading kick-ass female protagonists and especially those who don’t swoon into the arms of any guy who yanks their chains. If you like cyberpunk give this a read …

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By Yashima

Writer of code and stories