Automatic Reload by Ferrett Steinmetz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I think I came into this read with certain expectations. I've read five of his other novels and while many of them had serious moments, they were (on the whole) rather funny or even deeply amusing while also kicking major SF (or UF) butt.
This one, at least by the blurb, gave me a feeling like this would be a fast, furious, and funny romance with massive cyborg hardware wrapped in a romance.
What I found was a serious work met with quiet humor, an empathic romance born of anxiety, compassion, and shared threats.
How was it serious? It does wonders for the neurodiverse. Whether someone is anxious, depressed, or suffering from PTSD, I've rarely read a more comprehensive (and interesting) treatment. And it makes SENSE. Anyone that afraid of anything WOULD be a prime candidate for the full transhumanist package. And more, of course. Who needs a white matrix room when you can store all your guns IN your body. :)
Of course, I'm focusing on what makes this an excellent novel that will stay with me a while.
The other trappings are all kinds of awesome, too. It really IS a furious, high-octane shoot-em-up adventure, after all. And the romance is freaking sweet and hits all the right kinds of tones.
It's just not designed to be a laugh-a-minute tale. And I think it's BETTER for it. :)
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