After Atlas by Emma Newman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This one was one rather huge surprise for me. I mean, I liked the exploration bits and the mental disability bits in the first novel. It felt genuine and fascinating.
But this one took on a whole different feel. Cyberpunk, a heavily populated society, massive injustice, social inequality, and institutionalized slavery based on credits and indenture. I loved this aspect. I felt harrowed and despairing even as I railed against it with our main character... who has been S*** upon for 23 years, dreams of decent meals, and lives a life equivalent to a labor camp... AS a murder investigator.
Say what? Yep, specialized training, a chip in his head, wide powers to hunt down mysteries... and yet he's still pretty much a slave.
The characterizations are all fantastic, claustrophobic, and I FEEL the need to solve the murder if only to get my mind off my horrible situation. Ahem. I mean, the CHARACTER's situation. :)
As a full-on murder mystery, I had a great time. As a worldbuilding novel, I was fascinated by so many of these details... especially the Circle. But as a character novel, I think I loved it the best.
Very well worth the read and my personal favorite between the two novels and one novelette I read. :)
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