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Sarah Buhidma – Perion Synthetics

Pleasantly surprised non-techie.

Let me begin by conceding that I do not often read hi-tech science fiction novels. I do enjoy a wide variety of fiction, including fantasy, so I hope my input will be helpful nevertheless.

I received an advance copy of this book, and did not know what to expect. As a newbie to this genre, I was pleasantly surprised. Though I wasn’t familiar with many of the “hi-tech” terms, the author did an excellent job interweaving his explanations within his text without slowing down the flow of the book.

His characters are engaging and they caught my interest enough that the deeper philosophical/social issues the author delves into completely blindsided me. It was a positive effect. I won’t spoil anything, but he uses a story about synthetic humans and computer augmentations to question larger ethical issues in media reporting, government control, and technological warfare (e.g. Drones, weapons of mass destruction, etc.).

These issues do not weigh down the text, and the author uses a fair share of snide humor to keep the interpersonal relationships from being overshadowed. There’s even a little love for all of us romantics out there.

All in all, The only thing I found lacking from the text was a cogent reason why someone would want to undergo technological augmentations on themselves when it leaves a person so susceptible to someone else controlling those augmentations. That might be an issue he deals with in one of his other books though (which I’ve since learned all are set in the same “universe”).

The book is entertaining and worth a read.

Recent Reviews

Perion Synthetics is ambitious, especially when compared with Daniel Verastiqui’s prior novel, Veneer. It covers more characters, complexities, and plot twists, all while maintaining the same sense of humor. Verastiqui has a vivid imagination and a knack for realizing complexities in plot and character. Following the story one character at a time, Perion Synthetics imagines a world where Vinestead International has an oppressive grip on the population through its pervasive (and seemingly unavoidable) technology monopoly. Perion Synthetics is the only company with the resources to challenge Vinestead’s dominance. An aggregator (akin to a reporter) is allowed into Perion City for the first time to witness and report on his findings, and things just get crazy from there. That’s about as far as I can get into the story without major spoilers. Some exposition was cumbersome, while other times characters seemed one-dimensional. Fortunately, this does not occur often and does not detract from a fun read. Perion Synthetics is a fast-paced read and is jam-packed with content. It never dulls, never fails to surprise. Related

Jared Harper – Perion Synthetics

Fantastic story-telling! Interesting concept, intricate plot, great characters, fabulous dry humor, and plenty of action. The general idea is a somewhat familiar one in sci-fi, but this was a different, fresh take on the idea of artificial intelligence that I found quite thought-provoking. I really like how this book is tied in to Verastiqui’s previous writings without technically being a sequel- the books take place in the same universe, and there are a few nods to previous books, but I don’t feel it’s necessary to have read the others to understand this one. He gives just enough background detail for a first-time reader to visualize the world- there wasn’t that “recap” section in the beginning I felt like I could skip like in other serial novels. I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Without giving spoilers, one of my favorite things about this author’s writing is that the characters seem real. They are flawed, insightful, altruistic, selfish, and complicated. It’s never immediately obvious who the “good guys” are, because every character has both good and questionable morals. Because the characters are rich and realistic, their actions (or the things that happened to them) were often surprising while still fitting logically with the storyline. I thought the pacing and shifting perspectives were very nicely done in this novel. Several of the sections ended with a cliffhanger. The sections that followed tended to slow the pace a bit to give more backstory, and then quickly got back to the resolution of the previous section. I managed to avoid skimming ahead (as I usually do) to find out “what happened to so-and-so” because each character shift was so interesting. I highly recommend this book- the writing will draw you in, it’s highly entertaining, and the concept is fascinating! Related

Jen Doyle – Perion Synthetics
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