June 21, 1998
San Francisco, California
The world is not what it seems.
Michael Bishop is an Asset of the Facility - a job that comes with many strange perks. He is a man who never gets ill, who never pays taxes. He is effortlessly fit and has a different woman every night of the week.
That is, when he is not on assignment.
When activated, Michael becomes Asset 108, a cyberenhanced human who stands against the strange darkness that lurks at the edge of our world. Armed with equipment that most would find impossible to comprehend, he is sent on missions both strange and deadly. Each dossier pits him against irrational creatures and beings - most with the power to unravel his sanity or reality itself. It's never a simple job.
This job, however, is more complex than most. Mysterious, unknown targets are fracturing reality somewhere in the middle of the Mojave Desert. The Facility has no other Assets in the area, and their telemetry is spotty at best. Without knowing what to expect, Bishop is activated, assigned to a cadre, and sent to the middle of nowhere.
What he finds there is both the beginning and the end.
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Just Fantastic! I hope there's more!
Umm I have to say the lovely tone of voice from Joel. It was one of the best performances I've listened to in the last few weeks. Great narrator.
But, it's defo a toss-up over that and the actual story. What an interesting story and world. I can't say enough about that either, so will go into more detail below.
So both, together these two are a fab team.
Honestly, don't know on this one. I'm a sci fi girl, but this sub genre was a different take on it.
The characters are just so well drawn out, that even when they're in the darkest of situations their humour and banter carries you off. I have to admit, when Wyatt's face is taken off and Anya's deploying them the right pain and healing meca the fact that he's just his usual self is a very good thing.
There were some really awful and cringe worthy moments, with the creatures and the Verum. I think the whole journey in the facility is just that on the edge of your seat, that the defining moment has to be when they finally do get near leaving it's makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end.
Okay, so there were several things I did love about the story and a couple of things I wasn't so keen on.
The world building and understanding of science in here must have been a huge undertaking, because although I'm no scientist, it felt so real. Like the tiniest part of the story just made so much sense. All with irrational and rational space. I'd love to know how much effort this was while writing. :) I felt like there was an amazing amount of knowledge in here, yet I didn't feel like it was that heavy that it bogged the story down at all.
I do remember thinking that sometimes the explanation of the mecca came a little late when it was being used and not first taken from their white room.
I think what I would have liked more was that human connection, having said that. I got the feeling that Bishop really started to like Anya towards the end of the narration. Was there more to that than I thought, maybe I'll listen to another book in the series and find out. hehe. I do hope that Wyatt's face isn't that badly scared as well. Even with the time taken in the hospital I felt so bad for them all. Maybe a little more at the end of the novel would have been a good idea. I know they've got all that great information, and are prepared better for the invasion... I think with the MC having a life outside of his job the start of the story and the ending, though they tie in well kinda left me with a little headscratch. More because of Bishops lack of personality there or it felt like it. The woman he was with in the start, just a throw away. And in the beginning, that made me not like him as a MC, however, he did care for his job and what he was doing, so he kinda won me over in the end, and the fact he cared for his friends, especially Wyatt, who he does call his best friend at one part. I liked that.
Thank you for the awesome job that you both put into this. :) I'll happily buy the next in the series, and the one after that, lol
"... the carpet was avocado green..."
Many would be envious of Michael Bishop's life. With regular large sums of money paid tax free, direct into his bank account, he has no need to work. His luxury apartment and the utilities which service it are all prepaid. Even his car, clothes and shopping are bought for him: Anything he needs he only has to request it. And he is never ill. But Bishop has a secret: he is asset 108, and,: when the need arises, he can be called upon to protect the stability of the world against singularity changes.
We meet Michael just after he receives one such call and follow him as he is sent, with two other assets, to investigate some strange readings at a spot in the heart of the desert. Bishop suspects that this is an unusual mission, a feeling reinforced when he is lured into a trap whilst still travelling. Written in the first person, the story has an immediacy as Bishop and companions struggle to discover what is happening, and survive. It is slightly reminiscent of gamer (LitRPG) novels in that the protagonists move amongst different levels of reality, fighting with whatever weapons they carry in their arsenal, and facing strange monsters along the way. But the only prize that they are fighting for is the survival of humanity itself.
Narrator, Joel Richards, has fully immersed himself in the character of Michael Bishop. His voice is warm and well modulated, beautiful as befits the description of the man; the reading is pace perfect and the other characters are also individually recognisable in dialogue. His performance helps to transform this already enjoyable story into something special.
I was very fortunate in being gifted my copy of Rationality Zero. My thanks for that. I am now looking forward to hearing the second book in this series.
- Norma Miles