Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Division Zero Book One

Genre: Scifi/Action/fantasy
Book Rating: 10
Personal Rating: 10

I love mysteries.  I love humor.  I love action.  I love scifi.  And… I love this book.  It was just fun to read.  The characters had depth, nothing flat in these pages.  They all had very different personalities.  Even the minor characters were interesting.  The plot moved along quite well.  I do a lot of skimming when I read books, for two reasons, one I just don’t have that gift of stretching a plot out for pages so I skim over what I can’t write, secondly, that stuff I can’t write I usually have no interested in reading (which is probably why I can’t write it.  Yeah I suck—but enough about me).  Even a perfect ten does not escape my skim speed read technique.  This book has the distinction of my least amount of page scanning for the year.  That is how much I loved this book.

So were to begin.  Kristen was a delight to read.  Our heroine Division 0 (which I called division O) operative of the law.  More comfortable taking down ghosts than she is with living people.  Something about not feeling bad about taking the life of someone who’s already dead.  I probably shouldn’t smile at that but it makes more than enough sense in my twisted little brain.  She’s in her twenties but still looks young enough to get carded, had a troubled childhood that has defined her weirdness with humans and a strong opposition to religion.  All in all she was a perfectly well rounded character who developed as she went further into the book.  Sadly she did not hook up with her super sexy partner, but we can’t get everything we want as readers.  There was this guy she got a number from.  Maybe he’ll return in another book.  Who knows

Her best friend Nicole’s ADD was just hilarious.  I laughed and laughed and laughed.  I loved her.  Just brilliant.  And completely confident in her womanness, which was the complete opposite of Kristen who got awkward if ghosts saw her naked.  She made a habit of locking her bathroom door to ghosts before showering.  One of Kristen’s many interesting quirks.  But, yes, Nicole was definitely the best friend that you loved to have if only to be amused by the fact that they got lost in conversations after only two sentences.  Not even two minutes.  Just a delight.

The partner Dorian.  Sadly not alive, but that didn’t damper my hopes that a Kristen Dorian romance would ensue.  He never seemed nearly as into her as she was him.  He found her amusing.  Points for that cause so did I.  He also had a past, associated with a woman and child and his family that was keeping him in the world.  I had a weird sense he was afraid of closure because then he would move on.  Then he wouldn’t be able to be Kristen’s partner.  But that’s just a hunch.

The plot was very good.  It starts of with Kristen heading to a case with Nicole, in Nicole’s hover craft which she drives rather recklessly, And they pass a news droid that is giving the update on a series of AI’s that have gone postal and murdered people.  This is of course the real plot but it’s a very nice way to slip it in there like random news while she’s going to a completely unrelated case.  It’s clue is laid out right when it should be.  The problems that she has to face dealing with ghost in a world where it’s obvious they’re real is interesting.  I found it rather unique that Division 0 was relied on so much, and telekinesis was prevalent, and yet people still acted like it was weird that ghost were real.  Even when regular people had seen them.  Further proof that even in the face of facts we will always try to deny what we can not understand.

Along the way Nicole has to face inner demons and even learn herself better in order to get the villain.  Mostly I like that everything in the world, from the descriptions of it to the gadgets in it, make sense.  I don’t have to guess at how they work and what they do and so on.  I find so much in books with this whole ‘show and don’t tell’ that I’m expected to take too much for granted.  Maybe I’m weird but I don’t mind a bit of exposition here and there.  I like to know.  This book however didn’t leave me with that wanting feeling.  In fact the only thing I couldn’t figure out was the stempack.  They healed and okay I just assumed that this is what they are called.  Okay that’s’ a lie.  I knew they meant something but could never quite get my head around it.  Until I started mapping out my review.  Stem cells.  Right.  Regeneration.  Now it makes sense.  In this instance I was just an idiot, however as I said, sometimes books forgo explanations to stick to the rules of writing and there’s nothing that bugs me more than reading a whole book like ‘no.  I will not just take it for granted.  Tell me’ till the end.  I’d give this book an eleven for not leaving me feeling like that.  Hell a perfect 15 out of 10.

There just wasn’t much wrong about this book.  The comedic timing was perfect.  The character arch was excellent.  The action was descriptive enough and how the mental powers worked were clearly defined.  Even the battle between when to save a life and when to fight for your own never felt overdone in the book.  None of the characters ever done anything that would make me think ‘no this character wouldn’t do that’ and the ending wasn't one of those perfect-bottled-up-tight pieces of boring happy that so many people like to write.  In the real world bad shit happens.  And the easiest way to take me away from my reality into yours is if I can actually envision the things in your world happening.  And this book hits the perfect balance of pushing the limits of make-believe while still keeping it grounded in something relatable.

That about sums up my love of this novel.  It was a perfectly crafted work of fiction.  Kept me entertained till the last page.  Never made me feel bogged down, or why wont this book pic up the pace.  And there’s nothing like a murder mystery, an ADD best friend, and a sarcastic partner to make me smile into oblivion while reading a book.  Anyone who reads this will be more than satisfied.  This is a novel I would probably read again.  Yes it was that awesome.


Most cops get to deal with living criminals, but Agent Kirsten Wren is not most cops.

A gifted psionic with a troubled past, Kirsten possesses a rare combination of abilities that give her a powerful weapon against spirits. In 2418, rampant violence and corporate warfare have left no shortage of angry wraiths in West City. Most exist as little more than fleeting shadows and eerie whispers in the darkness.

Kirsten is shunned by a society that does not understand psionics, feared by those who know what she can do, and alone in a city of millions. Every so often, when a wraith gathers enough strength to become a threat to the living, these same people rely on her to stop it.

Unexplained killings by human-like androids known as dolls leave the Division One police baffled, causing them to punt the case to Division Zero. Kirsten, along with her partner Dorian, wind up in the crosshairs of corporate assassins as they attempt to find out who – or what – is behind the random murders before more people die.

She tries to hold on to the belief that no one is beyond redemption as she pursues a killer desperate to claim at least one more innocent soul – that might just be hers.


Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.

And he's found of cats.  All animal lovers deserve book purchases

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