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Hammered (Jenny Casey #1)

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3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,442 Ratings  ·  103 Reviews
Once Jenny Casey was somebody’s daughter. Once she was somebody’s enemy. Now the former Canadian special forces warrior lives on the hellish streets of Hartford, Connecticut, in the year 2062. Racked with pain, hiding from the government she served, running with a crime lord so she can save a life or two, Jenny is a month shy of fifty, and her artificially reconstructed bo ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published December 28th 2004 by Spectra (first published January 1st 2004)
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Sandi
Apr 04, 2009 Sandi rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sandi by: Beyond Reality BOTM
Shelves: sci-fi, 2009
I find it really hard to believe that Hammered was Elizabeth Bear's first novel. The plot was so tight; the characters were so interesting; and the story was both intriguing and exciting. It was one of those books that took great willpower to put down when I to go do other things. I have read and listened to a few short stories by Bear that I thought were fantastic. It's nice to see that she handles the novel format just as well.

Jenny Casey is a protagonist that I can relate to. She's a middle-a
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Carolyn
Dec 30, 2014 Carolyn rated it really liked it
This is a terrific debut novel. Set in the near future, 2062 with Jenny Casey, a 49 y old, Canadian female retired soldier as protaganist. Following a horrific accident in which she lost an eye and an arm, Jenny's body is part cyborg and neurologically enhanced for faster reaction times. However, now she is retired and has taken refuge in the US where she is trying to deal with the pain she still suffers without the addictive drugs provided by the army. In the US civilization has falling apart, ...more
Chris
Apr 20, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tamahome
May 08, 2014 Tamahome rated it liked it

I liked the kindle sample. Seems to be gritty cyberpunk with a lot of women characters.

Status updates:

9% "Stares at my tits, laughs at my jokes, the boy knows the way to an old woman’s heart."
20% "If you live long enough, you eventually put a real fine point on what you’re willing to do to stay alive—and what you’re willing to sell. The first thing I sold was my body—first on the street, then to the army once I got old enough. Later on, I graduated to selling the intangibles. I like to think I s
...more
Diane
Apr 07, 2009 Diane rated it really liked it
I've read several stories by Elizabeth Bear and often read her blog, so I was curious how she would handle long-form story telling. I was not disappointed.

This is a tight story, fast-paced and exciting. It has all sorts of elements that I really enjoy in my SF: female protagonists who are "real", robots - or in this case AIs and cyborg elements for the humans, dystopian society, space exploration. This is very definitely a hard SF novel, but the story is really character-centric and Bear doesn'
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Wealhtheow
Jenny Casey is a war hero, but she's also a middle-aged woman with increasingly debilitating disabilities and a drug habit. Then tainted batches of Hammer (the combat drug she was addicted to) pop up on the streets of her home town. While her friends trace the drug back to its source, Jenny is coerced into joining a dangerous research project.

I really wanted to like this book, but it frustrated me all too often. This is the first in a trilogy, but there's a lot of backstory to this universe. I
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Aug 15, 2014 Jenny (Reading Envy) marked it as abandoned
Recommended to Jenny (Reading Envy) by: Tamahome
Tamahome brought this book to Episode 5 of the Reading Envy podcast, so I tried it in a round of speed-dating my books. Ultimately it wasn't really my style, as I'm just never able to get into military anything, aging cyborg or not. I know the author writes in a lot of styles, so I will probably try something else by her someday.
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
A plausible near-future book but not the most original novel I've read. I'm interested enough that I may read the next book. Not sure, though, it's not something I'm dying to do. We'll see.
Gaijinmama
Aug 09, 2015 Gaijinmama rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I actually picked this one up for a reading challenge, which asked us to choose a book set in the place we were born. Well, let me tell you, there are not a heck of a lot of science fiction books where even part of the action takes place in Hartford, Connecticut!
In the not-too-distant future, Hartford is a hellhole. OK, that's believable. Certain parts of the city were headed that way even when I was a kid in the '80's.
Another cool thing: in this version of the future, Canada is a superpower. S
...more
Chris
Feb 09, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I grew up near Hartford, and I have to say that there was very little that appealed to me. Sure, it has insurance companies and.... and.... umm.... a river. Anyway, after giving it some thought, I figured, "Why not Hartford?" After all, if the United States has collapsed under its own weight to the point where Canada has to come in and do peacekeeping operations, Hartford is probably even more of a hell-hole than most other more made-for-fiction cities. I'm sure Ms. Bear had the same thought, si ...more
Michelle
a very solid 4.5 stars, dinged mostly by the climactic ending - have the 2nd book ready to hand if you pick this one up.

some day, i'm going to have to remember to mark down WHO has recommended these gems to me. this is one of so many books that got buried on mount TBR (for 2 years!), and if only i knew who had told me that Elizabeth Bear was amazing, that person/s would be getting large hugs from me today.

"hard" SF generally focuses on speculating the nuts and bolts of future technology, and it
...more
Linda
Nov 30, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Canada is the most powerful "free" world nation and engaged in a battle with China to be the first to successfully launch a star (not a space) ship, using "technology" discovered in two alien ships seeming left for humans on Mars. Yes, humans are in space and have a base on Mars.

Jenny Casey is retired from the Canadian military. She's a couple of months shy of 50 and is feeling the effects of aging - both in her human parts and in her cyborg parts. Jenny has many serious military decorations fr
...more
Victoria
Jan 15, 2011 Victoria rated it liked it
Recommended to Victoria by: Siri
This wasn't the easiest book in the world to get into, but once I did, I found the characters compelling and the future world vivid and unique.

Set in a world where the US has crumbled and Canada has become the major military superpower of North America, this is a strange, (almost) dystopian story about a former soldier who is breaking down under the wear and tear to her decade-old cybernetic modifications, and the scheming former superior officer who wants her back under his thumb and working to
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heidi
Nov 25, 2012 heidi rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, scifi, reviewed, wiscon
We all bring the books that we have read before to the books we read now. I am certainly no different. So when I say that this book felt like a loving homage to Trouble and Her Friends, with a flip of Fool's War, please understand it that is a commendation.
"A holstered equation hung at his hip, and his pockets were heavy with binary. His eyes lighted as they fastened on the bartender, and he came up against the brass rail like a knife against a butcher’s steel while patrons turned to look, and j
...more
Sherwood Smith
May 13, 2009 Sherwood Smith added it
Shelves: sf
'd already discovered her writing in some short stories; the one I really liked-in fact it was my favorite of the anthology-was her zeppelin story taking place in Chinese history for Zeppelin Adventure Stories. My expectations were high, and she met them head on.

Jenny Casey is near fifty, a combat-traumatized soldier living in a very grim future Hartford, Connecticut. Her extensive cyberware is going bad, there are ugly drugs being dispersed on the streets of her town and the local ganglord-a fr
...more
Celia Powell
May 26, 2008 Celia Powell rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Jenny Casey is an old soldier. She's middle aged, in constant pain due to her artificially reconstructed body, and suffers from vivid flashbacks. The appearance of a deadly new drug on the street alarms her, as does a murdered police officer, and Jenny Casey starts asking questions. Soon she realises that several people seem to have plans for her, and they're certainly not telling her all of the truth.

There's a couple of subplots (that spin their way together into the one major plot), with diff
...more
Jennifer
Aug 30, 2007 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: sci fi fans
Shelves: summerreads, fluff
I've been reading Elizabeth Bear's blog for several months now and finally decided to pick up one of her novels. I was afraid to read one for a while, worried that I wouldn't enjoy her fiction as much as her blog. I needn't have worried.

Jenny (what a great name), the main character, is a Candadian veteran, an ex-addict and current alcoholic and at least half machine. She buries herself in the Hartford (another excellent choice; did I mention Bear lives in West Hartford?) underground, befriend mo
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Katrina
I quite liked this book, particular as it was set partially in Canada and that's always a nice ego boost to a Canadian reading an American author. My only issue with it was the bits worded in French. Many of them weren't correct, and these completely yanked me out of my "suspension of disbelief" mode. This also happens to me when watching a movie where the director has hired an English-speaker to put on a simulated French accent, which falls apart the minute the actor actually has to speak Frenc ...more
Sarah
Jan 02, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
Jenny Casey is an obsolete Canadian cyborg struggling to maintain a little humanity in a near-future dystopia. Instead, after a few mysterious deaths and the reemergence of several sociopaths from her tortured history, she finds herself sucked into a dark conspiracy for control of humanity’s destiny. A multitude of richly textured characters (even the ghost of Richard Feynman) and a deftly unfolded storyline more than make up for the irritatingly untranslated French passages. There is an awful l ...more
Darla Stokes
I really wanted to love this one--it came highly recommended, and it has all these elements that should make me love it: primarily the science-fiction-futuristic setting and the action plot.

Unfortunately, I found myself not looking forward to getting back to the book whenever I'd put it down, favoring playing DS games until late and only reading for 5 - 10 minutes before falling asleep.

So I did some thinking about why I didn't love this book when I should have. It mostly comes down to the way
...more
William Raths
Oct 04, 2014 William Raths rated it really liked it
Wow, seriously impressed by this book. Not that it's the best book I've ever read, but that it far, far surpassed my expectations. Talk about judging a book by it's cover (and back cover), I was fully expecting something poorly written and shlocky, not even sure why I was bothering to give it a chance. It was neither of these things. More than that, it had some fairly well informed and thought out sci-fi bits. Good action, decent pacing, and some characters that had more than one dimension. As a ...more
Joshua Castleman
Nov 18, 2015 Joshua Castleman added it
Shelves: dnf
Read a little less than a quarter of the book and it still hasn't really hooked me. One or two things seem mildly intriguing, but the elements of the story are too scattered and unfocused. Too many elements trying to enter play at the same time without giving any sort of framework or importance. I still don't even know what the main conflict is yet!

In her rush to bring every character into the fray right off the bat, she has diluted my attention and no character really stands out. Some of them
...more
Jani
Jun 09, 2015 Jani rated it liked it
Hammered is a fairly-standard futuristic noir story, which is set apart from its colleagues by its decent characters and relaxed attitude concerning some genre tropes.

The set up is pretty standard: Jenny Casey is a former soldier now comfortable if not satisfied with his fairly uncomplicated existence until trouble invades her home turf and forces her take action or at least go along. In this case the home turf is a troubled neighbourhood in future North America, where the Canadian veteran, who
...more
Faith
Jul 26, 2014 Faith rated it it was amazing
From the first word, Jenny Casey springs onto the page as a rich, nuanced character with a distinctive personality and voice. I was hooked.

Then I floundered a little bit, because Bear jumps around between people and time periods and I found myself a little bit frustrated and a little bit impatient; I was being teased with all these little threads of story and then denied resolutions.

But oh man am I glad I stuck with it, because when they start coming together, and the little hits and details han
...more
Sara
May 09, 2013 Sara rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this -- it's the first book in a LONG while that's made me consistently (and accidentally) read past the end of my break.
When I was telling him the plot, Michael said it was made up of a whole bunch of cliches, but I disagree. I am of the opinion that it's only a cliche if you do it poorly. Also, the end(ish) featured one of the best locations for a fight I've ever read.
Looking forward to the other two.
Andrew
Feb 01, 2009 Andrew added it
From the little I've seen of Hartford and Canada, the pretense to Bear's story seems...appropriate. Jenny's vulnerability and self-medication - along with the pervasive role Unitek plays in the story of a damaged Earth - keeps the plot believable. This book served me well as bedtime reading from start to finish.
Dawn
Sep 28, 2014 Dawn rated it did not like it
This series looked so interesting that I bought all three books at once. Too bad this turned out to be a waste of money.
The story in and of its self was good but much as I wanted to like this book, the writing style and story telling defeated me and I stopped reading about halfway through.

Sarah
Sep 27, 2007 Sarah rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sci-fi fans who love a good heroine
I read Elizabeth Bear's livejournal, so I'm a little biased, but Jenny Casey is a great character, and Bear is great at my favorite trick - making things clear without spelling everything out. Her characters feel like real people and this story has momentum and surprises.
Laura
Mar 09, 2014 Laura rated it did not like it
this book was so boring and confusing and way too sci fi for me, and I should've quit reading it. but I don't quit books. I regret it tho since I got to the end and there was no resolution, I guess since its a series. boo.
Megan Baxter
Dec 17, 2014 Megan Baxter rated it really liked it
It's funny. I got a fair ways into this book, and had a moment where I realized that Jenny Casey is very much like a character a friend has been playing in a game I've been running, about revolution on Mars. Said friend has never read Elizabeth Bear, to the best of my knowledge, but the synchronicity was startling. I've told her now she should read this. I think she'd get even more out of it than I did.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and en
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Science Fiction A...: * Hammered (Jenny Casey #1) 24 40 Feb 23, 2015 08:13AM  
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Elizabeth Bear was born on the same day as Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, but in a different year. This, coupled with a childhood tendency to read the dictionary for fun, led her inevitably to penury, intransigence, the mispronunciation of common English words, and the writing of speculative fiction.

She lives in Massachusetts with a Giant Ridiculous Dog. Her partner, acclaimed fantasy author Scott Lynch
...more
More about Elizabeth Bear...

Other Books in the Series

Jenny Casey (3 books)
  • Scardown (Jenny Casey, #2)
  • Worldwired (Jenny Casey, #3)

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