The Electric Church (Avery Cates, #1)
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The Electric Church (Avery Cates #1)

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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  1,588 ratings  ·  220 reviews
In the near future, the only thing growing faster than the criminal population is the Electric Church, a new religion founded by a mysterious man named Dennis Squalor. The Church preaches that life is too brief to contemplate the mysteries of the universe: eternity is required. In order to achieve this, the converted become Monks -- cyborgs with human brains, enhanced robo...more
Paperback, 390 pages
Published November 2nd 2009 by Orbit (first published 2007)
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Stephen
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Not bad...but a very forgettable, very “by the numbers” hardboiled cyberpunk thriller that felt like a cold, soulless version of Neuromancer. For me, one of the remarkable aspects of really good cyberpunk is its ability to tap into the zeitgeist of the current generation and provide insightful commentary on where we're going and who we are becoming as a species.

This story was all surface. It had the right costumes and some interesting props, but there was nothing that gave the reader, at least...more
Chris
I see the majority of review have rated this as a menial read. That doesn't surprise me. For the age of Cyber-punk isn't anything new. What I found I liked about the book was the comic style of flow. I found the imagery and the characters to be more from the comic style of writing than just the standard novel. It's certainly not a new concept, just one I found fun and quick. If I want to challenge myself I will read the classics. When I want to feel pulp style fictions, than I will read this boo...more
Tattered Cover Book Store
Folks, there is nothing subtle or beautiful about this one.

Unless, that is, you think perfectly described gun battles and psychotic cyborg monks are subtle and beautiful. Or maybe you are just a fan of exciting sucker-punch-to-the-stomach writing.

Set in a not so distant, and rotten, dystopian future the story follows the adventures of the surprisingly sympathetic anti-hero Avery Cates. Cates is a Gunner (a hitman) scrounging to make a living among the dreary masses. He is considered an old man a...more
Harris Mason
I see this book has an average of 3 stars as I write this review. I suppose then I should justify my 5 star rating then. The reason I give this 5 stars is that I personally could not stop myself from reading this. Now sci-fi is generally not my genra of choice so I cannot qualitatively say if this is a "great" sci-fi book. But it kept me reading and interested. That is all I care. May be dark and disturbing for some people. Heck my copy of the book came with a warning about the content printed o...more
Christy Stewart
In any other media this would be amazing but it's a little too repetitive for a fun novel.
Eric_W
I haven't read much dystopian fiction, the daily newspaper suffices as an antidote to cheer. I certainly intend to read Margaret Atwood's latest couple of books and read 1984 (talk about dated!) and Brave New World (although some might argue it's more Utopian.) It's also possible to read this book as a nice action yarn in addition to political commentary. Or vice-versa.

Basically, if you are rich, you're OK -- at least until the next riot, and the "electric" church guarantees eternal life but at...more
Zeffy
Holy hell, I love this book. Love the idea behind it, the fight against eternity and a religion that wants to consume every part of you. Willingly or not.

Avery Cates is not a sympathetic character. He's a killer for hire, the man least likely to perform heroics, a cheat and a survivor. But he's a likable character all the same. He's an honest man who's doing what he needs to survive, but there are lines he won't cross. This doesn't make him a good person by any stretch of the imagination, in fa...more
Rick
In his debut novel, The Electric Church, Jeff Somers attempts to create a 21st century cyberpunk novel. His vision of the not-so-distant future, managed by the fascist System of Federated Nations and their powerful police, exists in economic chaos, spawning rampant poverty and a vibrant criminal element. Avery Cates, a gunner, thrives within this environment, until he accidentally kills a cop and attracts the attention of the Electric Church and its mysterious Monks, cyborgs with human brains.

Cy...more
Amanda Skinner
I just received my copy of "the Electric Church" from the first reads contest. I look forward to getting sucked into Avery Cates' New York!

*****

I was fully prepared to give "the Electric Church" one star while I was reading it. The premise captured my imagination from the start, but the story did not. I felt too bogged down in the repetition of our hero's age, and the many many times he falls down and injures himself, not to mention looses his weapons. I'm sorry to say it, but how did this guy s...more
Jason
I'm not normally a big reader of sci-fi books. This one, however, was a fantastic read. I can't really put my finger on what it was about this book that I found so appealing, but it is one of the best books that I've read in the past year. Set in the infamous not-so-distant future featuring a rag-tag group of assassins for hire (who are actually the good guys in the dark future created by the author) who must battle an ever-growing army of militant Monks, this novel is all action from the openin...more
Yolanda Sfetsos
Just reading the blurb and the title for this book was enough to grab my attention. And that very creepy cover sure deepened my interest.

When I started to read this book, I found myself a little lost in the narrator's set up of this world because there was so much going on, and so much to be explained. However, as the story moved into the second chapter and I settled into Avery's tale, I understood exactly why it was vital to drop all of that info on the reader at the very start. Getting the wh...more
Steve
First of all this is gritty. Not pretty. Not highbrow. Not going to end up on your lit professor's bookshelf. And the main reason I like this series is just because I do not have any fear of walking into a pretentious coffee shop and seeing some erudite snob leafing through it.

It is a commentary on current society, if one comes down out of the clouds long enough to look around. Religious prats are running the political scene. Corporations really own our asses. The rich guys who own the corporati...more
Sarah Sammis
I am so often reading series out of order. It's not that I do it on purpose but sometimes things get in way. I might not have access to the whole series at the same time, the newest books might catch my eye first or the books themselves might not be labeled well enough to make the proper order obvious to someone unfamiliar to the series. For the Avery Cates series, the library had The Digital Plague on display up front and I only learned about the first in the series, The Electric Church by Jeff...more
Mokushi
Are you read for some hardcore motherfuckers kicking some serious cyberpunk ass? Cuz that's what this book is about. HARSH LANGUAGE, VIOLENCE, CYBERPUNK, FUTURETREK and SEX: That's the main parts that create this monster of sci-fi. It is definitely not for the intelligent type, it's full of vulgarism, constant action, a large amount of dick-wagging, pointless and cheesy dialogues, too HARDCORE-THAN-THOU action scenes and rather weakly explained cyber-future world.
However, it was entertaining. It...more
Made DNA
Set in the future, this is the story of Avery Cates who is not exactly a model citizen. In fact, if he had things his way, he would see the entirety of "society" and corrupt world government toppled. However, when he is approached by a man who wishes to hire him to assassinate the head of the Electric Church, he is going to need a helping hand from both government agents and the seedy underworld as well.

A post-cyberpunk book with heavy dystopian leanings. While I couldn't give it five stars, I d...more
Barney Edwards
'The Electric Church' was a book I picked up cheaply from a charity shop on a whim. The book has a cyber-punk setting in a not too distant future where the 'System Pigs' as Avery terms them rule New York with an iron fist.

'The Electric Church' certainly doesn't lack action scenes and they are described in a way not many authors can do. They have credibility and aren't simply, "I shot this guy, then another, then another and the fight was over" they are quite detailed and sometimes when Avery thi...more
Stuart Reid
Avery Cates is a Gunner, a hitman for hire in a grimy slum that was once New York City. Post Unification, the world is policed by the System Cops ("Pigs") who answer to no-one except their head of internal affairs, Richard Marin - the real power.

Enter the Electric Monks, a new religion fast gaining a groundswell of support due to their unique way to worship God - cybernetic transplant into a robot body, giving you the eternity of time you need to truly appreciate your place in the universe. Hea...more
Gary
Three things that spoiled this book –

Miracles:
I really liked Avery Cates. He is a ‘rough around the edges’ and ‘down on your luck’ James Bond. In this particular case he has an interesting premise to solve: eternal life through cybernetic brain transplants. However, where 007 relied on gee-whiz technology to get himself out of insurmountable harms way, Cates relies on miraculous intervention. Once, I’m OK with. Twice, and I start looking for fairies and magic. Three times and I look around for G...more
Sean
This book had an interesting premise. Definitely not all that original with it's doomsday, futuristic world run by cyborgs, but I think I will always enjoy reading novels about how the future is really gonna suck it. It was a fairly fun ride albeit a little pedantic and obviously written in the hopes that it will one day be made into a movie. Which always bugs me to no end.
Regan
A fascinating, dirty, bloody world where you should be looking over your shoulder at all times. The protagonist, Avery Cates, is not a nice man, but he's delivered in such a way as to be utterly sympathetic and, in some odd way, charming.

The great reveal was, I found, a bit of a let down. The journey along the way was not.
Kenya Wright
This was an awesome and entertaining adventure. It was my first cyber punk romp... and I enjoyed it. I'm typically a high fantasy to paranormal romance gal... but I loved this.

Warning: No romance... Lots of cursing and violence (but that's the fun stuff)


I'll definetly be reading the next book!
Darcy
I tried this one, but the way it was written I just kept getting lost in the wording. It seemed like the author kept complaining about the police and there were weird levels and different names confusing me.
Matt Allen
A captivating world and a unique idea. The Electric Church is a quick, fun read.

This was my intro to Jeff Somers. Never read him before, but the jacket copy here was intriguing and the novel definitely lived up to it. You're thrown into a future world that shows remnants of the one we inhabit, and its noir atmosphere and gritty politics were enough to set the hook. Somers fills in the scenery incredibly well and while, after its breathless beginning, it's not the throttled engine you'd expect th...more
Fred
This was interesting for the first two hundred pages. It got to be too repetitive. I did not read the last 75 pages.
Evanston Public  Library
Earth isn't a very nice place to live in this gritty series debut. With the utopian promise of the global System of Federated Nations gone horribly wrong, the Joint Council government and brutal System Security Force (SSF) have made life desperate, dangerous, and short for the common man including anti-hero Avery Cates. Elderly at 27, Cates is a hardened assassin-for-hire wanted in Old New York for mistakenly killing an SSF officer. When he's finally cornered, however, the SSF gives him a choice...more
That70sheidi
Not being familiar with most of the labels given to fiction (I just read stuff), I wasn't aware what cyber-punk was or that this book is considered it until I skimmed the reviews prior to writing this. Which is why I didn't go in with any expectations other than I had had this on my to-read list for several years.

That being said, I think the thing I liked best about the story is that there's no sex/romance. I kept waiting for some hot young thing to breeze in and there'd be interludes of wangst...more
Random
I had entered to win this book through the giveaways on a bit of an impulse. The premise sounded interesting, though once I had won the book I want back through reviews and started to regret it.

I'm not one for action, I prefer things to be a little more intellectual, and the descriptions of action, gun fights, etc had turned me off. I'm glad I had waited to read the reviews until after I had won the book.

Sitting solidly in the cyberpunk/dystopian sub genres there is action and there are gun figh...more
Matt
The Electric Church could easliy be dismissed as a formulaic cyberpunk pulp novel. It's a relatively short read - it part of a sequence - it's not doing anthing special.

Except that it is extremely will written. I approched this expecting to have to ignore some cringe-worthy dialogue or preposterous plot twists. The plotting is tight, believable and really engaging. The main charcter - Cates - is likeable and witty and the supporting cast is strong and interesting.

For a shorter novel - the scope...more
Richard
Jan 27, 2011 Richard rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Richard by: Kent & Bob
'Sokay, but nothing too wonderful.

This is a good sci-fi thriller, set in a society that has mostly collapsed into a tiny minority of haves and a great multitude of desperately poor have-notes. In other words, one of the most common dystopia patterns. Peter Watts uses this (primarily as the background and subtext) for his dystopias, which are much more innovative.

In The Electric Church, one of those have-nots is our protagonist, an assassin-for-hire who gets tangled up in sociopolitics far beyond...more
Mike Perna
Personally -- I could only force myself to read half of this book, which is saying something. An avid reader since junior high, I can only recount maybe three titles I've refused to finish.

With an opener like that you'd think I would have given it a one. Here's the thing though -- I understand why someone else might enjoy it. There is enough action, crazy distopia fun-times in this story that would appeal to somebody really into that sort of thing. Now I enjoy a good distopia as much as the next...more
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809148
Born in Jersey City, NJ, Jeff has managed to migrate just five minutes away to nearby Hoboken, land of overpriced condominiums and a tavern on every corner. Between weekly drunks, Jeff manages to scrawl enough prose onto cocktail napkins and toilet paper to keep up a respectable fiction careeer."
More about Jeff Somers...
The Digital Plague (Avery Cates, #2) The Eternal Prison (Avery Cates, #3) The Terminal State (Avery Cates, #4) The Final Evolution Trickster (Ustari Cycle, #1)

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“I didn't want to kill her; she was just doing her job. But she was standing between me and the rest of my miserable life, so she was going to have to take a bullet.” 3 likes
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