Stephen's Reviews > Hardwired

Hardwired by Walter Jon Williams
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
1413439
's review
Mar 02, 12

bookshelves: science-fiction, audiobook, 1980-1989, cyber-punk-prep-and-post, world-in-the-shitter, hardboiled
Read from March 06 to 08, 2011 — I own a copy

Cyberpunkv2

Struggling to slap a rating on this novel really crystallized for me the problem with the current star rating system. It's not a bad book. It was moderately entertaining and had some excellent moments of action, story and character interaction. 

It doesn't deserve the stigma that is associated with the 2 star rating. 

However, I also didn't "like it" enough to bestow the 3rd star and thus proclaim to the world that all should read this. Tis a quandary.

Thus, I figured I could either round up to 3 stars and spend the review hating on all the things I didn't enjoy or basically hating on the story, or I could stick with 2 stars and try to be more balanced in my assessment. 

In the end, “balance” won.

PLOT SUMMARY:

Written in 1986, this early cyberpunk story takes place in a world that has become cliché for these kinds of novels: 

**mean, faceless mega-corporations now run the planet from orbital satellites; 
**artificial intelligence is a reality;
**bio-mechanical implants and enhancements are the norm;
**guns and ammo are ubiquitous; and 
**data piracy vs. data safeguarding is the way of life.  

If the above does not sound familiar, than you have not done enough cyberpunking. 

Our story centers on Cowboy, a cybernetically enhanced ex-fighter pilot who now acts as a smuggler in a now balkanized United States. Cowboy spends his time scratching out a living helping to break the power-grip of the corporate controlled orbitals. Cowboy eventually teams up with Sarah, a street-wise bodyguard/assassin. Together, with an eclectic band of misfits and talented ruffians,  they go about trying to bring a world of pain to the  whoreporations running the show. 

Um…not exactly ground-breaking as far as plots go: 
Originalityv2

Let me say that despite the well worn premise (which, admittedly, was not as well worn at the time it was written), the writing was solid and there were some interesting moments of genuine fun. Unfortunately, I never really got connected to the plot and when you are reading a high-octane, action-orientated, punked thriller like this and you find you attention wondering fairly consistently, than I think it's a pretty bad sign. 

I eventually had to call Houston informing them of my problem. 

That said, Walter Jon Williams has writing chops and this book is not bad. I will probably give the next book in the series at some point. With Williams at the helm, this series has the potential to be entertaining. This one just, for whatever reason, didn’t resonate with me. 

To sum up, okay but not great. 

2.5 stars. 








.
69 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Hardwired.
sign in »

Comments (showing 1-19 of 19) (19 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

message 1: by Flannery (new)

Flannery How's the narration?


Stephen The narration is Excellent. It is stefan rudnicki who is one of the best and does all of the ender books among many others. Unfortunately, the narration is not saving this from being above just an okay book at least for me. Not bad, I just never really got into this one.


message 3: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent Only a 2.5? Maybe I'll move this down a few notches on my wish list.

The only Walter Jon Williams I've read, Implied Spaces was on the good edge of okay but it didn't grab me as much as I thought it would.


Stephen Dan wrote: "Only a 2.5? Maybe I'll move this down a few notches on my wish list.

The only Walter Jon Williams I've read, Implied Spaces was on the good edge of okay but it didn't grab me as much as I thoug..."


Yeah, like I said in my review it was really tough deciding between 2 and 3 stars. It certainly was not a BAD book but I just couldn't bring myself to give it 3 stars. In the end "it's okay" kind of covers it.


message 5: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich The first image reminded me of a time I went to a concert in Plymoth, Michigan. While waiting outside they were announcing all the contraband belongings that should be left in your car and Nuclear devices was sandwiched inbetween cameras with flash and studded belts.

Sounds like a bummer of a book, sorry to hear.


message 6: by Tatiana (last edited Mar 02, 2012 10:20AM) (new)

Tatiana I totally reset the star system and give it my own meaning. I don't read books unless I'm pretty sure they're going to be really good, so my reviews are slanted way toward the good. For me, two stars is a pretty good book. Three means I really enjoyed it. I reserve one star for all the books I didn't like, even the abysmally bad ones. And five is only for those books that that really changed me, that I keep some of the ideas from them for the rest of my life. So I think 2.5 stars is generous of you to bestow on this one!


message 7: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent Since you first reviewed, this, I've read Voice of the Whirlwind, another story set in this world. It was really good.


message 8: by Brittany B. (last edited Mar 02, 2012 02:29PM) (new)

Brittany B. How do you do it? Your reviews are better than the books! This is one of my favorites.


message 9: by Kat (new)

Kat  Hooper I love that cyberpunk poster!


Stephen s.penkevich wrote: "Sounds like a bummer of a book, sorry to hear."

Not horrible, but certainly not as good as I was hoping for.


Stephen Dan wrote: "Since you first reviewed, this, I've read Voice of the Whirlwind, another story set in this world. It was really good."

I have that one and have been meaning to give it a try. Glad to hear that it is good. The world setting for the series is very interesting.


Stephen Kat wrote: "I love that cyberpunk poster!"

Thanks, Kat. I'm glad you liked it.


Stephen Brittany wrote: "How do you do it? Your reviews are better than the books! This is one of my favorites."

That is very nice of you to say, Brittany. You made my day.


message 14: by Leyoh (new)

Leyoh I'm over generous in my rating and still feel we need something between 2 and 3. 2 always feels harsh and 3 can be overkill for a book I appreciated but didn't particularly enjoy. It's down what you want your review to convey I suppose but can leave me feeling guilty.


message 15: by CaliGirlRae (new) - added it

CaliGirlRae So loving the demotivational posters! (Esp the 2nd one, although I'd nitpick for the remake TDTESS poster to be replaced with the original cause it was much more awesomer).

I had this on my iffy list and I'm still tempted to check this out cause I'm a cyberpunk nut. I heard good things about the sequel rather than the first book. I may still check it out but probably move it down my list as well for the time being (unless it's on audio heh).

Enjoyed the review!


Stephen Leyoh wrote: "I'm over generous in my rating and still feel we need something between 2 and 3. 2 always feels harsh and 3 can be overkill for a book I appreciated but didn't particularly enjoy. It's down what yo..."

That is exactly how I feel, Leyoh. I would really like to see half star ratings.


Stephen Rae wrote: "So loving the demotivational posters! (Esp the 2nd one, although I'd nitpick for the remake TDTESS poster to be replaced with the original cause it was much more awesomer).

I had this on my iffy l..."


Thanks, Rae. I completely agree the original TDTESS was classic SF gold. By the way, this book is on audio and it is a quality production. As a cyberpunk nut, you may like this a bit more than me. It certainly isn't a bad book and I have heard good things about the sequel as well.


message 18: by MrsJoseph (new)

MrsJoseph Brittany wrote: "How do you do it? Your reviews are better than the books! This is one of my favorites."

I agree!


Stephen You are too kind, MrsJ. Thank you. It's very nice to know my reviews are appreciated.


back to top