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Performance Anomalies

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  154 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
Victor Robert Lee’s provocative debut spy thriller PERFORMANCE ANOMALIES introduces a protagonist to rival the most memorable espionage heroes. Cono is a startling young man of mixed and haunting heritage who has been gifted – or cursed – with an accelerated nervous system. An orphan from the streets of Brazil, he acts as a freelance spy, happy to use his strange talents i ...more
Hardcover, First, 290 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by Perimeter Six Press (first published December 20th 2012)
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Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I'll leave you to read the synopsis and just get right down to the nitty gritty! I have to say that initially I didn't think I was going to like this book, but hands up I was wrong. As the story progressed I found that I really didn't want to put it down. It was complex, intriguing, exciting, and I got to the point where I couldn't read it quickly enough.

It's an impressive debut novel, and it's certain that there's going to be a lot more going on in Cono's world in future novels. Well done Vict
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read a lot--four-eight books a week, primarily thrillers (because that's what I write). After a while, they start sounding alike:

* powerful but flawed hero stands against evil
* a crisis storms in that only s/he can solve and s/he is pulled out of retirement/another job/a satisfying domestic life to assist his/her country/a friend/a stranger
* despite herculean efforts, it threatens to destroy him/her
* at the last minute (sometimes, literally), s/he prevails, a better person because of this
Louann Carroll
Dec 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Meet Cono, a young man of mixed heritage, born with a genetic anomaly that allows him to perceive time slower than normal. A facial tic tells him someone is to be trusted, a twitch telegraphs friendship or subterfuge.

Born in Brazil, he witnessed his father murder his mother, a beloved woman who taught him to live free and dance. He hasn't a country, but believes that wherever his feet touch soil is where he is supposed to be.

He has few friends, but to those he has, he is fiercely loyal. His job
Kelly Murphy
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Performance Anomalies is presented as a spy novel, but it is intelligent fiction that defies categorization. On the one hand there is the swiftly moving story of Cono, the freelance spy, as he takes on a mission in Kazakhstan that soon spins wildly out of control, and on the other hand we get a series of hints, through flashbacks and/or dream sequences, of his bizarre but strangely realistic childhood, starting with surfing as an impoverished child on the beaches of Brazil. There are several oth ...more
Viviane Crystal
Nov 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
CONO is the perfect wheeler and dealer. He's a loner who's got several girls he cares for but no attachments stopping him from globe-trotting to each new, dangerous job. The story begins when he gets an early morning telephone call in Istanbul, Turkey, that a woman, Xiao Lin, is being held captive in Kazakhstan. He sets out to rescue her, only to be sucked into a business deal that will involve bidders for oil-rich Kazakhstan. Xiao Lin is kidnapped again, to make sure he doesn't back out of the ...more
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The protagonist, Cono, is a freelance spy who has a nervous system which operates about 10 times faster than the normal nervous system. Thus the title "Performance Anomalies". Cono is an incredible anomaly who I would nominate to be the next new X-Man... I'd also nominate this incredible story to be made into a movie.

Cono is called in to action to rescue a lover being held captive by a brutal, tyrannical Chinese agent, and is being used as a political pawn in an attempt to manipulate and gain c
Stefanie Nicholas
DISCLOSURE: I was given a copy of this novel by Victor Robert Lee in exchange for an honest review. :)

This book needs to be a movie. That's all I could think while reading it, from start to finish. I'll tell you right now, I don't usually read spy or thriller style novels, but after reading this I think I might need to look into reading more of them. The characters in this book are a masterpiece.

Cono breaks the mould of every sort of stereotypical spy hero. He manages to be simultaneously a cut
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My cousin got this book from a Goodreads give-out, and she gave it to me. I'm in computer science (mostly php), and she thought "Performance Anomalies" might have a computer meaning, which it turns out it does, but in the story the term performance anomalies means the strange and special abilities that this spy Cono has. These abilities (and some related weaknesses) come from a different kind of code than what I deal with-- meaning genetic code. Cono has some genetic differences from other human ...more
Henk-Jan van der Klis
Jul 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
In Performance Anomalies Cono, a James Bond type, independent brave young man, has some remarkable traits. A polyglot, world citizen with an accelerated nervous system, by which he can see and react quicker than his opponents. That serves him in all kinds of near-deadly confrontations while out on a mission in Kazakhstan. An enormous country, rich in natural resources such as oil, uranium. Kazakhstan has the attention from both Russians, Americans, Chinese, radical muslim groups and adventure se ...more
Lynn Demsky
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, suspense
"Performance Anomalies" was a very interesting read! Normally I read mysteries, cozy mysteries, a few suspense romance novels but Spy books just has never been my cup of tea. I did win this book and it really was good.
Cono, the main character has a gifted ability that helps him be great at his job --- which he chases all over the world trying to accomplish. The ending was good and not what I figured would happen. The whole book was nothing predictable making it a thoroughly enjoyable read! Would
Molly Osborne
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"The reader is warned that s/he must put on her/his mental running shoes." That's what a reviewer said about one of my favorite books by Richard Dawkins (non-fiction), and it goes the same for this novel. The main character, a spy called Cono, has a complicated history that is revisited at various points in the story, and his time being studied by the scientists and doctors at a university gives a look into genetics and neuroscience. Then comes the whole Kazakhstan & China & jihadis & ...more
P. Johansson
Oct 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The story involves Cono, a spy who's an orphan from Brazil and has a neurological condition that makes him view the world like he's watching it through one of those high speed video cameras, causing everything to appear slowed down, like the way they shot the movie Inception. Very interesting set-up, just wish the author had shown us more abilities that come with that neurological condition. Cono is tough and it takes a while to like him; for me, it was the same way at the beginning with Walt in ...more
Erin Pallott
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received this book thanks to a FirstReads giveaway, I'm thankful for the quick response and the book reached me within a few days.

Cono is a young man who is a freelance spy, he offers his skills to all kinds of organisations. He has a troubled heritage and he is gifted (or cursed) with an advanced neurological system. He travels to Kazakhstan after a call to rescue the beautiful Xiao Li. In doing this, Cono is sucked into bigger matters. There are plenty of people who want him dead and there i
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I must begin by saying that 'Performance Anomalies' is a finely crafted book. Detective or Special Agent novels are not generally my cup of tea but this book surely has my appreciation.
The story revolves around the protagonist Cono, and spans through time and countries. The plot unfolds at a brisk rate initially but picks up speed soon and the author takes care not to leave too many loose ends, it surely has the ability to bind the reader. The language is also not too vocabulary-intensive.
By the
Toni Osborne
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
This debut novel is definitely a literary cloak and dagger thriller and I hope it is just the start of a captivating series. The story is fast paced and very intriguing, I found it a bit hard to get into at first but within a few chapters I had grasped the style and I had a feeling the author would expand on the pertinent details in the following paragraphs. Elegantly written this spy novel introduces Cono a protagonist who can run with the best. This young man of mixed heritage is blessed with ...more
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Performance Anomalies! This is another book that I received as a giveaway, especially for India. Thank you, Victor Robert Lee. It is indeed proud to see the autograph of author on a book that touches all events on the timeline of Cono. It was a grand welcome to Cono’s World. Everything from his childhood, his adolescence, his anomalies, and now when he is fully a man has been inked very interestingly. Characters (Cono, Xiao Li, Dimira, Timur Betov, Katerina, Mukhtar, Tamaris, Azmat, Zheng, Nurbe ...more
Alain Burrese
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
“Performance Anomalies” by Victor Robert Lee was and interesting and enjoyable read. A great first novel. Lee has created a character named Cono, that has a past as unique as his vamped up neurological system. (Something that is both good and bad with the character.) Cono is not American Pie good, nor is he dastardly evil. He's somewhere in the confusing quagmire of life. Good? Bad? Indifferent? Does it just depend?

Cono is a character that is hard to figure out at times, but maybe that is becau
M. Jenkins
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This novel made me think about so many different things. Genetics and whether the genetic differences between humans are significant. What it would really be like to grow up as a total orphan, getting by in the wild. The exotic and corrupt country of Kazakhstan (which I never thought about visiting but now I do, and Istanbul too). What it would be like to have the mental and physical high-speed processing that the hero "Cono" has. How to decide who to help in your life. What is friendship. And a ...more
Betsy Hover
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-need-to-read
I was delighted to receive this book from Goodreads Giveaways!

The author, "Victor Robert Lee", creates a story line about Cono, a young man of mixed heritage, born with a genetic mutation, which translates to having the gift of a hyper-fast neurological system. His job is that of espionage, with a race across nations brings Cono to Kazakhstan, a country we learn is at the center of Chinese, American, and Western Europe's hunger for oil and uranium.

This book is a fast-paced Thriller with lots of
Steve Rosen
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. Takes you to a different world, and into a very different mind-- of the spy character Cono. One of a kind. Makes me think of the Go-playing hero Nicholai Hel in Shibumi.
Susan Beamon
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Interesting, exciting, strange. Three things you can say are true about this first in a series thriller. An independent operator, who has more money than he will ever need because of a computer adaptation of a genetic difference of his own nervous system, bounces around the world playing at being a covert agent until he runs into the reality of the world. When games turn into real pain for real people that he knows, things change. It was a wild ride.
Feb 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Performance Anomalies is about Cono, a man without any ties or citizenship to any country. The only thing that makes him special is is ability to see motion quicker than a normal person could see. His neurological system is wired to see movement and not still object. This gives him the ability to react quicker to his situations. However his ability required him to go into a deep sleep to be functional.

Cono received a call out of the blue from Xiao Li, his ex-lover, in Kazakhstan. Instead of call
Omstavan Samant
Oct 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great book! Doesn't seem like it came from a debutant author. The plot is excellent, and very unpredictable. As mentioned, Cono(the protagonist) is betrayed by people whom he believed to be his friends. Cono has the superpowers of superfast reflexes, which we may think of as a gift, but after the reading the novel, you will seriously doubt it. The author has made use of betrayal, I would say, in the best way possible. It has many beautiful and original quotes like: "A kite only flies if it’s tet ...more
Lexie Miller
Apr 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Performance Anomalies is a thrilling debut novel by Victor Robert Lee. Plunged into Almaty, Kazakhstan this twisted plot of love, friendship, and betrayal takes the reader for a thrilling roller coaster journey to see who you and the main character, Cono can really trust. A very surprising ending that shows the good guys can't always win, but it could have been a little stronger.

Cono and Lee's book have the potential to be made into a series that will be sure to grab the attention of any special
Jul 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller, my-shelf, 2013
A memorable start for a first novel and what can easily become an espionage thriller series. This book is not something I typically enjoy, but for the right kind of (niche) reader, it can easily be a hit.

* * * * *

I'd like to thank Lindsey James from Perimeter Six Press for sending me a copy to enjoy.

* * * * *

Review moved to
Marta Gomez
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
A friend gave me this for summer vacation-- for action, adventure, and exotic places. It was action-packed, but it was also packed with ideas and inspirations. What a weird "spy novel". The main character, Cono, is weird like the book, but I'm still thinking about him. His brain is a bit loco, but mostly in a good way, reacting to the world in a way no one else can. In the book the supposed reason is his strange genetical background, but I think it may be because of his early life in South Ameri ...more
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Well after reading Performance Anomalies I'd have to say that Victor Robert Lee has created an interesting new male lead in the spy genre with his Cono character. Cono is gifted with lighting fast processing skills & reflexes which he uses to help out various international interests. You can't help but feel for Cono & his drifting life style. But I also found myself disliking him too...he seems to flit through life without laws. He is an interesting blend of personalities. I look forward ...more
wow. I really liked the book a lot..mainly because of cono. he is a superhero. "A friend in need is a friend indeed.".. and i guess cono aptly justifies this above mentioned line.. he can do whatever, go anywhere and do anything to save his friends. well i somehow wanted cono to honor Xiao Li by accepting his son.. but at last i realized cono did the right thing..after all there was no proof and he is such an independent soul..anyways this book was wonderfully written.. and thank you Victor Robe ...more
Ella Brown
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A wonderfully different kind of novel. For a spy story, it has an unusual degree of sexual tension, which added a lot. I identified with Dimira, the school teacher, even though she is from far-away Kazakhstan and has had a much rougher life than me. A powerful and moving tale that went by too fast. I just wish that one particular character had lived.
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
I won this book as part of Goodreads' First Reads program.

On the outside, this book should have appealed to me more. It is short, fast paced, lots of action, some twists and turns, and had a James Bond-esque protagonist. But I just had a hard time sitting down to read it. What should have taken me 2 days lasted almost a week. The main problem was Cono just didn't resonate with me. If James Bond was able to have a child with one of his super villains, that kid would be Cono, sexually charged with
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Victor Robert Lee writes on the Asia-Pacific region and is the author of the espionage novel Performance Anomalies, described by The Japan Times as “a thoroughly original work of fiction” and by Singapore's Best of Talking Books as "un-put-down-able." His recent field reporting from the South China Sea and East China Sea can be found in The Diplomat and elsewhere. His reporting has been cited by T ...more
“If it’s not one god it’s another. Allah or oil. Jesus or Jewels. Lenin or lust.” 15 likes
“The people need a strong leader. They feel insecure if they don’t know who to fear. Isn’t that why god was invented?” 13 likes
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