Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Hive Construct” as Want to Read:
The Hive Construct
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Hive Construct

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  129 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Situated deep in the Sahara Desert, New Cairo is a city built on technology – from the huge, life-giving solar panels that keep it functioning in a radically changed, resource-scarce world to the artificial implants that have become the answer to all and any of mankind's medical problems.

But it is also a divided city, dominated by a handful of omnipotent corporate dynastie
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 25th 2014 by Doubleday (first published May 22nd 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Hive Construct, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Hive Construct

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  129 ratings  ·  31 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Hive Construct
Nov 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Thanks to Netgalley.

The bad first: What a damn stupid title. There's practically nothing about it that has anything to do with the story except at some far remove. With nothing but the title and the cover to go by, I expected something with alien tech, for heaven's sake.

So, with that out of the way, let's get to what this novel ACTUALLY is.

It's a heavily political techno-thriller set in New Cairo in a society filled with plentiful artificial organ replacements that reminded me as a cross between
Елена Павлова
THC promises everything a SF reader would want: computers, hackers, thrilling plot twists, exotic Egypt and more. Besides, it has won a reliable prize, right?
Wrong. While it is not a very bad book overall, it's not such a good book either.
Pluses: The canvas are vast. The plot is well planned and logical. It IS a book whose last page you would like to see.
Minuses: It is a bland book which would greatly benefit from a serious editor's work. It is painfull to read how the writer struggles to devel
Aug 24, 2015 rated it liked it

Publisher: Random House

Publishing Date: August 2015

ISBN: 9780552170383

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 2.8/5

Publisher Description: Situated deep in the Sahara Desert, New Cairo is a city built on technology—from the huge, life-giving solar panels that keep it functioning in a radically changed, resource-scarce world to the artificial implants that have become the answer to all and any of mankind’s medical problems.

Review: I really tried to like this but the characters
Aug 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, thriller
*copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review*

The Hive Construct is Alexander Maskill’s debut novel. It’s a sci-fi techno-thriller, set in a future version of Cairo. It’s got a lot to recommend it – some interesting concepts, and a compelling story – though there are some things I’d like to see explored further.

The first of these is New Cairo. Maskill does a great job of evoking a living city with relatively broad strokes. There’s a strong sense of society here, and a less strong one of place. T
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A pretty bad title for a pretty good book.

Zala is a wicked awesome hacker grrl in a fairly distant future. This type of character has become a stereotype, but I have to admit it can be kind of fun. The other two main characters in the story are a liberal (I think) corporate/political scion and a mother-and-recent-widow with a police background who finds herself being won over to the side of a rebellion. I had some trouble understanding some of the things these two characters thought and did and
Yummmmmm, cyberthriller. Not too thrilling, mind: The story meanders a bit and the characters experience an awful lot of moral/ethical angst, but it was interesting. Not an awful lot happens, the characters remain fairly bland, and the resolution feels a bit hasty, but I do quite like the world building, and I did care about the virus and whence it came. I still don't know what the hive construct is, though. ...more
Louise Armstrong
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
I didn't enjoy this book much. There were holes in the logic - there's a virus on the loose so the city plaza is described as being deserted, then a few pages later the nightclubs are packed.

It was very surface - like a computer game characters went crash bang wallop and did a bit of shouting. No thinking.

I did like that both the city officials and the rebels were shown as having some right on their side. It wasn't a clear cut goodies v baddies situation.

Aug 17, 2015 marked it as tried-but-not-for-me
took a look at this as the blurb seemed cool, but the writing didn't click with me ...more
David Agranoff
This is a really interesting modern cyberpunk-ish techno-thriller about a computer virus that crosses into body horror territory. In this future Cairo nearly every has mechanical upgrades woven into their bodies. So when A virus causes those bio-mechanical upgrades to fail the city falls into chaos and is shut off from the rest of the world. The political reality of this future city is the backbone of the story and drives the characters and plot. Our Point of view shifts but the main character i ...more
Aug 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book was a quick, fun and unexpected read. I hadn't read a science fiction book in awhile so the request to review this came at a really good time. The more technical side of science fiction isn't something that I've had a lot of luck with in the past, but I really enjoyed this one. The Hive Construct is fast-paced with plenty of action to keep you turning the pages. Zala was a great character but I loved that we got to see various viewpoints throughout - it definitely gave me a better
Liz Barnsley
The Hive Construct is a well written and engaging scifi thriller, an intriguing mix of adventure and technology set in an imaginative world of political shenanigans.

Multiple points of view but grounded by protagonist Zala, a colourful and interesting character who has been exiled due to her Father, but who returns to New Cairo upon the death of a friend with the intention of finding out what is causing the virus that is decimating the population.

I really enjoyed this it has to be said – the scie
Kathe Coleman
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set in the 22nd century New Cairo is a vast metropolis under the Sahara Desert controlled by a small number of all-powerful technological corporations in the business of providing bio-augmentations, a technology that allows a person to modify bodily functions, making them healthier intelligent and stronger. So many augmentations of body parts that people began to question the use of the body as anything other than a tool. Virus hits and those with augmentations are dying so the questions was is ...more
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For some reason, this refused to stay high on my priority list. Normally I adore political techno sci-fi, but this go round my mind refused to embrace Maskill's world.

Probably it has something to do with my health, which has been medium-poor. It's worth a reread when I'm feeling better.
Alex Rogers
May 29, 2015 rated it did not like it
I tried to like this. But not for very long.
originally posted at:

Who doesn't like a good near future, dystopian, computer tech focused kind of story? These kind of themes plays into a lot of interests of mine so when I was notified about the release of The Hive Construct earlier this year I got very excited. Furthermore the mentioning of bio augmentations really made me even more excited for the story. A year ago I finished the computer game Deus Ex Human Revolution and this made me look differentl
Jul 18, 2017 rated it liked it
I loved the idea behind this story, but found myself struggling to get through it. It felt too much like the Arab Spring meets Neuromancer meets your every day tough guy cop book.

I think this would make a better video game than it did a book - in fact, I think it'd make a fun video game if the guys behind Deux Ex got hold of it.
James Robinson
Jul 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
It sure is as badly written as you'd expect for a first novel by someone straight out of university. ...more
Nov 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-books
Actual Rating 3,5 Stars
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Scary parallels with todays political and social climate!
Sep 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, thriller
You can also find my review of The Hive Construct on my book blog

New Cairo is an underground city inside a giant crater, surrounded, like a crown, by waytowers / elevator exits. The roof of the city is covered in solar panels; an artificial sun lights the inside. Inside the city, many people are effectively cyborgs, augmented with artificial limbs and organs. Unrest is stirring: some affliction has been shutting down the augmentations, leaving people disabled, and even dead. A curfew has been pu
Graeme Shimmin
Oct 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
It’s the 22nd century. New Cairo is a city underneath the Sahara desert where people have bio-augments: artificial implants that make them healthier, more intelligent and stronger. The city is under quarantine because of a computer virus that is killing people by shutting down their bio-augments. The shuttles to the surface have been suspended and the poor areas are locked down as the virus seems more prevalent there.

Zala Urura is a computer hacker who has been on the run for years. She returns
Apr 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review was originally published on my blog on 17th August 2015. You can find it here.

When I first heard about this book, I jumped on the chance to read it because it sounded like an incredible book. And it was. I’d actually been in the middle of an extremely long and extremely frustrating reading slump where no book could hold my attention for very long and then I started reading The Hive Construct and I simply struggled to put it down. It frustrated me when I had to and it was constantly o
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very well written work. The depth of the book not only comes from the world building, it is also evident in the personality of the characters.

This book follows three characters, Zala Ulora (whom I'm secretly cheering for), Alice Amirmoez and Councillor Ryan Granier. Zala is a hacker with falsely accused charges, Alice is the wife of a rebel and Ryan is the son of the ruler of the city where everything is set in New Cairo. All three have to navigate the quagmire of violence and injustice as th
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
What a corker of a debut from Alexander Maskill - Thank you Netgalley and Random House/Transworld for the opportunity to read and review this award winning book!

This is a fantastic sci-fi thriller set in a futuristic Africa. The descriptions of the city and people are vivid and imaginative and the technological advances are fabulous. This all acts as a great backdrop to the real story of political unrest in a two tier society; the politicians and big businesses protecting the status quo and the
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a sci-fi story of a hacker in a cyberpunk world of New Cairo. It's set around some events unfolding around a virus - that's spreading across the city and causing panic and chaos.

Into this mix comes Zala - a hacker who was effectively exiled 8 years previously for some crimes she didn't commit, and who thinks she might be able to help - and hopefully get those crimes expunged from her record as a result.

I quite enjoyed it - it's an excellent debut novel, and I hope to see more by this aut
Dec 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Started strong, ended weaker - 2.5 rounded up to 3. I got sucked in by New Cairo from the blurb on the back and while the descriptions of the settings were strong, the characterization was all over the place. Despite the set up, the twist was not a surprise. The writer shows a lot of promise and the concepts were intriguing.
Polly Krize
Aug 20, 2015 rated it liked it
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book started strongly with the promise of a good dystopian thriller. Unfortunately, the combination of slow pace and bland characterization somehow missed the point for me. Had potential, perhaps a bit of strong editing would have helped. Not sure what the Hive Construct is, either. Only my opinion.
Jan 05, 2015 rated it liked it
was an interesting book but it didn't really get going till nearly the end then I was on the edge of my seat. I had a hard time following who was who and it got a little confusing in parts.
But all in all I'm glad I persevered with it.
Lilla Smee
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Could have done with a little less clunky, perfunctory and obvious philosophising about what it means to be human in a world with rapidly developing AI (tacked on near the end), but overall pretty satisfying.
Sean Martin
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
SA Book & Challen...: The Hive Construct (No Spoilers) 3 7 Dec 10, 2014 11:19AM  
SA Book & Challen...: The Hive Construct (Spoilers) 2 6 Nov 21, 2014 10:50AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World
  • SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome
  • The Book of Joan
  • Kino
  • House of Salt and Sorrows
  • Fire (Graceling Realm, #2)
  • Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)
  • House of Suns
  • King's Blood Four (Land of the True Game, #1)
  • Manhunt: How I Brought Serial Killer Levi Bellfield to Justice
  • The Fermi Paradox is Our Business Model
  • Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? And other Questions about Dead Bodies
  • Babel-17
  • Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake, #2)
  • Nexus Uprising (Mass Effect: Andromeda, #1)
  • Vanishing Fleece: Adventures in American Wool
  • Think Smart: A Neuroscientist's Prescription for Improving Your Brain's Performance
  • Dragon Teeth
See similar books…
Alexander Maskill grew up in East Sussex. He has just completed a Politics degree at the University of Leicester and hopes to follow this with an MSc in Computer Science. The Hive Construct is his first novel and won the 2013 Terry Pratchett Prize.

Related Articles

If you're a fan of the mystery and thriller genre and young adult books, recent months have brought a bevy of great reads to your shelves! We...
135 likes · 21 comments