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Scardown (Jenny Casey #2)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  821 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
The year is 2062, and after years on the run, Jenny Casey is back in the Canadian armed forces. Those who were once her enemies are now her allies, and at fifty, she’s been handpicked for the most important mission of her life–a mission for which her artificially reconstructed body is perfectly suited. With the earth capable of sustaining life for just another century, Jen ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 28th 2005 by Spectra
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Megan Baxter
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In this case, I think it really worked to go through Hammered and then Scardown in short order. In my first review, I said I thought that the pacing was slightly odd in the first book, in that there isn't really a major denouement. (Or maybe it didn't feel like a major denouement because I already knew it from the third book. Also possible.) I liked what the book was trying to do, but wasn't sure what I'd have made of it had I not known where the books were going. And if that isn't the most conv ...more
this may be the worst case of middle-book-itis ever. the twisty loose ends of plot from the first book collapse into a hot mess that's occasionally confusing to follow, and the unusual sex triangle gets a little silly. still, by the end, the plot snaps back to tightrope tautness, and someone's gotta save the world, whether or not it deserves it.

as a random aside, wtf is up with these covers? this buxom white chick in a wardrobe malfunction from sgt pepper is NOT the heroine of this book.
George Harris
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the sequel to _Hammered_, Elizabeth Bear's debut, which I read too many years ago. Unfortunately, it's more a sequel the way _The Two Towers_ is a sequel to _The Fellowship of the Ring_, rather than the way _Twenty Years After_ is a sequel to _The Three Musketeers_, so it took me a little while to pick up all the threads. Nevertheless, an enjoyable trilogy (I'm not gonna wait as long before reading _Worldwired_). The world's on the brink of ecological collapse and the discovery of alien ...more
Feb 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
This was Elizabeth Bear's debut series? Really? As one of the reviewers said of the first book, "A glorious hybrid: hard science, dystopian geopolitics, and a wide-eyed sense of wonder seamlessly blended into a single book. I hate this woman. She makes the rest of us look like amateurs." (Peter Watts, on Hammered) I assure you, the sentiment applies to the second book as well (and bids good to continue in the third, which I just started.) I do kind of wonder if all three books weren't written at ...more
Tamora Pierce
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf, adult
Jenny Casey has been augmented and upgraded to pilot a starship made with alien technology in this second book in the series. Her emnities, friendships, and affairs from the last books have changed. Her family has expanded to include her lover Gabe, his daughters, and his former (?) lover Elspeth. Jenny's also discovered that her adaptations have allowed her sentient AI, based on Richard Feynman, to expand his skills, his base of operations, his knowledge, and his power, just at a time when Beij ...more
Dec 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I'm really enjoying the Jenny Casey series. This one was, like the first, a very quick read. Have to give the author credit -- she is not afraid to let good characters die. The death toll is high in this book. There is no lack of action and excitement.

I love the AI guys -- Richard and Alan -- and the concept of living star ships. Richard is a great character. He seems a good morale compass.

I am looking forward to obtaining and reading the next book!
Oct 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fluff
It took me two tries to get into this. It had been a while since I read Hammered, and Scardown starts up exactly where Hammered left off. But once I was in a suitably sci-fi mood, I ran with it.

Excellent pacing and enough plot twists that I didn't know what was coming next. I'm hoping the third installment will show up for Christmas.
Mar 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Scardown takes off pretty much the moment Hammered ended. Jenny Casey has agreed to go back to Canada, have some pilot training and have her "wet-ware" up-graded with "new nanites", or a new version of nanites. This is supposed to take care of her increasing pain, her increasing neurological symptoms, and more. Thus the name Scardown. Down with the scars!

With the return of many of the characters from the last novel, Jenny and Gabriel begin a complicated relationship, Elspeth is still in the pict
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf, military, best-of-2014
Scardown picks up right where Hammered lets off, and does a wonderful job of ramping up the action. New characters are drawn into the web, new plot threads gain prominence, new complications threaten our main characters.

The almost-love-triangle is a bit strange, yes. But it's working?

I finally realized that Bear has been writing Jenny's scenes in first person and everyone else's in third. It's an interesting device, and one that could be annoying. But I think it works to give her voice prominenc
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like sci-fi that's diverse in the best way
Recommended to Lotta by: Ed
I'm not going to write much about the plot, which is basically a continuation of the first book that then goes on in book three. It's nicely paced and has changing points of view.

What I particularly like is the diversity of the characters (and how this works so well for the story without seeming contrived), and that they are all three-dimensional. Even the "villains" are allowed to be complete people with human motivations, and the characters are of many different skin colours, ethnicities, back
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I'm still getting used to the idea that Canada is actually a super power in these books, or at least as close to one as I've ever read. I'd definitely label this series as science fiction but it's very character driven and different in so many respects to most other science fiction I've read. The hero's of the story are both older (40's and 50's) or younger (teens). There's not a lot in between. There's not the clichéd romance thread as you'd find in most books. In lieu of it there's a very odd ...more
Liam Proven
Sep 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
#2 of the trilogy.

I continue to be impressed by this début trilogy. It has a lot going on and while some of it does feel badly bolted-on, in the 2nd book, it actually feels like it's coming together - the most redundant-feeling plotline terminates in this book and the rest feels more cohesive for it. The protagonist does start to feel like a little bit of a Mary-Sue (if I am using that correctly) - the jaded, scarred, injured veteran has been rejuvenated and whereas that is integral to the plot
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Second in the series, this book did not disappoint either. The main character, some of her parts rebuilt, does not lose any of her irritability. (Best of both worlds! Not in pain, but still with bite!) There's not much for Jenny to do in this book; only trust former enemies, go back to a job that cost her everything, become the first interstellar pilot, and save the world. So, no pressure, then.

One thing that I definitely liked about this series as a whole was how relationships changed and grew
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
"Scardown" is an excellent continuation of the story begun in "Hammered". It starts off at a brisk pace and never lets up. While the first book was a gritty, noir-ish cyberpunk tale of crime and corruption in 2060s Hartford and Toronto, the sequel retains the same down-to-earth feeling, but expands the locations to also include a tentative human presence in space. It's amazing how seamlessly the author blends these settings, driven by some very real and very human characters. Like the predecesso ...more
Michael Christopher
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm pleased to see that modern authors can write as well or better than the old greats. In the second book of the trilogy, Elizabeth Bear takes her well-crafted story to an epic scale. Already weaving threads of noir and cyberpunk into a coherent fabric with golden-age-style science-fiction, the focus shifts as the shadowy corporate machinations surrounding the characters are replaced with the chicanery of international espionage and an arms race against other space-faring nations. Bear manages ...more
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
Jenny Casey, stuffed full of advanced nanites and hooked up to a starship run by a brilliant AI, is ready to take humanity to the stars. Or she would be, if the Chinese weren’t plotting sabotage and the Canadian team wasn’t run by sociopaths. Although Hammered got a ton of flashbacks and exposition out of the way, this is still a highly layered novel, with more planning (frankly, scheming) than action in the first half. The plethora of intriguing and nuanced characters keeps interest from flaggi ...more
A lively, fast-paced science fiction adventure with some interesting characters. There's a substantial cast and some of them get rather short-shrift (character description suggest a multi-cultural society but no one seems to actually have much of a culture, for example). I did start this series in the middle though, just through failure to register that I was reading Book 2, so it's quite possible things hang together better if you start with Book 1 and work your way through.
Jan 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Victoria by: Siri
Terrific. It took me a little while to get into this series, but where things were slow and complicated and occasionally confusing in the first volume, this book picks up and runs - in all directions, marvelously and fluidly. I'm on the fence about whether it deserves four stars or five. I still think there's a little something off about the pacing, but I love the characters and the scope of the story just keeps getting bigger and better.
Tom Britz
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book in a trilogy and it lacks no energy. There are so many things happening, a planet Earth that is dying from global warming, world wars, and finding and reverse engineering of alien starships. This second book did not lag and in fact the action seemed to ramp up, if anything. I look forward to the last book in the series.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I started to read this, and decided not to keep going. I had forgotten how much the nature of the romantic part of the plot annoyed me in the prequel. And also, a lieutenant is going to decline to acknowledge the colleague that a colonel just introduced him to, when the colonel is still standing there? Even in the Canadian military, I somehow doubt it.
TS Hottle
Jul 27, 2015 rated it liked it
First off, I really like the world Bear has created. But this book was hard to follow at some points because of the POV shifts. Jen Casey is an original and interesting character. Richard, the AI serving as the brain trust for our heroes, reminds me a little of The Doctor to the point where I could see Peter Capaldi (in a Canadian accent) voicing him in a movie.
Aug 25, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf
We're reading Undertow by this author for the next SF Book Club meeting. I started this and put it down a couple weeks ago. Decided to give it another try. It is far light on plot movement as all the necessary characters are described & put in place. Have a feeling it'll take off soon.
Krista McCracken
Aug 03, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm still really enjoying this series - Canadian content in a SF/F with strong female characters for the win. However, this book felt a bit middle-ish in it's nature and I could have benefited from a stronger standalone plot arch. Still loving the characters and the fact that the main female protagonist is middle aged, imperfect, and full of french swear words.
May 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
My favorite of the trilogy, and not just because my name got used on a throwaway character. :) The ending made me cry - I can't say more without getting spoilery.
Jonathan Lupa
Jan 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable blend of hard and soft SF. I enjoyed it slightly more than the first book, honestly.

Would easily recommend to any casual SF readers.
Sep 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Good story, a bit slower than the first book. More politics and World conflict, less action.
Jun 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Wow! LOVE this series!
Brittanie Horne
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cyborgs, aliens , global war. It's amazing.
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fab-15
This is great storytelling! Absolutely sheer fun! A wonderful story that I allowed myself to get completely lost in. As part 2 of a trilogy it left me eagerly reaching for part 3.
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Science Fiction A...: * Scardown (Jenny Casey #2) 16 27 Feb 11, 2015 09:05AM  
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What Goodreads really needs is a "currently WRITING" option for its default bookshelves...
More about Elizabeth Bear...

Other Books in the Series

Jenny Casey (3 books)
  • Hammered (Jenny Casey, #1)
  • Worldwired (Jenny Casey, #3)