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Maker Space

(Rachel Peng #2)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  389 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Conspiracies, political cover-ups, acts of terrorism… As one of the first cyborgs employed by the federal government, Agent Rachel Peng thought she had already lived through it all. Then, without warning, fourteen blocks of downtown Washington, D.C. are gone, blown apart by bombs unlike anything Rachel has ever seen. The evidence is even more troubling, with each new clue ...more
ebook, 339 pages
Published March 3rd 2014 by Smashwords (first published March 1st 2014)
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Average rating 4.28  · 
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 ·  389 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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James Jennings
It had lots of interesting ideas and exciting scenes, and I really like the main character. My main complaint is that the plotting was somewhat forced. There wasn't always a good reason for the characters to be where they were at any given time, except that's where they had to be for the story. I remember that the first novel in this series, "Digital Divide", was better in this regard.
Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Ok, but not as good as I recall the first one being, with much of the plot (and certainly the resolution thereof) being lazy and excessively coincidental (or perhaps lazily coincidental).
Niall Teasdale
The only real problem with this book is the resolution which doesn't really rely on the characters. It just pops out of nowhere and there it is.

However, the story races along and keeps you engaged with the characters. This is a book more about character development than plot. That's not a terribly bad thing since the characters are interesting.

On to book 3...
Rachel Peng is a one-of a kind speculative crime fiction protagonist that I want to see more of, and maybe you do too? She lets the author and the reader explore all kinds of complicated territory and contemporary conundrums. There's a good dose of humor to ease the journey and keep it from going all neuromancer on you, and best of all, lots of action with frequent beer and pizza breaks.
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Rachel Peng is a one of a kind and that'll keep me reading.

This entry in the series felt jumpier than its predecessor but it's still action-packed and Peng becomes more dimensional w ea page.

The next time Prng steps out I want to be along for the ride.
Tony Hisgett
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rachel is becoming one of my favourite characters, since the first book she has become more independent and forceful and is a much more ‘rounded’ individual.
The plot for this book starts with an investigation into the bombing of a Washington DC street, but this soon becomes a story into the political intrigue surrounding numerous government agencies. I really enjoyed this part of the story and this time there was a satisfactory resolution to the investigation, but how it was solved was a little
Emilious Tarr
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I like these books. For sure, this is not The Great Gatsby, but it is a good, easy read. It helps to be a fan, or at least familiar with NMs. Spangler's webcomic, A Girl and Her Fed, but the stories, work by themselves too. Its amusing to watch other reviewers try to talk around plot devices, or lament the lack of tie ins between the two, but this series is set in a time period that has not been covered by the comic, and for one, I think that adds to the enjoyment.
Rue S.
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is not a real review, just an opinion: I disagree EMPHATICALLY with all complaints about the ending! Good reads had me prepared to be disappointed about how the pieces came together but I found this super satisfyingly realistic and "well that happened" in a way I enjoy reading.
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some cogent thoughts about terrorism

This was an interesting look at the implications of DIY movements on terrorism, but also at the politics behind it. Also really nice to see Rachel moving toward accepting herself more.
Mike W.
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An exciting and suspenseful scifi/police mystery. I really enjoy KB's characters, pacing, and world building. This is my third book of hers, and I'm hooked.
Steven Erickson
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Maker Space picks up pretty quickly in the universe of ‘A Girl and Her Fed’ as well as Digital Divide. Digital Divide is the first of Spangler’s books in the series and takes care of the majority of world building necessary to understand the intricacies of her universe.

Allow me to sum up:

Essentially the United States Government decided to input chips in to people’s heads that allowed them to interact with machines. ANY machine that uses electronic processing –from cell phones to power stations
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I do so love Spangler's work. She's smart, sassy, and fun without sacrificing character growth and distinction. This is the second book in the series and it just leaves me salivating for more. Spangler is one of those authors who I dearly wish I could pay to write a book every three months and do nothing else.

Maker Space is really different from Digital Divide. And I think that difference really helped the book rather than hindered it. Rachel, the main character, isn't suited to the murder-a-wee
May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Rachel Peng is a Chinese-American Federal Agent thrown into an investigation into a terrorist bombing. So far, so realistic -- and it is; this a reality just a jump to the left. But Rachel is not only a vet and a lesbian but a cyborg too: the product of an experiment run by the US government that went off the rails before it jumped back on. Here she is with that chip in her head that connects her inseparably to information technology systems and her little department of cyborgs (aka OACET, Offic ...more
Shayla Gibson
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone with a sense of humor and a love of science fiction.
I've long enjoyed KB Spangler's webcomic (A Girl and Her Fed) so these books based on characters from the comic seemed like a shoe-in for enjoyment. And they are! Rachel Peng is not a major character in the webcomic, so it was nice get to meet new characters, though my true loyalty will always lie with Hope and Speedy. Yeah, Speedy, not Sparky. If you read the comic, you'll know who the really dangerous ones are. If you haven't read the comic, go do so! What're you waiting for? It's easily avail ...more
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Like its predecessor, "Digital Divide", "Maker Space" is a tight, thought-provoking thriller with a strong female protagonist and a diverse cast. What makes the Rachel Peng novels truly exceptional reads is Spangler's ability to create a truly immersive world. She blends existing technology with the plausible seamlessly; Spangler clearly does impressive research for these stories. Most powerful is her use of Peng's unique senses; Peng can "see" emotional patterns due to her cybernetic implant. S ...more
Jean Johnson
Mar 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
MAKER SPACE is Spangler's 3rd book about cyborgs and more. It is more serious than the previous Rachel Peng novel, DIGITAL DIVIDE (and naturally more serious than the Josh Glassman novel, THE RUSSIANS CAME KNOCKING, but then, that's Josh for you). It still has humor, wit, and humanity laced throughout the story, but this is a much more serious tale.

How serious? Seven bombs destroy fourteen blocks of Washington D.C. tourist retail space. Dozens dead, buildings destroyed, the threat of rioting in
May 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Not quite as stellar as the first Rachel Peng outing: the plot isn't as focused and keeps wandering off into side scenes and psychological crises; the banter has a few moments but is weaker sauce; there is too much explanation of the back story (one thing I loved about DIGITAL DIVIDE was the way OACET's creation and culture was slipped into the action--here it's all infodumps); all the Maker Space business seemed forced in to trumpet the movement rather than advance the story. Still, an above av ...more
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite series. I’m one of those people who reads multiple books at once, but even on my third reread I found myself putting the others aside until I finish whichever Rachel Peng book I’m on!
This is the second book in the Rachel Peng series. It starts out when a series of times explosions take out several blocks in DC. Rachel and her team are asked to join in the investigation were every clue they find seems to point back the the government, to homeland, to the military. But s
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a great follow up to the first book Digital Divide. Rachel is an easy character to remain interested and invested in but aside from her well written sense of humor and plenty of sass we also see her grow a bit as a character.

It was good to get more insight and see a discussion about how Rachel's eyes were injured and more about how she thinks and feels about it. It gave me a better sense of what happened then the first book did.

While the biggest "revelations" of the book don't happen un
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been an avid reader of A Girl and Her Fed(a webcomic and the origin of these characters) for almost 3 years. When the first Rachel Peng novel came out I had no idea how it would translate to the different medium. Successfully is the best word for it. The pacing is great. Descriptions are never superfluous or boring. The moral discussions are relevant, interesting and dynamic. I can't wait for the next one.
Liz Homsy
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written and fascinating apropos to the world we actually live in, Ms. Spangler's latest update in the saga of Rachel Peng is lively and poignant. A good, old fashioned crime novel that manages to challenge modern audiences with a new variant on the old "whodunit". Much like it's predecessor, Digital Divide, Maker Space is definitely worth a read!
Eileen Young
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: not-romance, lgbt
This book, aside from the frequent explosions, demonstration of research, and excellent representation, reminded me of what I love about making things. It's a sharp examination of the ways we're unprepared as a country for some of the new and scary technological realities we're faced with, but also of the ways people can be kind, and creative, and actually try to do good and make things better.
Kari Chapman
Nov 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Another fun Rachel Peng novel. I like seeing the characters develop from the last book to this book, most especially the Oacet agents as they start picking up their lives again. The story in the "A Girl and Her Fed" webcomic is good, but Spangler does show in these books that she can tells stories in multiple formats. Another great read.
Wetdryvac Wetdryvac
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's telling that my least favorite of this series still rocks more socks that my most favorite of most other series. Seriously, when you can come back for a reread of an entire series and not think of your least favorite, "Oh, it's that book again," But instead look forward to it? WIN.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to re-reading this again next year, too.
Mar 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The followup to Digital Divide, Maker Space continues to develop Rachel Peng and her world beautifully. It's somewhat more referential to current political events, but does so intelligently and without harping on them overmuch.
Sep 01, 2014 rated it liked it
A fun quick read, but not as good as Digital Divide. I think Spengler got too caught up in the points she wanted to make in response to the Boston bombings and forgot to let her characters get on with their stories and their lives.
Feb 11, 2015 rated it liked it
A continuation of the story in book #1. More development of the main characters, and good plot, which started of well, but I felt tailed off a bit towards the end. Looking forward to the next in the series.
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
A worthy second book. One thing I really like about both the comic and these books is that the author is surprisingly good at keeping the depiction of different political angles fairly well-balanced.
Kevin Vinokur
Aug 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pat Coleman
Apr 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I Like this series but I liked the 1st novel a little bit more than this one
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K.B. Spangler lives in North Carolina with her husband and two completely awful dogs. They live in the decaying house of a dead poet. She is the author and artist of the webcomic, "A Girl and Her Fed," and author of novels and short stories. All projects include themes of privacy, politics, technology, civil liberties, the human experience, and how the lines between these blur like the dickens.


Other books in the series

Rachel Peng (4 books)
  • Digital Divide (Rachel Peng, #1)
  • State Machine (Rachel Peng, #3)
  • Brute Force (Rachel Peng, #4)

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