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State Machine

(Rachel Peng #3)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  314 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Nearly a year has passed since the Office of Adaptive and Complementary Enhancement Technologies went public. Agent Rachel Peng has adapted to her new life as the cyborg liaison to the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police, but for Peng and her team, murder is usually just the beginning. This time, the body is found in the unlikeliest of places, and the race to recover a sto ...more
Kindle Edition, 361 pages
Published May 6th 2015
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May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
State Machine is the third book of the Rachel Peng series, and K.B. Spangler’s fourth book set in the same world as her webcomic, A Girl and Her Fed. I highly recommend any and all of her work.* I especially recommend reading this series in order, for though Spangler does do small, narratively appropriate summaries in each book, you’ll have an unnecessarily long time of catching up if you start with State Machine. Also, you’d be missing two excellent books. And if webcomics aren’t your thing: do ...more
Jon Spriggs
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've been a fan of the AGAHF world for a few years now, and the Rachel Peng series of books just re-enforces how good the author is, and this book is no exception.

Rachel is a member of a government department called OACET - the office of adaptive and complementary technologies... or Cyborgs for short. Five and a bit years ago they were recruited to work on an intelligence project to network up-and-coming members of various government departments, but it went wrong, and they spent years trying to
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love A Girl and her Fed, and I really enjoy these novels giving me new characters in that world to love.
Niall Teasdale
I have to admit that this one had me well confused until I read some of 'A Girl and Her Fed,' Spangler's web-comic series and figured out that there's a load of 'magic' in the universe she's created.

There's been a murder at the White House (and for once, it's not POTUS responsible for it), and Rachel Peng and her team are called in to help. Queue political intrigue. Except the murderer is caught pretty quickly and the story swings around a lot, appearing to go entirely off-track for chapters. Ha
Tony Hisgett
Mar 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Before I start I should say that I really like these books, Rachel is one of my favourite heroines and I will definitely be reading the next book.
However, it is really strange, because although as a whole I enjoyed the book there were so many things that I didn’t like. The long-winded explanations and over detailed descriptions that slow down the story. The introspective dialogue that seemed to go around in circles and yet another unsatisfying ending.

There were also several other minor things t
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Words alone are not enough to describe just how much I have come to love this book series.

Once again in this book Rachel Peng and OACET are on the case. A case that probably didn't need to involve them at all. Nevertheless an unusual crime calls to their attention leading to a strange artifact and a stranger mystery.

Added to that are political struggles in Washington DC, power struggles behind the scenes, and a long set up game between OACET and Hanlon. Both of whom want the other gone with a pa
May 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
There is a story in there, highlighted by a terrific car chase, but the socio-political debates, ethico-technological speculations, and descriptions of OACET's structure and spirit has pretty much buried it in exposition. The first volume in the series is great, but the author has focused more and more in the sequels on worldbuilding, and that's really thinned out the plots. Will I try another? Maybe...

Takeaway line: "The look she gave him would have frozen whole chickens."
Charles Knox
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent read, in the world of "A Girl and Her Fed". I really enjoy these adventures and can't wait for the next book.
Aug 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Can't wait for the rest of the story!
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Some moral dilemmas

Rachel comes up against some moral problems, and has to think through who she wants to be, and why. Also, Santino shows that he’s actually from Caltech (thank you for spelling it right!) by doing simple things the hardest possible way. I’m looking forward to finding out what Hope found in Greece in the next book!
Allison Henle
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I didn't like this one as much as the previous two: 3.5 stars, but I'll round up to 4 for the ratings average. The pacing on this one is actually better, but some of the recurring characters have had weird personality overhauls and I don't buy it. (In defense of the author, other people within the book do comment on how these people have changed...)
Shane Andrews
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic piece of work by one fantastic author.

An excelent and fascinating continuation of the series, complex, thoughtful, and fun as hell. I've reread this piece three times and counting!
D.F. Haley
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it
A good story, but lacked the innovation of the first two books. Difficult to maintain such a high standard. Disappointed with the villain and found the "big reveal" we have been expecting for two books now to be an anti-climactic event. Still, looking forward to another novel in the series.
Mar 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shayla Gibson
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is more of an intermediary book then one on it’s own. It’s all hints and character development and things that aren’t being said. I still love it but it doesn’t stand on its own.
When someone gets killed in the White House archives and something is stolen, the secret service bring Rachel and her team into the case. They figure out that the object that has been taken is part of an ancient Greek computing device, the Antikythera mechanism (which is real by the way!) They catch the woman w
Wetdryvac Wetdryvac
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
May 12, 2015 rated it liked it
This had a great setup but not as interesting/satisfying a follow-through for the mystery. Good exploration of the main character getting into some ethically questionable gray areas, though.
Eileen Young
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: not-romance, lgbt
I continue to really enjoy this series, but this felt very much tied to the Hope novel coming out shortly afterwards and less like a standalone than the other novels in the series.
rated it it was amazing
Oct 09, 2018
Eagle Archambeault
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Aug 03, 2018
Sigurd Hovden
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Feb 21, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2017
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May 13, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Feb 27, 2016
Carly Johnstone
rated it it was amazing
May 15, 2015
rated it really liked it
Sep 07, 2015
rated it it was amazing
May 02, 2016
Arnand Pillay
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Jan 03, 2018
Kari Chapman
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Nov 14, 2015
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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)
  • Maker Space (Rachel Peng, #2)
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