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The Courier

(San Angeles #1)

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  428 ratings  ·  104 reviews
A far-future science fiction debut set in San Francisco—action adventure with a cyberpunk tone.

Kris Ballard is a motorcycle courier. A nobody. Level 2 trash in a multi-level city that stretches from San Francisco to the Mexican border, where corporations make all the rules. A runaway since the age of 14, Kris struggled to set up her life, barely scraping by, working hard t
Hardcover, 293 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by DAW
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Average rating 3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  428 ratings  ·  104 reviews

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Jan 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, scifi
Kris isn't thrilled to receive a last-minute courier job that will take her across and through the traffic of the sprawling LA megacity. And that's even before she realizes that the job has put her directly in the center of a plot involving corporate intrigue, hired thugs, and gruesome murder. It isn't long before she's using all of her courier skills to evade the killers sent to silence her.

I found The Courier's setting and synopsis utterly captivating. A gritty, near-future dystopian world of
Be prepared to suspend belief...then enjoy this romp through a futuristic city as courier Kris Ballard is sent for her last delivery of the day and witnesses a terrifying murder. Delivery incomplete, she flees the scene through the multi-leveled city, chased by many different parties, all with an interest in the package.

The Courier was fun to read, especially all of the chase scenes. I loved the concept of the futuristic city divided into different levels. I found the main character Kris quite
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
In Gerald Brandt’s The Courier: A Sand Angeles Novel a homeless, orphaned, young woman faces the chaos of a futuristic San Angles on her motor bike as a courier. The corporation rule and everything you do is at their mercy and watchful eye. When Kris is hung out to dry by a corrupted dispatcher, she discovers how truly depraved the corporations are. Rescued by Miller, a tech specialist for an underground organization fighting the corporations, they discover together that betrayals run deep.

Laz the Sailor
This was a fun story set in a dystopian future. Our gal is clever and lucky. Most of the world is out to get her. There is a lot of grit - seriously, lots of dirt and dust and decaying concrete. The bad guys have all the tech and weapons, and she's got a motorcycle with bald tires.

I'm not sure about the rest of the series yet...
Dark Faerie Tales
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A courier caught up in a conspiracy, one that just might cost her, her life.

Opening Sentence: The tires of the motorcycle chattered on the broken concrete of the road, breaking the quiet electric hum of the motor.

The Review:

Kris is courier and it pays the bills mostly, and the end of the day she isn’t that thrilled when Dispatch hands her a late delivery, especially once it becomes clear that this isn’t going to be quick or easy. But when Dispat
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

DNF at 15%

The world of THE COURIER is a future dystopian version of a combined San Francisco and Los Angeles (I think), where space is presumably at a premium, b/c people are building up instead of out.

Our MC (Kris) is a courier--she delivers packages on a motorcycle while wearing kick-ass, high tech riding gear--in this brave new world, where an informal caste system based on seven complete and separate levels of the city determines an individual's quality of life (melo
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was ok

Publisher: Berkley

Publishing Date: March 2016

ISBN: 9780756411398

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 2.2/5

Publishers Description: Kris Ballard is a motorcycle courier. A nobody. Level 2 trash in a multi-level city that stretches from San Francisco to the Mexican border—a land where corporations make all the rules. A runaway since the age of fourteen, Kris struggled to set up her life, barely scraping by, working hard to make it without anyone’s help.

Review: This was borin
Oct 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
A fun read!

The reader is on a fun ride from beginning to end with Kris and she evades the bad guys and helps the "good guys" (still up for debate in my opinion).

Kris is a fun character to follow, but you get other perspectives in the novel to which help to round out the world Kris lives in. The different perspectives help to paint the picture of a futuristic corporate America where politicians are truly puppets to forward the corporate agenda. Different countries are controlled by competing co
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Near-future thriller about a young courier who is sent on a suspicious delivery, witnesses a murder, and finds herself caught in the middle of a cut-throat corporate war. The story is simple and fast-paced, the kind that could be easily translated to film, but I found its elements to be somewhat derivative (the tiered megacity concept is one I encountered just a little more than six months ago in another new novel.) There's nothing fresh or exciting here but it might serve as an adequate beach o ...more
Darin Calhoun
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It has been awhile since I've read a cyberpunk book, but I feel Gerald Brandt's book would make William Gibson proud that the genre is in good hands. ...more
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the story, amazing how much trouble Kris gets into and manages to get out of.
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sixteen year old runaway, Kris, is a motorcycle courier in a futuristic 2140. Her region starts at San Francisco south to the Mexican border. It is a time when huge corporations make all the rules with the politicians all puppets. Kris left when she was fourteen and has been working very hard to make ends meet without help. Circumstances have her be a Level Two – a nobody, garbage to be thrown away.
She has been getting along with her quiet life. Although nothing overly exciting happens, neither
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This could probably push to a 4.5 if not for a couple issues I had with the book here and there.

When I read the description of this novel I bought it immediately and I was fairly excited to read it. The description felt sort of like an urban cyberpunk style, which the novel sort of achieves. For me though, the description felt reminiscent of a combination of something William Gibson would create and the show Dark Angel created by James Cameron. Essentially, a hi-tech dystopian action novel. Now,
Timothy Reynolds
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A dark, energetic, dystopian West Coast America where even being a simple courier can be a life-and-death struggle. Heroine Kris may have a gloomy, cynical side, but she's a hero for the age and quickly lovable in the fast-paced corporate conspiracy thriller! Can't wait to read the rest of the series! ...more
L.E. Doggett
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Been awhile since I have done this but it is more like 3.50 stars but can't do that. Good suspense, action scene details and an well thought out world. Easy to read and the suspense draws you along. Kinda of short though and Gerald does not go very deep into his characters. The plot goes along well, but even though there are twists there are few surprises.

Yet I do recommend it if you like suspenseful stories. I will be getting the next one in line.
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* YA, Science Fiction
*Rating* 3.5-4

*My Thoughts*

The Courier is the first installment in author Gerald Brand'ts near future Science Fiction trilogy called San Angeles. Brandt's protagonist is Kris Ballard, a motorcycle courier in a world where corporations run everything, but use couriers for things they don't want to send over the Net. San Angeles is actually an area that stretches from San Diego to San Francisco. There are (7) levels to the megalopolis. The higher you go
Joshua Palmatier
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is Gerald Brandt's debut novel and it's a strong showing. He's definitely someone to watch. I enjoyed this take on a near future thriller.

Premise: Kris is a courier, running packages back and forth on her motorcycle in the massive layered city of San Angeles. The population has become so dense that we've built upwards as well as outwards, and now cities have distinct layers, each level a distinct class, with few people ever seeing the sky. Kris originally lived in the lowest level, barely s
Review originally posted at Butterfly-o-Meter Books on Mar 1 2016 :

In a Flutter: Fast-paced chase!
Fluttering Thoughts:
Worldbuilding: I loved San Angeles, with its levels, and corporations having their own agents and running things! Really fun, interesting, layered – pun intended, lol! – world.
Characters: I loved Kris. She was a survivor, having lost her parents, dealing with her aunt and uncle, running away and making it on her own as she did and does. She was easy to like, I loved her attitude,
Paul Franco
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
A bike messenger in a futuristic West Coast city. . . sound familiar already? Yep. But luckily it goes off in a different direction than Dark Angel and Heinlein’s Friday. For one thing, Kris Ballard hides her girl-ness. For another, while she’s doing well, she’s not a kick-ass fighting machine; she’s winging it and barely surviving, which makes it more exciting as everyone underestimates her. So even though the premise is the same, the execution isn’t.
As one would expect, the plot centers on so
Jason Cantrell
Jun 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
The first half was good, mostly focusing on the main character running for her life as anonymous bad guys chase after her to try and retrieve the mysterious package she's carrying. Around the midpoint of the book, however, the plot started to meander. It felt like the author had focused so much on having the main character run away that he hadn't developed enough about the bad guys or why they were really after her. The "scheme" the bad guys were up to and the reason they needed their mysterious ...more
Mar 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi, novels
Interesting novel about a future where earth is ruled by corporations that are sometime at war with each others and a young woman caught in the middle of it despite of herself.
The world-building makes this look a bit like Shadowrun without the fantastical aspects.
There are more books coming in the same world.
The story deals with a courier ( Chris, 16 years old) suddenly stuck in middle of a corporate war with a bunch of corporate black Ops teams after her and the package she carries ( the plot a
Jan 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
I made it up until the protagonist decided she wasn't a 16 year old street girl who had been dealing with exploitative men on a daily basis but actually a suburbanite flibertigibit who could be reduced to a puddle by a guy taking off his shirt.

Then it went from abused history to "oh god, my friend who I've known for years at work is suddenly super rapey" and I had to actually stop reading.

Skip this one.
Rounded up from 2.5, and I might yet change my mind.

Dystopias with competent female protagonists are usually a shoo-in for me, but this one was a mixed bag. Because while Kris, the motorcycle courier who gets accidentally involved in evil corporate shenanigans of the highest order, is above-average competent for a 16-yr-old runaway, some of her feats are pretty unbelievable, because her foes are allegedly the best corporate money can buy, and she, without training, outdoes them to the point wher
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book as the back said cyberpunk, dystopia and west coast megapolis. It sounded interesting. But it didn't come together, being more of a YA'ish book that had lots of potential that is never explored.

The main character is a 16 year old orphan. I never really got to like her. She isn't all that interesting to follow. Her portion is first person, while all other action is from a third person. We are led to believe she can outwit assassins & other heavy hitters without any training
Erin (thatwritergirl)
This was a disappointment for me. The premise was good, it promised a lot of action, but ultimately The Courier fell flat for me. The main character, Kris Ballard, was sixteen but it was difficult believing she wasn't in her twenties. I think the story would've worked a lot better had she been older. Like many of the side characters mention, Kris is VERY lucky throughout the novel, almost to the point of being unbelievable. Especially since in San Angeles, everyone is tracked and hiding is virtu ...more
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars, but I can't quite go 4. I didn't expect much of this book, since I got it as part of a giveaway. But it turned out to be surprisingly readable and interesting. I really liked the world building of San Angeles itself (the satellite city setting really isn't at all developed and was kind of a throwaway). The book does require a pretty hefty suspension of disbelief, as Kris is way, way, way too lucky in avoiding way too many people chasing her. I would have liked the book better with f ...more
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-sci-fi
Really a thriller set in a near future where all of California is one big city, even built up level by level, with corporations in direct control of places and people. An orphaned courier gets a late night assignment and thereby entangled in a nascent inter-corporate war. The delivery goes awry, and she barely weaves her way alive through all the assassins, spies, sadists and corporate sociopaths that come her way. There's a YA romance subplot that makes me think this one may have been intended ...more
Jan 31, 2021 rated it liked it
Brandt, Gerald. The Courier. San Angeles No. t. DAW, 2016.
I have seen all the elements of Gerald Brandt’s The Courier in other places. The most intriguing element is the multileveled megacity of San Angeles. It is William Gibson’s Sprawl moved to the West Coast. Our spunky teenage motorcycle courier heroine is a character familiar from countless movies and young adult novels. So, too, are the corporate villains. In short, the novel is a fast-paced action adventure that owes a lot to Gibson’s Joh
Feb 21, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
DNF just after chapter two. I couldn't decide if I liked this book or not but thankfully my audiobook decided for me when it just stopped working near the end of the second chapter. While the world is very interesting and intriguing, the MC is... special. And not in a good way. She also curses literally every other word which makes it far less enjoyable to read and that's coming from someone who can have a potty mouth herself. Maybe some time in the future I'll return to this series but... right ...more
Aug 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Was okay - interesting. Story line was good - a courier is given something 'world-shaking' to carry, and everyone tries to kill her. My main complaint is Kris seems to spend a lot of time 'talking' to herself about her feelings. Some is fine, but it seems to repeat too often.

It is a bit odd that 100 years in the future, people still use 'keys' to open door locks :-)

The #2 and #3 were more strange.
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