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They look like us. Act like us. But they are not human. Created to perform the menial tasks real humans detest, Synths were designed with only a basic intelligence and minimal emotional response. It stands to reason that they have no rights. Like any technology, they are designed for human convenience. Disposable.

In the city of New Lyons, Detective Jason Campbell is investigating a vicious crime: a female body found mutilated and left in the streets. Once the victim is identified as a Synth, the crime is designated no more than the destruction of property, and Campbell is pulled from the case.

But when a mysterious stranger approaches Campbell and asks him to continue his investigation in secret, Campbell is dragged into a dark world of unimaginable corruption. One that leaves him questioning the true nature of humanity.

And what he discovers is only the beginning . . .

178 pages, ebook

First published January 1, 2018

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J.T. Nicholas

7 books190 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 40 reviews
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,040 reviews1,501 followers
December 31, 2017
SINthetic by J.T. Nicholas is the first book in the New Lyons Sequence series. The story within is a bit of a science fiction read mixed with a detective mystery. Set in a futuristic world with things as self driving cars and synthetic humans we meet Detective Jason Campbell as he arrives upon the brutal murder of a woman.

Upon inspection of the crime scene it becomes obvious to Jason and the medical examiner that the woman is a synthetic and viewed as nothing more than trash no matter how she died. But this view is not one that Jason shares with the rest of the world and even though it may cost him his job he is determined to investigate what seems to be a series of murders of synthetics.

For as short as this book was I found that it did a good job setting the scene for what is to come in this new series. I immediately felt pulled into this futuristic society and on the case of finding out who is behind the murders of these women. The book brings in the question of just what makes a human and questions the way society is treating the synthetics as property when it is obvious to the main character that they have feelings and emotions the same as any human would.

The main character, Jason, felt a little stiff to follow in the beginning but as the story is set and I began to learn he had a bit of mystery in his past to uncover I found myself liking him a bit more and more. There was plenty of action in the first installment in the series too to keep up the interest all the while building the world and story so it didn’t really feel as if it were too short when said and done. I’ll definitely be interested in seeing where the story heads next after the opening left for more to come at the end of the first book.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....
Profile Image for Diana.
1,702 reviews214 followers
February 3, 2018
The book was going great and I was really hooked onto the idea of the sinthetics. But once he confesses his personal crime and they storm inside the facility... I was out. It was like I'd lost the connection with the book.
Profile Image for Sarah.
530 reviews35 followers
November 20, 2017
Despite how interesting this book sounds, I think it just wasn't my taste. The story itself is intriguing, and I liked the idea of a sci-fi/futuristic crime novel, but there were too many things that bothered me that I couldn't get over.

The biggest factor was the writing itself. There was so much telling instead of showing, and I got tired of listening to the main character ramble on about how things were. Give me a proper setting, give me strong action scenes, give me believable world building, give me anything but unimportant musings from an arrogant protagonist whose rambling thoughts go on for pages.

There's a scene where the main character is at a boxing ring fighting another person, and the scene gets almost an entire chapter of dedication to it. The scene doesn't advance the plot, doesn't show us more about the main character. It just exists to take up space, and within a few pages I skipped it...which is admittedly what I started doing with the rest of the book. I skimmed the action scenes because I was bored with them and their outcome. The ending confused me a bit, because it was a total change of direction in the main character. Throughout the book, he continued to say how he was not willing to do something, how it didn't interest him, how it wasn't fair that he was chosen, but the book ends with him following that out anyway.

I can definitely see this book being favored by a certain demographic. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm a part of that.
Profile Image for Julayn Adams.
Author 3 books128 followers
February 10, 2018
3.5 Stars

 Honestly, this book had me all over the shop as to whether I enjoyed it or not. At first, I was confused. Either I missed it or it just wasn't there, but I couldn't figure out whether the main character was a man or woman for too long at the beginning. I didn't particularly care either way, I just needed to imagine this character in my mind's eye, and I was afraid to commit to anything in fear of having to change what they looked like. It was a bit frustrating. Other than that, I was pulled into the story pretty quickly. The dialogue was realistic as was the inner voice, and Mr. Nicholas has an amazing gift of description. With that being said, I felt like there was too much description at times. This book was pretty full of action, and the over use of place description and inner thought tended to drag some scenes along needlessly. But again, nothing to turn me off from the book. I just found myself skimming from time to time.

My real problem with this book was the massive plot hole of humanity and synthetics. Had the author made these beings electronic, rather than live beings, I would have bought the enslavement and less than human treatment. Heck, he could have made it an alternate world and I would have been okay with it. As is, I found it to be very unrealistic, and since it's the basis of the entire story, a major problem. We are a society of people generally well informed about genetics. Couple that with the fact that we wouldn't allow people to treat animals the way these synthetics are treated, it just wouldn't happen. Had the author gone with a computer-based humanoid "synthetic" that evolved to have a conscious, I would have gladly gone along with that and enjoyed the story immensely. 

But, I admit, I'm a stickler for realism, even in fantasy. I want to believe a story; I need to. 

Don't get me wrong, this was a good book! The action scenes were intense, the dialogue and description were superb, and the protagonist's inner voice was fabulous. J.T. Nicholas is a talented writer, and I'd be happy to review more of his books. I just hope he takes more care in tidying up those loose plot ends. I would have loved to have rated Synthetic a lot higher. As an writer, I think Mr. Nicholas deserves it. But as a story, it just doesn't. So, I'll average the two scores. 4 wings for writing + 3 wings for the story = 3.5 stars

www.julaynadams.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Silvia Kay.
137 reviews21 followers
January 23, 2018
If you are looking for a thought-provoking sci-fi novel that also just happens to be action-packed and virtually unputdownable, you have come to the right place. Granted, SINthetic is a relatively short book, and yet its 170 or so pages contained all that was needed to make this novel a success. Campbell, our main character, is a cop who lives in a society that is at first glance almost utopic: there is no hunger in the world and no one has to do menial jobs, there is a guaranteed minimum stipend, no one is obliged to do housework and crime is at an all-time low. However, there is uneasiness hovering on the edges of Campbell's consciousness, and that unneasiness is very quickly turned into outright revulsion as Campbell realizes just how shaky the foundations of his perfect little world are. Think slave labor, but with articially created humans called "synthetics".

A word of warning: this book is incredibly disturbing. It contains bucketloads of graphic content, from sexual violence to outright torture (in Campbell's world, it is perfectly legal to rape and even kill synthetics; that is why the crime rates are so low - only crimes committed on "real" humans are punishable by law). That said, the author doesn't dwell on the graphic imagery more than is necessary, which is definitely something I appreciated. I am not a fan of emotionally exploitative books.

This book made me think about how our society works and how much we are willing to overlook just to preserve a semblance of peace and quiet in our daily lives. Could we stoop so low as to create millions of artificial people who look and feel like us but are automatically delegated to a second class citizen category? And that's being generous, for most characters in SINthetic go so far as to liken the synths to "toasters". Would you hurry to a broken toaster's defense if you saw it being dismantled in the street? Most people in Campbell's world wouldn't, but, luckily, Campbell isn't one of them.

This is the first book in a series and I am dying to read book two. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Profile Image for Ruthsic.
1,763 reviews12 followers
January 21, 2018
Warnings: graphic description of murder; torture, violence, slavery, rape

SINthetic brings us a dystopian world where genetically modified and synthetically mass-produced humans, also known as Synthetics are treated like a renewable resource, and stripped of personhood and rights. In most of the world and New Lyons (built over New Orleans), where this story takes place, Synthetics are basically legal slaves in a society that doesn't consider them even human. They are treated worse than animals, more like things, despite them looking like humans, having the same make-up as humans. I mean, it is not a stretch of the imagination when you think about it - humanity has had a dark dark history. So, in this slave-world that benefits the 'real' humans and make a utopia for the latter, a police detective who sympathizes with Synthetics comes across a murder case where a Synthetic has been killed.

The stakes for the murder case are that Detective Campbell has to do the investigation on the down low. Sympathizing with Synthetics is looked down upon in this society and at first, he wants to keep his job and hide his own past. He is 'aided' by a Silas, a mysterious Synthetic who knows a lot but it cagey about stuff. His partner on the case is a Gang violence department detective, Hernandez, who while a fierce morally upstanding woman, is like most of the society, blind to the plight of the Synthetics. Add in some corporate corruption, conspiracies and a series of murders, you have a plot that is engaging and convoluted.

While taking us deeper and deeper into the mystery, it also constantly envisions and warns us of a future built on the concept of 'otherness' that drives a lot of conflict in the contemporary world. That corporate greed, and capitalism could someday make us forget what it is to be human. It again and again drives home the point of what such an extreme slavery-built society would look like. The fact that the Synthetics are, for the most part, limited in choices and options due to conditioning and lack of any other purpose than to serve is heart-breaking. More heart-breaking is the fact that through the eyes of Campbell, we see how his fellow 'humans' treat the Synthetics and he can't even help for the most part because laws protect them. At first, I thought he was an unusual choice of protagonist for such a story - aren't most stories about revolution better to be from the side of the oppressed - but then towards the ending, it made sense why he, though in a fairly privileged position, was still a good narrative choice.

The book shines in the plot, but the writing has yet to match up to it. It feels superfluous at times, like devoting an entire chapter to a pissing match (and literal bout) between two police officers (which I skimmed because so not interested). Then there are times when Campbell describes his whole data mining process - like, I like the attention to detail when it came to the world-building in this book, but that went above and beyond what was required to 'boring and waste of my time' category. Seriously, there are VERY detailed fight scenes too, which rob the writing of the fluidity and pace that these scenes require and relegate them to dragging along while you wait for this supposedly intense life-or-death combat to end. Like, if I could sum up the problems in one word it would be pacing - I was waiting for it to be more exciting, more fast-paced to match the intensity of the plot but it was pretty slow for the first half and marginally better in the second.

Overall, though, I would say this is a book that has impressed me in its construction, familiar concept notwithstanding. Definitely interested in reading further in the series.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Rebel Base Books, via Netgalley.
Profile Image for J. d'Merricksson.
Author 6 books44 followers
March 6, 2018
In a bleak future where the city of New Orleans has been wiped out by superstore, the city of Floattown and New Lyons have been built over and adjacent to the sunken city. It is a future where 'synthetics’, humans created in labs, are used for many different purposes, including as sex toys.

We open with Detective Campbell at a murder scene, where a young woman has been eviscerated, and left in the street like trash. And to her killer, and those called to process the site alike, she is nothing more than. Why? Because she is a synthetic, considered property, not human. To consider the synths as anything other than property would call into question all the heinous uses they are put to. But to Campbell, labelled a synth-sympathiser, this woman deserves justice. What he search turns up is far beyond what he could have imagined, a truth to shake the very foundation of society.

SINthetic is a brilliant gritty noir detective story illuminating what it truly means to be 'human’, to have sentience and self-sovereignty. Likewise, it shines a light into the darkest depths of what it means to be inhuman, to be monstrous, and without soul, for what else can you call it when a people create life, only to abuse and debase it?

I loved the writing, but it did leave me feeling skeezy and nauseous, because of how the synths were treated. They are property and so it's perfectly acceptable to torture, rape, and kill them. Violent crime is considered almost nonexistent, not because the violence doesn't happen, but because it only happens to non-people. It happens to property. These topics arise, but Nicholas doesn't go into extreme graphic detail, thankfully.

I suppose reactions come from being an empath, and overly compassionate person. I just cannot fathom how people can consider other people as property, and that's made worse because these people made the synths in a lab, and somehow thought that made them less than human when it's clear they have spirit and soul.

This reminded me of the Star Trek: Next Gen episode 'The Measure of a Man’, where Lt Commander Data’s sentience and self-sovereignty is questioned, and put on trial when a Starfleet cyberneticist wants to shut him down and disassemble him to learn how he was created. No, son. Don't be an asshole.

There were undertones of Masterpiece Theatre's The Last Enemy, with how the cameras once used for traffic and other cc cameras are used to monitor the population. Camera clusters cover almost the entirety of the city, so there's very little privacy. I'm definitely looking forward to the continuation of this series! Highly recommended if you like fantasy/sci-fi oriented crime thrillers with a deep emotional punch.

***Many thanks to Silver Dagger Blog Tours and the author for providing an egalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Profile Image for Sherron Wahrheit.
528 reviews
May 4, 2021
This book is awesome for people who are looking for cop police procedural. Unfortunately, I cannot bear that genre anymore, so I couldn’t finish this. The writing and cop dialogue is a bit bland and little rough around the edges as you’d expect for a cop, which I thought was fun/authentic/cliche. I enjoyed the beginning sentences, slightly baroque, strewn with sliding sibilance and made a mental note to myself to go read some entries submitted to the Bulwer-Lytton contest. Much of the writing in this book is this calibre, which I find very entertaining.

There are several scenes of violent death.

Although the book features “synthetic people,” as the proverbial slave class underdog, I wouldn’t class this as science fiction as the morality is very surface level and not very philosophical or thought provoking regarding technology or the future.
Profile Image for Kalli Bunch.
395 reviews18 followers
November 21, 2017
I was given an ARC on NetGalley. So I just finished SINthetic and I have to say that if anyone goes into this book thinking J.T. Nicholas' writing style is an extension of his Wife Julie's, they are wrong. It is wholly unique and completely epic!! 5 STARS!!! It has an air of IRobot (without the robots and the Detective is on the side of the Synths), and with a fresh take and a unique spin on what could happen with Genetic Engineering. What could happen if people suddenly decided to start playing God?? It kept me intrigued, held my attention, and had me trying to put together clues and guess what was going to happen next. It is fast paced, and a darker take than a lot of sci-fi/fantasy books now-a-days, which I completely loved. I can't wait to get my hands on SINdicate!!
Profile Image for Pop Bop.
2,443 reviews99 followers
January 22, 2018
A Violent, Noir, Police Procedural, variation on "I, Robot"

The hook here is that "synthetics" look and act exactly like "humans". You can't tell synthetics and humans apart unless you look for the little bar code on the back of a synth's neck. So, if one of them is abused it may just be the same as kicking a sofa, but it sure looks like abusing a human. The tension between what synths technically and legally are, and what they look and act like is what gives this book its "philosophical sci-fi" hook. In "I, Robot" the robots looked like, well, robots, even though they were becoming sentient. Here, we up the stakes a bit more - and enter the world of slavery, sex trafficking, child abuse, race purity, and the like.

All of this is wrapped up in a decent noir-sci-fi package. Our hero is a tormented detective with a violent past that we know is going to involve some past connection with a synth. He lives in a future world that's a bit more advanced than now, a bit more rough around the edges, but basically recognizable. Synths are everywhere, (from babysitters to sex toys to fast food counter workers), and there is some possible unintended commentary here arising from where synths do and don't fit in. In this world there is a strong political/cultural current of unease and side-choosing between synth-sympathizers, (in the minority), and those who choose to ignore the slavery and abuse implications of a synth dependent society.

So, that's the background. In terms of story we get a bunch of synth murders, with some weird details. We get a strange mystery figure who encourages our hero, Jason, to dig deeper. Jason gets warned off; he gets roughed up; he follows the thread of conspiracy and corruption. All of this is honorable and well done noir. There are some excellent set pieces - crime scenes, atmospheric locations, snappy noir detective banter, the careful unfolding of a complex plot.

To be fair, there is always that classic noir weakness - you have to just buy in to the premise and the action; if you think too long about the details it can all start to fall apart. We also get a lot of anguish and monologuing, with a heavy helping of pro-synth speechifying. I didn't mind that because it is the engine that drives our hero. It also fits in with the general direction of the story, so it's not like it's propaganda out of left field.

The bottom line is that I enjoyed this because I like noir, I like sci-fi, I like them together, and I admired the author's ambitious take on next level robots. This was an entertaining find.

(Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
Profile Image for Radioactive Bookworm.
826 reviews15 followers
December 23, 2017
Goodreads Synopsis:
They look like us. Act like us. But they are not human. Created to perform the menial tasks real humans detest, Synths were designed with only a basic intelligence and minimal emotional response. It stands to reason that they have no rights. Like any technology, they are designed for human convenience. Disposable.

In the city of New Lyons, Detective Jason Campbell is investigating a vicious crime: a female body found mutilated and left in the streets. Once the victim is identified as a Synth, the crime is designated no more than the destruction of property, and Campbell is pulled from the case.

But when a mysterious stranger approaches Campbell and asks him to continue his investigation in secret, Campbell is dragged into a dark world of unimaginable corruption. One that leaves him questioning the true nature of humanity.

And what he discovers is only the beginning . . .

My Review:
I received a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

First off, I think the cover is really nice looking. It's just so clean! The description is really what got me interested in the book, though, and I'm really glad I got the chance to read it. It's exciting and mysterious and unlike anything I've read lately.

The book starts out with the main character, Jason Campbell, in first person, looking around while he stands over the body of a brutalized dead woman. There's a lack of blood and a sort of barcode on her neck that confirms her a synthetic human, and his co-worker thanks god when he finds out. He calls her a mule. If that doesn't set the tone for the rest of the book, I don't know what does.

Synthetic humans have no basic rights in this futuristic world, and people care for them about as much as they'd care about their toaster. Campbell thinks that's unfair, seeing as they're exactly like humans in every way except stronger, and better looking. He's been labeled a Synth sympathizer most of his career, and that's not going to change. But too many dead Synth women have been showing up lately, and no one seems to be bothered in the slightest, or even look into the deaths. He thinks its due to a serial killer who's practicing on them because you can't get any backlash for it. Killing your Synth is no bigger deal than killing your toaster, however anatomically correct and absolutely lifelike they are.

Overall i really enjoyed this book, and once I found the time to sit down and read it, it really flew by. I didn't want to put it down in case I missed something. The characters, although thoroughly put together, develop so much more and really help the story along. Honestly this is probably one of my new favourite books and again, I'm really glad I got the chance to read it. Definitely check it out for yourself and see what you think!

Here's a link to the book on Amazon, and another link to the authors twitter.

https://www.amazon.ca/SINthetic-Lyons...

https://twitter.com/JamesTNicholas

Thanks for reading! Check out this review and more at my blog.
(Radioactivebookreviews.wordpress.com)
Profile Image for Lori L (She Treads Softly) .
2,176 reviews81 followers
January 14, 2018
SINthetic by J.T. Nicholas is a highly recommended science fiction novel.

Detective Jason Campbell is called to a murder scene in the city of New Lyons. A female body has been found mutilated, cut open with the internal organs missing, and left in the streets. But once the investigators realize the body is a Synth, the crime is designated as the destruction of property, and no investigation is needed. Campbell has no murder case. In the future Synthetics, known as Synths, are lab-grown people that under the law have no rights. They are mules. They are made to do the menial jobs that no one else wants to do. Legally, "they were less than people on a level so profound that they were relegated to objects, to things."

While Campbell may disagree with the system, he knows he can't fight it and keep his job. He does talk the medical examiner into having one of his technicians look for any clues, just in case this event signals the beginning of a serial killer. When he returns to his home in Floattown, a bad neighborhood where cheap prefabricated buildings are built on VLFSs (very large floating structures) over what was once the city New Orleans, he is shocked to find a stranger in his apartment, sitting in his recliner. The man is a Synth, and he asks Campbell to secretly investigate the death anyway, because this dead Synth isn't the first. The stranger gives him a list of dead Synth's who were all killed in the same way.

SINthetic has an engaging premise and will capture your attention immediately. The writing is good and the plot carefully planned to slowly release more information about Campbell and his background. You know that Campbell has some mysterious event in his background that opens him up to being sympathetic to the treatment of Synths. He is also a master of martial arts and fighting, which will come into play several times.

There are pros and cons to this novel. It is the first book in a new series, which is great, but it also felt like the action, story, and pages in this first book were cut down way-too-much, perhaps to facilitate the new series. The investigation felt attenuated. Yes, it is compelling and full of great action sequences. It comes to a satisfying conclusion, but it comes to that conclusion to the investigation rather quickly and abruptly. It might have been more satisfying if there were a few more twists and turns to the investigation - a little more intrigue and subterfuge.

This first book nicely sets up what will be the second book in the series, SINdication, which is to be released just under a month from this one, on March 20th. It is nice to know the second book will be following the first so quickly, but I couldn't help but feel how much more satisfying it might have been for me, as a reader to get these two books together. SINthetic is only 176 pages. SINdication is 304 pages. The third book, SINdrome is scheduled for release on 9/18 with an estimated 304 pages. Series are sometimes nice for long tales, but there is something to be said in getting the whole story, or a larger chunk of it, quickly.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Kensington Books via Netgalley.
http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2018/0...
Profile Image for Kath.
2,331 reviews
January 18, 2018
I chose this book as part of my ongoing plan to diversify my reading so I read and am reviewing as a relative newbie to sci-fi.
So, we follow Detective Jason Campbell as he is called to the site of a rather gruesome murder. The mutilated body of a young woman has been found left out on the street like rubbish. Further investigation however reveals that this isn't a woman after all, it's a synth and the murder case dissolves away as the body is taken for destruction as per protocol and the crime downgraded to destruction of property. But Campbell doesn't really like this change of tack as there is something from his past that means he is more sympathetic to synths even though they are only supposed to be considered as basic slaves legally and, to his shock, morally; so he continues to dig. Then a late visit from a stranger sheds more light on things and suggests that Campbell continue his investigation. What happens next, what Campbell discovers on following the clues will leave the world shocked. That is, if the truth ever came out and there are some very powerful people trying to ensure that this never happens.
I really did enjoy this book. It was just the right level of sci-fi for me and all the futuristic things and technology were explained so I was able to easily follow what was going on. I really want a driverless car! The moral dilemma was also well presented. I can't go into too much detail here for fear of spoilers but I really baulked at some of the things I was reading.
Characters were well described and consistent throughout. I didn't really take to Campbell initially but, as time went on and I got to know him better, I really started to warm to him and I really didn't want to leave him at the end. Good job this is book one of a series then, with book two SINdicate hopefully out soon cos I really want to delve back into the world the author as created. Warts and all!
Yes there were time when the book contained something that I though didn't quite progress the story enough to warrant the length but I then I figured that this is a series opener and there is bound to be more scene setting and character definition than for a standalone. whether this is the case here remains to be seen but I am willing to give the author the benefit of the doubt for now.
All in all, a good book that not only entertained me but also made me think a bit too. Just have to be patient for book two's release.
My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
Profile Image for Ronald.
149 reviews1 follower
August 28, 2018
Being able to dominate a subordinate group of individuals is innately appealing. It appeals to an inner devil in our nature. As much as we condemn slavery today, I’m of the opinion that there are very few of us who wouldn’t want a slave if it were legally possible and socially approved. It is the legality of slavery that empowers individuals to exercise their dominating desire.


Legitimacy backed up by governmental law enforcement is what made early American slavery possible. The book SINthetic is about a society where that legitimacy exists and shows that ethnic group discrimination and ethnic group blaming are only possible when governments openly or subtly condone it. Slavery and indenturement were often cited in the old testament. Slave behavior patterns were established and paths that slaves could follow to earn freedom for themselves and their families were recognized.


The book title, “SINthetic”, describes a group of people who are grown in a lab for the purpose of providing menial labor for a society that felt themselves above such tasks. SINthetics are used as sex objects and slaves. They are mentally programmed for obedience. SINthetics have no rights and are considered property under the law. They bought and sold and can be abused, as American slaves sometimes were, with total impunity. In the book, one man decides to take up their cause. Hoping to shame society, he brings out the proof that SINthetics are as human as their owners. “SINthetic” is the story about that man and how he came to that realization.


This was a troubling story to read as it exposes the hidden daemon in our nature that makes slavery possible. I found myself contemplating the possibility of slavery today every time I put the book down at the end of a reading session. Living in South Florida over the past 38 years, I have heard people brag about how they employ illegal immigrant laborers for low wages, sometimes even not paying them, and threatening to report them to the INS whenever they complain. Isn’t today in this regard a form of slavery?


I hope the author continues to follow this disturbing issue as we all need a reminder of the innate devil that makes slavery possible. These occasional reminders topple us from the superiority platform we think that we occupy when judging others who discriminate against those who are different than ourselves.
Profile Image for Nancy (The Avid Reader).
2,247 reviews94 followers
February 2, 2018
A young woman is found dead in the middle of the street and Detective Jason Campbell is called to investigate the crime but when it is determined that the young woman is not human but a sinthetic he is taken off the case. But that doesn’t stop Campbell as he doesn’t see things quiet in the same way as most humans. Campbell is later approached by this guy who has information for Campbell about this young woman and others like her that could help Campbell find out what is going on and send him into a world that he didn’t know existed; a world of secrets that the government and others want to keep from the public no matter what the cost.

As everyone knows it is not against the law the kill or harms a sinthetic as they are not human. No, they are no more than a piece of trash. SINthetics were created to do the jobs that are thought to be beneath a human. SINthetics have no rights or privacy and only do what they are told to do. They are incapable of hurting a human no matter what that human maybe doing to them. SINthetics are no more than a slave and are bought and sold as if they are toys which to some they are just that when they are bought to be used as sex slaves or as a babysitter for your children.

I really enjoyed reading SINthetic and getting a look at what our future could be like with cars that could drive themselves without human intervention or cabs with no stirring wheels. Now that would be a great future, something to look forward too. Another thing about SINthetic was that there being a group of people who think they are superior to others with all that hate in their hearts. Not taking the time to get to know someone to see if they had feelings or how they felt about different things. No, they just hated because they were different no other reason than that. Oh, wait that is not our future that is our present; a present that could become worse if it is allowed to escalate.

SINthetic is a very fast read that was very hard to put down and was setting the background for books to come and I fell for it hook line and sinker. I can’t wait to read the next book SINdicate to see where Campbell and the sinthetics take us next.

I loved the mystery and the science fiction with all the futuristic elements. I would recommend SINthetic to anyone who loves a good mystery with a science fiction background.
46 reviews2 followers
February 6, 2018
A great book with a compelling premise.

A received this book for free in a giveaway, but do not feel that swayed my thoughts on it.

I started reading the first page of this book, and almost flicked it off. It was overly wordy and too much to take in. Thank goodness I turned the page!
Sinthetic is set in the not too distant future. What a relief that in this future the world has not been torn asunder by war, natural disaster, or any other earth-wide tragedy. New Orleans has suffered a bit, but resiliently built again. Otherwise, things seem pretty normal, except for the fact that a type of synthetic human has become a mainstream product to be used however it's owner sees fit. Crime and murder has Virtual disappeared because psychopaths and malcontents can take out their aggressions on these synthetics without reprocussion.
Detective Campbell is thrust into a case in which he suddenly feels the murder of a synthetic human isn't that different than the murder of an actual human. He must use all his skills to discover who has been brutally murdering young synthetic girls, and why. The answer may just rock the whole worlds view.

I really liked the premise. Except for the worst first page, everything was well written. I quickly immersed in the story, and cannot wait to find out what happens next!

I have the book only 4 stars because I just got sick and tired of reading the "f" word on every page almost. I get that Campbell is a tough guy, and doesn't care for niceties, but the swearing felt way overused, like a crutch. Hopefully the next book can stand on its own legs without leaning overly on the crassness.

Book contains profanity, sexual violence, physical violence, and gore.
Profile Image for Alex Shrugged.
2,055 reviews18 followers
January 11, 2019
This is a science fiction detective mystery involving the death of a synthetic, a legal equivalent of furniture that looks exactly like a human being. Think of the TV series "Humans" or the story "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" by Phillip K. Dick which was made into the movie "Bladerunner".

The story: Detective Campbell is called to a crime scene, the viciously eviscerated body of a beautiful woman, but as the medical examiner beds over the figure in the alley, he scoffs. "It's only a synthetic!" And stops working. Yet, Campbell can't let it go. He wants to find the killer of this synthetic because he thinks of them as more than furniture.

Any problems with the story? It is a little predictable, but a reasonable story. The crimes are gruesome so be prepared. It also gets a little preachy in the Epilogue. You can skip that if you want.

Note: A little girl is in deadly danger in this story. A teenage girl is briefly tortured.

Any modesty issues? Yes. The subject itself involves the use of synthetics as prostitutes. The F-word is used. A little girl appears naked although it is not described in any fashion other than to identify her as naked and that she is embarrassed to be so. A teenage girl is naked, bound and tortured. It is not described in detail.

I might read this book again, but it is not as good a mystery as I normally read and it is not as good a scifi novel as I usually read. It is good writing, so I will move on to the next book in this series.
Profile Image for Annette Jordan.
2,188 reviews40 followers
January 7, 2018
I was immediately intrigued by and interested in the blurb of this book. In a not so distant future, much of the world's more unpleasant jobs from manual labour to sex work are carried out by "Synthetics". They look and sound just like us, but legally, and to most of the world , morally too, they are much less than us, subhuman, merely things to be used and discarded. When detective Jason Campbell finds the mutilated body of a synthetic it sets him off on a path that will not only make him very unpopular with his superiors but will more than likely endanger his life and even drag up some events from his past that he has long been struggling to come to terms with.
At first I really struggled with the writing style of this book, it was incredibly over descriptive and seemed almost padded, especially for the first few chapters,but once I got into the meat of the story I was hooked and found it difficult to put the book down, I liked the character of Detective Campbell and found it easy to relate to his actions and motivations. He speaks to the kind of person most of us would like to be, While the book is the first in a series, it does give a complete story and could work as a standalone, There is an open enough ending that I am sure a sequel is planned and I look forward to reading it.
I read an ARC courtesy of NetGalley, all opinions are my own
Profile Image for Rachel.
1,398 reviews146 followers
November 29, 2017
*thank you to Netgalley and Kensington Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

2 stars.
This was a huge let down. It had everything going for it. The cover is amazing and immediately got my vote and attention. The description made me realllllly want to read this. Cyborgs 'artificial humans', robots, drones, androids, whatever you want to call them, are my number one favourite sci-fi story themes. AND it is also a crime and mystery story. This had EVERYTHING I wanted. It was also based in the future. It ticked so many boxes, yet it just didnt work. It was a good start, but it quickly got boring. I found my attention kept dropping to other things and id have to force myself to keep going incase it got better, which it didnt. One other thing I liked about this was the description of the cars! Ohh wow, the self-drive cars was amazing to read about and I can only wish that this becomes a reality some day. I mean, what more could you want. You get to be driven home, safely, without doing anything AND while being driven home you can sit back and READ! Its pretty perfect. But im still pretty upset but I only hope that if others decide to read this that they enjoy it more.
Profile Image for Jen.
1,782 reviews58 followers
December 19, 2017
SINthetic by J.T. Nicholas is a dark story that covers some of the dilemmas that arise with scientific advancements.

From descriptions: "They look like us. Act like us. But they are not human. Created to perform the menial tasks real humans detest, Synths were designed with only a basic intelligence and minimal emotional response. It stands to reason that they have no rights. Like any technology, they are designed for human convenience. Disposable."

“Darkly engrossing, SINthetic shines a stark light on the age-old question, what does it mean to be human?”
—Julie Kagawa, New York Times bestselling author

I'll mention again that this one is dark and frightening because of the possibilities of genetic engineering, and unfortunately, man's tendency to abuse scientific advancements. Of course, there has been plenty in the news lately about the way powerful individuals have oppressed and exploited women to give another take on this story.

Read in November; blog review scheduled for Jan. 5, 2018

NetGalley/Kensington Books

Murder Mystery/Speculative Fiction. Jan. 23, 2018. Print length: 178 pages.
10 reviews
July 11, 2018
I enjoyed this book very, very much. Right up my alley: near future noir thriller.

Incredibly well-done first person narrative. I normally shy away from first person stories, but this one really resonated with me. I felt like I was experiencing the protagonist’s growth during the course of the story, which I normally have a hard time feeling when I read books of this style.

Great world-building, great characters, some really good action, especially towards the end.

It’s said often, but it held true for me: I had trouble putting this book down.

For me, the mark of a really good story is one that I keep thinking about when I am not reading it. This was definitely it.

Will most definitely be continuing reading this series.
Profile Image for Christina Pool.
61 reviews2 followers
February 3, 2021
This book makes me think alot about that movie with Will Smith, I robot? this book is good, now its set in the future so its sorta hard to get super into right away cause you need to learn the way the world is. not totally different but come on, their cars drive themselves, helllo saweet. i love the whole concept of this book, where they are able to create synthetic people but in the book they arent "real" they dont have any rights and are basically just dolls or you buy them for cleaning and nannying. (is that a word?)
anyways its a mystery cause someone is killing them and since theres no rights to them, no one cares but Campbell clearly has a brain and starts to look to try to find the killer. its a good book and im quite intrigued to see where this story goes.
Profile Image for Nikki.
96 reviews
January 23, 2018
The story line was interesting and I was excited to see where the story was going. I think it's been difficult for me lately to get into books where there are crimes to be solved and investigations or reading from the perspective a of a cop. I do believe this would have made an incredible movie, or a great episode in a TV show! There was lots of action near the end of the book and a happy ending. The author created an opening for a whole new world for the synthetics and I hope the world changes in their favor, but I won't be there to find out. At least not right now.
Profile Image for Jessi.
417 reviews24 followers
January 4, 2018
Slow start, rousing finish

I was very fortunate enough to win a copy of this eBook in a goodreads giveaway. I can't say that I hadn't thought about throwing in the towel and not finishing.
I probably won't end up reading the sequel because I like how this one ended. I'm glad I read it but it just hadn't been what I was looking for. I had trouble relating to and caring about the main character.
Profile Image for Howard.
403 reviews
January 2, 2018
A bright future with a dark under belly. This book explores human nature and how we like to ignore bad things if makes our life better.

I would recommend this book for anybody who enjoys Dystopian books.
Profile Image for Shelby.
511 reviews31 followers
December 26, 2017
A Goodreads Giveaway Winner.

A couple of things I loved: The cover and the title, grabbed my attention instantly. Also, thought the blurb was interesting. But unfortunately the story just wasn't for me.
Profile Image for Nick Burdett.
15 reviews
February 10, 2018
Excellent book. Thought the theme was already done with the 'Humans' TV show but very much not the case. I was very excited to see how quickly the next one will be available. Looking forward to it immensely.
752 reviews1 follower
August 29, 2019
Good Story

Good for this genre. There are a few choppy parts where you scratch your head and think?? This would be from the several edits his editor made to improve the quality of the story. Overall I liked the book and will read the next book.
12 reviews
December 19, 2017
GREAT read!

Fast paced, gripping storyline with well developed characters that you relate to. Well worth the read, and completely enjoyable story!
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