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Null Set

(Cas Russell #2)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  208 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Math-genius mercenary Cas Russell has decided to Fight Crime(tm). After all, with her extraordinary mathematical ability, she can neuter bombs or out-shoot an army. And the recent outbreak of violence in the world’s cities is Cas’s own fault—she’s the one who crushed the organization of telepaths keeping the world’s worst offenders under control.

But Cas’s own power also
ebook, 288 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  208 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Lauren Stoolfire
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Null Set by S.L. Huang as it turns out is actually the second book in the Cas Russell series. If only I realized that before I was approved for it. I totally should have read book one, Zero Sum Game, first but either way this still ended up being a pretty great read on its own. I liked getting to Cas herself because her abilities are cool - her genius mathematical skills give her superhuman accuracy and timing - verging on
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Another incredible book! I NEEDS BOOK THREE RIGHT NOW.

4.5 stars!
Another fast plot full of danger for its protagonist and her colleagues. After destroying Pithaca's hold on the world, Checker notices that the crime rates in LA are moving up rapidly. Cas decides to create a technological solution to bring rates down, but angers all the city's crime bosses and gang lords in the process. And more importantly, Rio is displeased.
Meanwhile, Cas' sanity is fractured, thanks to all that Dawwna Polk did to her (in the previous book), and Cas keeps getting bits and
May 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, 2019-rev
3.5 stars, Metaphorosis Reviews

Cas Russell, whose mathematical ability allows her superhuman timing and accuracy, has faced down a network of telepaths. But now trouble has come to her own home time of Los Angeles, just when her past seems determined to destroy her.

S. L. Huang first self-published the Russell’s Attic series, only to have it taken up, edited, and re-issued (in a different order) as the Cas Russell series. I read the first book in this series, Zero Sum Game, in its
Jon Adams
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could see this being a TV series.
Sep 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Middle book syndrome; hopefully next / final (?) picks back up.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paula Lyle
Sep 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
It's interesting to me that people who want to change the world for the better are so happy to kill a lot of people. The science in this doesn't really make sense, nor does the instant and terrible effects that occur. However, if you like a book with a lot action this could definitely work. Killing lots of criminals as a method to reduce the crime rate in LA, might be an idea that lots of people could get behind. Obviously this is a setup for the next book, it will be interesting to see where it ...more
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-reads
1/2 (rounded up)
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
In the aftermath of Zero Sum Game, Cas and her associates are seeing the fallout from taking down those telepaths who've been reigning in expressions of human corruption, and it's not pretty. So, she takes it upon herself (with a little help from her friends) to fight crime in LA -- à la that rich guy in Gotham, that lawyer in Hell's Kitchen, or the sole survivor of the Cavendish ambush of the Texas Rangers. She's making
Jun 11, 2019 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I'm enjoying this, but having just read The Girl Who could Move Sh*t Wither Her Mind, I have to ask,

"Didn't we just leave this party?"

Set in LA (check), a cranky female protagonist with a special gift (check), works with a small team of investigators (check)., outside the law (check).

There are plenty of differences, but I'm beginning to wonder how many cranky female protagonists there are in LA and what the City of Angels did to piss them off.
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: home-library
Full review to come.

Brief review. Loved it! Being back with Cas (and Arthur and Checker but especially Rio) was awesome. Especially as Cas decides to Fight Crime taking on all the criminal elements in LA.
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, notable
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maurynne  Maxwell
I'm unaware of any other authors who are doing what S. L. Huang has done with her Cas Russell series, but I'd love to read them if they're out there, because she leaves you wanting more. Null Set is definitely a middle book, bridging between Zero Sum Game and the next book, with a cliffhanger ending that for once I do not mind. I also don't mind that I can't think of other books to compare this to—only movies. If you like superhero movies, Chinese martial arts movies, and movies like The Matrix ...more
Deborah Ross
I loved S. L. Huang’s Zero Sum Game, and Cas Russell, whose superpower is her ability to make lightning-fast mathematical calculations. She works at such irregular and occasionally dubiously legal jobs as tracking down missing persons, and enjoys an uneasy but devoted friendship with psychopath, Rio. At the end of the first book, a world-wide mind-control conspiracy had been defeated after many struggles and reversals. Null Set picks up where Zero Sum Game left off, with Cas and her gang facing ...more
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The real meat of this is the question of gray areas and what’s morally right or wrong. How is what Cas wants to do different from what Pithica wanted to do? Sure, she’s “just” freeing people from negative influences, but she’s still messing with their minds. And of course there’s the inevitable fact that something is bound to go wrong when you start messing with human minds. One of the things I love about these books is that there are no easy answers. From a certain point of view, the main ...more
Realms & Robots
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Null Set blows any genre expectations out of the water, combining science fiction, spy fiction, technothriller, and mystery to create an action-packed adventure that thrills on every page. With such a high stakes protagonist running from a convoluted past, it’s no surprise the book leaves your heart racing.

From page one, Huang never stops throwing in surprise revelations mixed with adrenaline-fueled action and high-tech lingo. It’s a thrilling ride thanks to the unexpected pathways diverging
K. Lincoln
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the first books so much, this one was a tiny bit of a letdown for me. Don't get me wrong-- there was tons of action, conspiracy, fight scenes, allusions to Cas' mysterious past, and good fun. However, most of the central conflict of the book, while a super-cool use of current or near-future technologies, was a result of decisions made by Cas that didn't ring true for me.

Not that I couldn't see her grey morality allowing her to do it, but it was along the lines of what the bad guys,
Jul 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ll leave the plot summary there and give you my thoughts about this sequel to Zero Sum Game… I thought it was an interesting choice for Huang to change the sequence of her original novels. This was the plot of the 4th book and it seems like as thriller/ detective series goes, that is a good place for it. The basic plot line of this genre usually includes an opening action scene, intro of new bad boss man, and then some plot twists and a bang-up ending. I did not expect so much introspection ...more
Grace Mead
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent follow-up to the first Cas Russell novel, this has the same snappy dialogue, economic prose, and terrific action sequences. With the organization seeking to control the world through mind control in retreat, Cas must struggle with whether and how to battle evildoers with her supernatural abilities and the consequences of her inaction and actions--for both innocents and human autonomy. It takes an unflinching look at these moral ambiguities and sinks deeper into them: I look forward ...more
Henry Lazarus
S. L. Huang continues his tale of Cas Russell, a math wizard who can do near impossible things by calculating vectors. In Null Set(trade from Tor) she has to deal with the command to remember from the telepath villain of the last tale. Apparently her mind had been wiped to save her life. She also decides to do something about human behavior to confront gang wars in LA. Fixing technology designed to end mob minds sets, she and her friends blanket the city with the sound frequency. Unfortunately ...more
Dirk Hohndel
Incredibly disappointing

Math and physics don't work this way. The characters are flat and unrelatable. The omnipotent psychics are the solution to every problem. Cas' inner conflict is at the same time the core of the story and the least interesting part of the story.
I kept hoping for some turn in the story that would make reading this book with while, but in the end I felt like I wasted every minute that I spent reading.
Kathleen Gray
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my usual genre and I didn't read the first one but hey- you gotta love a female protagonist whose superpower is math AND who solves crime! Of course, Cas also commits crimes but they're all in service of her cause, which as best I can tell, is to stop evil, corruption, and telepaths. There's an origin story here as well, which is unusual for a second in a series but was helpful to me. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. She's a flawed heroine, to be sure, but one that should be on the radar for ...more
Dec 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Huang, S. L. Null Set: A Cass Russell Novel. Cass Russell No. 2. Tor, 2019.
Such missed opportunities. A novel with a nerd heroine, but the novel is not nearly nerdy enough. We have an adult heroine in an action thriller, but she thinks like a teenager in a bad YA novel. Minor characters fall into clearly recognizable stereotypes. Despite some good action scenes, I kept putting it down for days at a time.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author decided to take the republished series in a new direction and I really love it! The original second book seemed a bit like beating the dead horse, but this republished second book expands more on Cas' relationships with her friends and her mysterious origin. I really enjoyed this book and I hope the next one continues to be dynamic too!
Jeanne Boyarsky
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The narrative tension of this is spoiled by the foreshadowing.
It's odd, there's good action sequences, and the characters make decisions that are for good reason, but it's all... Just kind of weird.
The pacing is fine for most of the time and then there will be a time jump where it's suddenly weeks later.
Julia Welsh
Reread Zero Sum Game before picking this up, and slightly thrown by the opening. And the middle, which seemed . . . non-linear? . . . in character. And the end. I liked it, but was left feeling slightly dissatisfied.
Galen Strickland
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My true rating would be on the low side, closer to 3.5. Just as exciting as the first book, but too much repetition of action and dialog, with no resolution at the end. I'll still be on the lookout for the third book.
Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
Excellent. Full review pending.
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Cas Russell (3 books)
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