Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Aries 181

Rate this book
A crime spree to steal aerospace technology. An intern with the brains to stop it.

When Jess uncovers evidence that her boss is stealing technology to build his company, her coveted internship at Aries turns from dream job to catastrophe. Worse, her boss cons another young woman into becoming his accomplice, and the duo’s chemically enhanced skills and weapons help them become the most infamous supercriminals to sweep the tech world. Before they pilfer every aerospace lab in North America, Jess must use her ingenuity to stop them—risking her career, her relationships, and maybe even her life.

419 pages, ebook

First published March 22, 2019

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Tiana Warner

20 books564 followers
Tiana Warner is a #1 Amazon Bestselling Author whose books have been featured on BuzzFeed, Gizmodo, Paste Magazine, Tor, Book Riot, Foreword Reviews, and more. She is the winner of the Best Indie Book Award, the Dante Rossetti Awards, and Sequential Magazine’s Favourite Writer Award. Her works have been optioned for film and TV.

Tiana is a bisexual author who mainly writes sapphic fiction. Her books include the critically acclaimed, Amazon bestselling series, Mermaids of Eriana Kwai and its graphic novel adaptation, as well as The Valkyrie’s Daughter (Entangled Teen), and several lesbian romance novels with Ylva Publishing.

Born and raised in British Columbia, Canada, Tiana is a former programmer with a Computer Science degree, a lifelong horseback rider, and an outdoor enthusiast who loves to explore BC with her hyperactive rescue mutt, Joey.

Find her online at tianawarner.com.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
15 (40%)
4 stars
11 (29%)
3 stars
5 (13%)
2 stars
3 (8%)
1 star
3 (8%)
Displaying 1 - 21 of 21 reviews
Profile Image for Lex Kent.
1,682 reviews8,705 followers
March 24, 2019
3.25 Stars. After hearing such good things about Warner’s Mermaid Ice series, I decided to give her newest book a try. I thought this would be more of a tech-thriller but it was actually a super hero/villain type story. I love Marvel and DC superheroes so this really should have been right up my alley. Instead I’m left feeling a little off. I’m trying to be more articulate here trust me, but this book hit me in an odd way. I didn’t dislike it, but something stopped me from really enjoying it and I’m having trouble putting why into words.

Since I read mostly lesfic, I do want to point out I would consider this more a book with LGBTQ characters than actually lesfic. I know someone could probably debate this point with me but it is my honest feeling. One of the mains is a lesbian with a girlfriend that has a very small part in the book. The other main woman is bi and in a relationship with her male boss. Both mains are college age so the book also had a New Adult feel to it.

The main premise is about two women who work for a big tech company. After an accident in the lab, one character takes the path of a villain while the other character tries to be the “hero”. One of my issues was I found both mains to be hard to like and connect with. The “hero” is not very hero-ish and she lets people walk all over her for a good chunk of the book. While the villain is at times almost a little comical which I liked, it was still hard to empathize with her character so I didn’t really care much about her either.

Since there are a lot of romance readers out there I will mention that this is not a romance. There are some m/f sex scenes but they are not explicit. There are no f/f sex scenes since the secondary character of the girlfriend hardly makes a dent as a character.

On the good side I do want to mention the book got more entertaining as it went on. Something happens to the “hero” that was interesting and I wish we got to see more about it. The ending of the book was left a little open-ended, so I would not be surprised to see a book 2. And because of how this book ended, I almost wonder if I might enjoy the sequel more than the first. So I’m left with this odd feeling that while I didn’t really enjoy this book, I would be tempted to still read the next installment. Weird I know but the whole book was a little weird.

If you are a superhero/villain fan you might like this oddball kind of book. I can’t personally recommend this, but I would not say stay away either. I am still going to read Warner’s Ice series in hopes that it works much better for me.

An ARC was given to me for a honest review.
Profile Image for Alex.
609 reviews66 followers
May 31, 2019
I received an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have... mixed feelings about this book. It's actually one of those ones that I was considering abandoning halfway, but I kept reading just in case it gets better, and then it actually did. There are two reasons for this: 1) Aries 181 is VERY different from what I was lead to expect, and it took me some time to get over that and enjoy it for what it is, 2) the characters really annoyed me at first, and again, it took me a while to warm up to them.

From the cover, the blurb and the tags, you would assume that the two women in the blurb will be in a romance and take down the evil supervillain together, right? Well, that's not really what happens for most of the book. Jess and Haley are both queer, and Jess has a girlfriend who occasionally shows up, but the F/F relationship is not central to the story. Jess is working on taking down Tony, like the blurb says, and meanwhile Tony and Halley... listen, I know Halley is named after the comet, but that is NOT what her name reminded me of when she had this twisted romance with the supervillain where they literally refer to each other as the King and Queen of tech.

Yep. Most of this book is basically Tony dragging a twenty-year-old woman into a Harley/Joker romance practically overnight, with all the crime, twistedness and abuse that entails. Frankly, I wasn't really sold on it at first, because Halley falls... way too quickly, and even with her background, I wasn't really SEEING that pull in Tony. I mean, come on, Halley is literally breaking into places and then torturing people for fun within a month of meeting him?

I admit I only started truly enjoying what this book was doing around the twist that is almost at the very end. That twist suddenly put the whole dynamic in the book in a different light, but I also felt cheated that I had to wait so long for it.

In the end, I liked Jess's character development, from her standing up to herself to her throwing out the lowkey sexist note she had up in her office. I also loved that the two women are both in toxic relationships (although to very different degrees) and they both end up being able to walk away from that. I still wasn't quite sold on Haley's character arc, but I'll take it. It was also kind of interesting, because for most of the book I was convinced one of the characters would turn out to be another villain, but nah, he's "just" a sexist asshat.

The ending felt like there might be a sequel, so if that's true, I'm curious where the story will go.
Profile Image for Kara.
717 reviews1,241 followers
April 9, 2020
“Aries 181” is a hugely entertaining story with very entertaining characters, sci-fi action and terrific narration.

21yo MC Jessica is very confident, brilliant and even has social skills, but finds herself under-appreciated and manipulated by her a-hole of a misogynistic boss during her internship. She also has allowed her live-in girlfriend, Mandip, to control her social life, and criticize her career ambitions.

Nearly 21yo MC Halley is bisexual; she had a girlfriend, Brooke, but that didn’t end so well. Desperate to escape her past and prove herself, she fixates on the brilliant head of Aries, Tony, who offers her a job as his live-in PA. Desperate for approval, and love, she eagerly accepts and is blind to his mental manipulations.

Tony is a true sociopath, and is determined to steal any intellectual property that will help Aries….for the good of society. Once Tony and Halley survive the miracle rocket fuel explosion and develop superpowers, their supervillain antics are frequently hilarious (during one robbery, they distribute a questionnaire, asking how they did, and how they could improve!

Meanwhile, Jess stumbles upon some secret satellite images and determines to do what she can to help police capture “Comet” and “Blizten”.

Throughout the book, we learn little by little of the past history between Jess and Halley, and Brooke and Mandip.

“Aries 181” is a very fun story with interesting stories, that makes surprisingly strong observations at the harm that emotional abusers can inflict. I was surprised by the ending, but I won’t spoil it! 4.8* for this very entertaining and creative story!
Profile Image for Aristotle.
631 reviews68 followers
March 9, 2019
Sorry but a DNF.
Remember that movie 'Hackers' with Angelin Jolie back in the 90s? I thought this book was going to be something like that. A bunch of 20 somethings trying to stop a James Bond type villain.
A megalomaniac looking to take over the world.
This was dull, poorly written, incoherent, and at times a laughable bad book.
An evil CEO, Tony something, was stealing technology to build his company and Jess, an intern, accidentally found out. They tried to silence her.
Haley his assistant broke into a competitors building something went wrong and her skin was melted off and she became a superhero part of X-Men.. uh.. X-Woman. What? I don't know what i just said.
Anyway made it halfway but just couldn't go on.
NetGalley free download can be very risky.
Profile Image for Neil.
1,401 reviews8 followers
December 18, 2020
I received a free copy via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

I found this very disappointing.
This started well but unfortunately I found the plot slow and I just could not relate to the characters.t just was not for me.
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 9 books52 followers
January 29, 2019
I received an ARC for an honest review.

I loved the characters, the action, the plot and how badass these female characters were. It sucked me right in from the beginning and Tiana Warner kept the twists coming. Hope it’s a series. It’s more than just a super villain take. The characters are complex and not just cookie cutter cliches. Loved it.
Profile Image for Bibliovoracious.
339 reviews28 followers
October 21, 2019
Badass girls who code? Explosions, cutting edge tech and violent action sequences? Two leading women with diverse identities repped? What's not to love?

Alright, there is a completely preposterous plot point in the middle that -no- belief cannot suspend enough for that - but since there aren't any more crazy ridiculous absurdities - it's ok. I'll give you that.

Narration is awesome!
Profile Image for Vigasia.
408 reviews20 followers
March 9, 2019
It was hard for me to get in this book. Somehow the prose didn't click to me and characterization seemed to be kind of bleak. It improved further in the novel and finally I got interested, but still something in the style of writing didn't work for me. It's good book for geeks and maybe superhero fans, but for me it was just ok.
Profile Image for Mark Gardner.
Author 21 books51 followers
April 25, 2019

This is a crazy departure from Mermaids, and the story is so powerful. I knew it’d be great, and I was not disappointed!
Profile Image for Laurel Greer.
Author 57 books413 followers
January 29, 2019
A riveting read with fantastic heroines, an ick-tastic villain, and so much delightful geekdom. It's awesome to read a story where women are allowed to be simultaneously badass while struggling with the insecurities of being a twenty-something. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book, and I loved every minute of reading it.
Profile Image for Colleen Corgel.
525 reviews17 followers
March 29, 2019
Okay, so there were so many things I enjoyed about this book, but there were some things that I felt were just not quite there. For one, I loved the super hero aspect of the book, with our two leads becoming unwilling villains for most of the book. I was hoping for more of a romance, but there wasn't much there. Both leads are involved in their own relationships, but Jess's relationship basically exists off scene, only coming to the fore to provide drama. Hally is involved with her boss.

Both women are part of the LGBTQ community - Jess is a lesbian, and Hally is bi - but this is definitely not a lesfic or a LGBTQ fic. It's a science fiction book that happens to have LGBTQ characters in it. This isn't a bad thing, though, but my brain just kept wanting Jess and Hally to get together. Heck, there's enough here to explore their relationship in a potential sequel, but the focus here is more on what was happening to Jess and Hally.

It all works out to having Jess and Hally having to deal with a very difficult situation. A number of them, in fact, and how their characters respond to what's thrown at them. There's some really fun stuff with regards to how the young women gain their power, and there's some shenanigans that go down, but overall there's was just a little missing for me.

This is a serviceable Science Fiction read, with LGBT characters. Jess and Hally are great together, but not so much apart. Also, I have to give some kudos for the chapter titles, simply because most of them made me laugh, even though the ladies were often in dire straits.

I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Profile Image for Rachel.
174 reviews69 followers
March 22, 2019
*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 4 stars

Review: I really enjoyed this book and I am so glad I impulsively requested it on NetGalley. The writing was good and the pacing was excellent. The plot was very fast paced and there were almost no dull moments. The characters were also quite interesting.

The story primarily follows Jess and Halley. Jess is an intern at Aries who’s struggling to keep up with rent and tuition. At her internship, she’s trying to prove herself to earn a scholarship, but her difficult boss Floyd keeps making her life hard. She also accidentally stumbles across the footage proving that Aries is behind the thefts. With all this stress, Jess is very realistic. She’s a struggling college student who is very relatable.

Halley, the other main character, is also a struggling college student who takes a very different direction. When she’s hired by Tony Ries, founder of Aries, her life takes a dark turn. Her and the much older Tony have an intense relationship and after the two of them are in a lab accident, they acquire powers that also leave them disfigured. The relationship between the two of them also involves Tony emotionally manipulating and abusing Halley. I’ve included trigger warnings at the bottom of this review.

If you want a good reference for what Halley and Tony are like, think the Joker and Harley Quinn.

There’s also a controlling relationship between Jess and her girlfriend Mandeep where Mandeep tries to control what Jess does. I know this is probably less triggering than abuse but it can also be upsetting for some people as it’s something many people experience.

But a much brighter spot in Aries 181 is the geekiness. Jess is such a dork and she’s so adorable. She’s a classic Doctor Who loving, Game of Thrones watching, D&D playing dork. Which is probably something lots of people in their early twenties like me can relate to.

Overall, it was an enjoyable book that I really liked. I found the characters relatable even if they were doing things I can never imagine myself doing. Like computer science or robbing a bunch of aerospace labs. I recommend it if you’re looking for a geekdom infused science based heist thriller where the main characters are casually queer.

Trigger warnings: abuse (forcing isolation from family and some physical abuse and emotional abuse), fire/severe burns, violence (physical violence and with guns and explosives) and guns (several people are held at gun point and there are instances of people being shot).
Profile Image for Leah.
169 reviews1 follower
April 2, 2019
Aries 181 is about Jessica, an intern at an aerospace technology company called Aries. The company is run by Anthony Ries. Jess stumbles upon the realization that Dr. Ries is stealing tech from other companies to ensure that Aries is at the cutting edge of technology. He eventually cons another young woman, Halley, into being his accomplice. The danger increases as they go on a criminal rampage, stealing weapons and technology across the country. Jessica ends up risking everything in order to try and stop them.

This book could maybe be classified as science fiction....but it definitely is all about STEM careers. I think that teenagers and young adult women would really enjoy reading about Jess and her skills with technology.

I will warn that in the relationship between Dr. Ries and Halley, there is some physical and emotional abuse which could be difficult for some to read if they have been in a relationship like that before. But as Warner writes in her Author's Note, "this book is dedicated to anyone who has been in Jess' or Halley's shoes. May you find your inner superpower and proceed to kick ass."

As far as diversity goes, this book represents LGBT relationships with Jessica and her girlfriend. I love that their sexual orientation isn't just thrown in to be included. It is a part of who Jessica is and fits seamlessly into the story. I think that this also will help those who read it looking for representation of themselves reflected in what they read.

I would probably give this book a 4 out of 5 stars. It was an interesting read but not as compelling as some of the other books I've read. I definitely have a desire to read other books by Tiana Warner and I recommend this book to anyone who might be looking for a good STEM read.
Profile Image for Saba.
20 reviews20 followers
June 18, 2019
Loved it, loved it, loved it!! Fast-paced and exciting with LGBT+ main characters, I loved everything! I particularly enjoyed the sci-fi elements, and the focus on dealing with abusive relationships. I also loved the inclusion of friendship between two queer women! 🏳️‍🌈 Would definitely recommend this book!
Profile Image for Dee Holmes.
Author 27 books61 followers
January 29, 2019
I was lucky enough to read an early arc of this book. It's brilliant fun! A female-first romp with cutting edge technology, super-powered beings, and women solving problems with their brains.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
137 reviews14 followers
April 1, 2019
So relatable as a women in STEM, sometimes painfully relatable (OMG Floyd!). And if you're a Harley & Joker fan, a must read!
Profile Image for Lauren (Northern Plunder).
356 reviews187 followers
May 19, 2019
My review was first posted on Northern Plunder, you can read more of my reviews there too.

Lauren, Lauren, Lauren. You always do this. You read a book you love and then when it comes to writing a review you just simply can’t find the words to describe how great of a read it was.

In my defense I read this shortly after breaking my wrist and I knew this was likely going to be a lengthy review so I wanted to wait until I gained more movement back.

Typing one-handed for over a month was not a fun adventure guys. It seriously slowed the roll on productivity.

Anyway, back to a great book.

I don’t typically read a lot of science fiction even though I do enjoy it. (Yet the month I read this I also read two others the heck?) One of my reasons for being very picky with scifi is because often it’ll make me feel dumb if they throw in too much scientific jargon.

Aries 181 doesn’t do this. Well, it does have science talk but I never felt stupid when reading it. Thats not to say I didn’t understand everything 100% but there was enough context for me to feel okay with it.

I also got to learn that aerospace doesn’t mean the book will be set in space. (Sorry for those of you who are like well d’uh Lauren. Look I (and Allie) saw space and RAN with it ok!)

Where was I?

More elements of this book:
+ women in STEM
+ girl power!
+ queer characters
+ disabilities
+ problematic relationships
+ female friendships
+ hacking
+ heist
+ guns
+ geekery
+ spoiler: powers!

So who are these characters that I love so deeply?

My precious bean; Jess who stumbles across her boss stealing technology to further his own aerospace company and wants to do the right thing without loosing her job.

& the bright Hayley who finds herself having a very quick change of job path. All because she won a hack competition and gained the attention of some a-hole with her confidence and ability to handle herself. Her desire to win, to prove herself, and his charms land her a fiery pit of a mess for sure.

Which leads me to *drum roll* your new fave volatile couple since Harley and the Joker.

I really enjoyed Hayley’s chapters because of the action they provided. As well as the inner turmoil of whether what she is doing is really what she wants and having to come to terms with her own mistakes. And the mistakes made at his manipulation.

To contrast, Jess’ chapters are little slower on the action front but she is still a dream to read about as she makes great use of her own skills, social media, and will power to try and fix things without jepordising her life.

Hayley and Jess also end up having a few things in common when it comes to relationship. I think Aries 181 did a great job at portraying how abusive and manipulative relationships can be very different and shows very different extremes.

Sometimes it is just the sly jabs, the “oh that friend isn’t good for you” and you do have to come to terms w that and figure out what actions are best to handle it. & y’know sometimes its a pressuring you into trying to rule the world.

Both of these girls were great to read about. They were such interesting characters who stole my attention.

I really love the conclusion to this story too and how its a lil bit open so we could possibly? get? a? sequel?

hint tiana: i’d love to read more about these two brill super women.
Profile Image for Allie.
203 reviews13 followers
March 26, 2019
*I received a digital copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

If anyone here knows me, I love Tiana Warner’s books. Ice Massacre and it’s sequels are so near and dear to my heart because it’s a mermaid series I never knew I needed. I knew Tiana was writing a SciFi book, but to be honest, I didn’t know what it was going to be about. After her first tweet about, somehow I got the idea in my head that it was set in space? I think I saw the word “aerospace” and jumped to conclusions. It’s set in Canada, not space.

Needless to say, I destroyed this book. I didn’t start reading it in earnest for about a day after I received it, but once I got going, I couldn’t stop. Part of the reason is because On the Come Up is out next week, but also because it’s SO GOOD.

When Tiana marketed it like The Martian, I got really excited. SciFi isn’t usually my favorite genre because I was never a science nerd in school and I usually have a hard time wrapping my head around stuff, but I got into The Martin really quickly and enjoyed it immensely. This is pretty tame science jargon, enough that you know it’s sciencey and believe it, but also, if you aren’t sure what some stuff is, it doesn’t take away from the story and you don’t get caught up on it. There’s also some interesting *fiction* to go with the science part, but you’ll have to read it to find out.

The story goes between Jess, a smarty intern at one of Canada’s biggest aerospace engineering companies, and Halley–how do I describe Halley? Headstrong, scary smart and scary strong, but also lonely and broken. Which is how she falls into the hands of a manipulative CEO, hell bent on controlling the tech world.

Tiana also mentioned in a recent blog post on her website, that she was very inspired by Harley Quinn and the Joker. And though they aren’t my personal favorite duo, Tiana totally nails their relationship to a T, not even holding back on how terrible “the Joker” is (I’m not gonna spoil, I’m not a monster) to “Harley.”

Aries deals with a lot more than girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), but also with relationship issues, past trauma, disability, depression, and overbearing assholes (I’m looking at you, Floyd). There are some things that can be potentially triggering and I’ve listed them above, so just keep your eyes peeled and remember your mental health is worth more than a great read. If you want me to tell you specifics, don’t hesitate to hit me up on one of my socials or in Books and Tea.

So, all in all, I LOVED this. There’s so much crazy girl power (literally and figuratively), in this book, it’s hard not to love it. It’s got science, it’s got gay girls, it’s got crazy tech, it’s got heists, it’s got nerd culture, what more could you want? I know there’s no series number on the Goodreads entry, but I’m holding out hope that I see more from Jess and Halley in the future.
Displaying 1 - 21 of 21 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.