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The Hands We're Given

(Aces High, Jokers Wild #1)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  92 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Sex. Drones. Rock and roll.

Aidan Headly never wanted to be the man giving orders. That's fine with the Democratic State Force base he's been assigned to command: they don't like to take orders. Nicknamed the Wildcards, they used to be the most effective base against the seven Corporations owning the former United States in a war that has lasted over half a century. Now
Audible Audio, 14 pages
Published June 28th 2019 by Amphibian Press
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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A complementary audio was provide in exchange for an honest review.

Well, I had written out a long review and it disappeared. Where did it go? I have no idea and now my original words will be lost forever and since I am really not happy I am not currently in the mood to try and rewrite it.

I originally thought the story pacing was too slow, that there wasn't enough action. The more I thought about I realized that the story progression was spot on. Sometimes too much it pushed into the beginning of
Ashley Martinez (ilovebooksandstuffblog)
Exciting and full of adventure. I enjoyed this new dystopian cyber series. I haven’t read anything like it before and I have to say I really enjoyed it and loved the characters.
Angela Goodrich
I don't recall the last time my listening was interrupted so much, but man, The Hands We're Given was soooooo good!!!

Thankfully, I saw a tweet by the narrator about this audiobook because I probably wouldn't have found it otherwise. It's categorized on Audible in Mysteries & Thrillers as a Technothriller, with no reference to the fact that it's an LGBT story and/or has a romance thread. It's set in a dystopian future where the US is broken up into seven main sectors, each owned and governed
Mx Grove
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exceptional! Destined to be an all time favorite!
O.E. Tearmann has written a terrific story. The story is strong, genuine and never falters not even for a moment. Commander Aidan Headly captures your attention immediately and your heart soon after. Trying to reunite a group of broken and battered crew while keeping himself together is a challenge he’s not sure he’s prepared for. This dystopian sci-fi romance is peppered with 1980s music references while the characters - queer, trans, gay,
A.L. Kessler
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Goodness gracious this took me a bit to finish, but not because it was bad, because I have children and reading time is scarce.

The Hands We're given is a great post-apoc world that we can easily see becoming a reality. The author takes great care into how the base survives and stays under the radar without going over your head with technology. The cast of characters is diverse, relatable, and (most the time) lovable. The book has a bit of everything, romance, thriller, humor etc. It was an
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is probably better than my personal level of enjoyment indicates. I can't put my finger on what, exactly, was off, or missing, or wrong, or whatever it was that was keeping me from being fully engrossed. This is exactly my kind of book, but it just didn't quite get there somehow, making it seem "good" rather than "great".

Still, I'll look forward to continuing with the series.
Ana Oh
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unexpectedly Good

I am not sure what exactly I was expecting, but it definitely wasn’t this engrossing story.

The author could have easily made a turn down a dark and gritty alleyway, and it would have flowed really well. Maybe that’s a job for fan fiction.

Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm-fantasy
I really liked this. It was different, and interesting. I’m not usually one for dystopian settings but it was well created here.

Good characters and while the plot is a bit slow I still can’t wait to read more.
Jason Dias
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbtqia, cyberpunk
The Hands We’re Given
Plot takes a back seat to story in this military sci-fi with literary aspirations. A new commander takes over a failing special ops unit in the desert. His insecurities threaten to overturn the whole operation until he learns his understated, introverted leadership style is exactly what the Wild Cards need to return to maximum efficiency.
A rag-tag band of paramilitary mercenaries, the Wild Cards represent all the diversity the new Corporate governments refuse to tolerate.
Paul Ellis
Dec 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: listened, reviewed
They’re out of control and in their own way - and they’re humanity’s last hope.

DISCLAIMER: I received this title for free in exchange for an unbiased review. This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

WARNING: This review contains mild spoilers.

I am not the target audience for this novel. I failed to do my due diligence, so enamored by the first rate world-building, and wound up with a romance. Because I requested this novel I feel obligated to review
Carol (bookish_notes)
Hmm. Well. This book is slow-going. It’s definitely more romance-centric than what I was expecting since this wasn’t actually listed under the Romance category on Audible. I was expecting more rebellion and explosions? More suspense? Instead, this is a bit more light-hearted as far as the overall plot goes.

The book is fairly long, and I may not have finished it otherwise if it wasn’t for Kirt Graves’s narration. The narration is top-notch and can I just say that he does children’s voices VERY
Holly Booms Walsh
I loved this story. It's a science fiction dystopian story, in which we meet a small ragtag base peopled by officers and enlisted members of a political entity engaged in rebellion against a larger government/corporation that has completely taken over and controls all aspects of its members. The Big Brother-type controlling corporation is based entirely on control and profit, and have genetically engineered its children to wipe out ethnicity, disease, infirmity, and homosexuality. The citizens ...more
Eugene Cundiff
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, let's get this out of the way first - the central characters of this book are predominantly LGBT, and the book contains explicit sex scenes. If either of those things bother you unduly, you've now been warned so you have no one to blame but yourself. You were warned.

The Hands We're Given introduces us to the Wild Cards, the most rebellious band of rebels in the entire rebellion against the pluto-theocratic Hell-hole that once was the United States of America. Having lost their leader and
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The Wildcards are the unit that you go to when you need things done and have no worries on how it get done. Aiden Headly is the one who is in command of this ragtag crew , he really doesn't want to be the commander . Can he get his team to come together and do the job that needs to be done so they can fight for a country that is worth living in .

The characters in this book are well written and very complex . Each member of the team has a mind set that is beneficial for the team. There is more
Stephanie   GooglyEyes

This story features a not fully transitioned Trans, F2M, MC.

The author, I think, does a great job on the subject. While some of it made me slightly uncomfortable (at first) it also helped me to understand better. So it's not just a futuristic, dystopian story about survival, but also about self and peer acceptance.

Aidan struggles with being trans, both physically and mentally. He even has an AI psych app that halos in the form of his sister. I wish that were a real thing. Just think of all
K.  Ramjohn
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book wasn't what I expected but I have to admit I really enjoyed it. The Hands We're Given is a futuristic dystopian story about survival however it's also about romance, family and acceptance.
The world building in this novel was excellent as the author was very detailed in the description. There was a diverse cast of characters who you would love long before the story ends, however it was the close knit family feeling among the characters that makes them so relatable. There was MM romance
Sierra Clothier
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just wow. This book was way out of my comfort zone and I was very pleasantly surprised at the thrilling complexity and deeply emotional story. It takes place hundreds of years in the future, where Congress and state legislative bodies all fell apart. Corporations came in and took over, causing a large scale tech and morality war in the former United States. The details are eerily realistic, and the dangers are palpable.

This story is very complex. I do wish the author had a glossary of terms to
Elysian Fields
Sep 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
This story was tough to get into; it dragged and was a bit too detailed. I felt it stalled out a time or two, but I am SO GLAD that I persisted because the second half of this book really makes up for any negative feelings I was having at the beginning. This is an MM/transgender story and a slow burn. I liked that the development of the character was throughout the story not just at the beginning; I also really liked the fact that this was a developing story and will be continued in the next ...more
T.S. Murphy
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't really sure what to expect when I started this book. I don't read a ton of futuristic / dystopian fiction and I’m pretty sure I’ve never read a cyberpunk story. I’ve definitely never read a book with a trans character, but I think the author did a really good job portraying an honest relationship between Kevin & Aidan. Mix in a tyrannical government that is now managed by Corporations, a foul-mouthed mechanic, a doctor with cybernetic eyes that sounded freaky, and a tiny girl who ...more
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting beginning to a series, I may not have checked out on my own. This futuristic, dystopian tale was intriguing, and got me thinking.

The beginning was a little slow going for me, with all the detail, introducing the world and characters. After that, I couldn't help but feel for most of these characters, envisioning the world, the way the author described. You could feel the close-knit family feelings between the Wildcards, and how they are slow to trust outsiders, just like
Ryan Brainerd
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I started this book, given the cyberpunk theme, I figured there would be some epic battles, a fight against dystopian oppressors, and some cool future technology. While the book does deliver on these things, I wasn't prepared for the direct flight into the complicated emotions of the main character and his crew. The author has a talent for the delivering the inner journey of her characters, and I learned a few things about myself along the way.

At times, I felt like I was lost in this new
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is long and slow and I really appreciated it,because the author took the time to do a detailed description of the post apocalyptic world the action takes place in.

What I like most are the characters and how they are written. I feel like I really made new friends, getting to know them through the story. All of them amazing,with their own quirks and psychological problems, but always doing their best for the well being of the whole group.

𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑯𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒔 𝑾𝒆'𝒓𝒆 𝑮𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒏 is intriguing and gripping.
Kimberly Keane
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you’re under the rainbow or if you’re close to someone under the rainbow, this book is for you. Beautiful, well-rounded, deep LGBTQ+ characters, including the protagonist, populate a rich dystopian plausible future world.

Society is presented beautifully through the lens of the characters. It’s brilliant in its description. From one angle its seen as utopia, but the darkness cuts bone-deep due to its exclusion of anything and anyone who falls outside of an incredibly narrow range of existence.
Complimentary copy given by author for a honest review. Thank you O.E. Tearmann

This is a new to me author and also a genre when I don't normally read. This story deals with survival in a world of adversities - Government, war, social acceptance and LGBTQ characters . I really liked this book and was surprised at how much I enjoy reading about the Wildcards. The Wildcards are a base of military misfits who love to create insubordination, chaos, and push commanders begging to be reassigned until
Emma Jaye
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written and character driven, this is a slow burn romance in a fantastically imagined dystopian world.
Many of the incredibly well drawn characters have hidden secrets, most feel that the revelation of the secrets will destroy their odd 'family'. There's plenty of tech for those so inclined, but it didn't overwhelm the tale.
The trips onto the 'grid' were particularly gripping, and protray a possible future of holographic adverts pursuing you down the street unless you have the
NanaShauna Joesten
This is a very intriguing read that captured me right from the start. The Characters are like a close knit family. I love how the Author has brought the characters to life and the story to fruition. Its keeps you enthralled throughout the whole Audiobook, there are twists and turns everywhere. I find the characters fascinating, I love how the main guy gets on the level of his team. This is definitely right up there with the 100 and Hunger Games. I definitely recommend. Boththe Author and the ...more
Kavita Favelle
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a lot I love about this book. The characters are just wonderful, beautifully introduced and fleshed out through the story. I love the main character Aidan in particular. The latter part of his story, with Kevin, is so sweetly told. But there's too little of the world in which this is set, there are fascinating glimpses but not enough. And whilst the romance and sex scenes are tender and emotional, they are far too long, turning the book from a character-driven science fiction into a ...more
Feb 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Different strokes for different folks

This was not what I was expecting. It’s based far in the future. There was a lot of world building with some details I wasn’t sure why we needed to know and then some details that almost waited to long to tells us. I’m still not exactly sure what the climax was. There is some romance, but not what I was expecting. She is becoming a he and he meets a man, this confuses me but whatever, different strokes for different folks. It wasn’t a bad read but maybe it
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the sort of Blade Runner appeal to this dystopian society set in the future and run by a government that no longer belongs to the people but to corporations looking out for their own self interests. There’s a gender fluidity to the characters and Aiden and Kevin’s relationship happens immediately in a world where not blending is detrimental. The narrative seemed to drag a bit but the originality and attention to detail in creating this fictional society was impressive.
Kelly cowee
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book by O E Tearmann and I absolutely loved it.!! A milatary base has gone through so many commanders because of the personal there and Aidan's boss thinks he's the man for the job. Aidan has a month to whip the camp into shape. It was a rough start and the personal was giving him crap that he tried to handle with care. Their last commander died due to cancer. Aidan was born Amanda and was transitionin to become a man. Aidan feels attraction towards his logistics officer. Kevin ...more
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O.E. Tearmann lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, in what may become the CO-WY Grid. They share the house with a brat in fur, a husband and a great many books. Their search engine history may garner them a call from the FBI one day. When they're not living on base 1407 they advocate for a more equitable society and more sustainable agricultural practices, participate in sundry geekdom and

Other books in the series

Aces High, Jokers Wild (3 books)
  • Call the Bluff (Aces High, Jokers Wild, #2)
  • Raise the Stakes (Aces High, Jokers Wild, #3)