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The Hands We're Given

(Aces High, Jokers Wild #1)

by
4.35  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  91 reviews
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 the Wildcards are known for cr ...more
Paperback, 2, 429 pages
Published July 22nd 2019 by Amphibian Press (first published September 3rd 2018)
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Average rating 4.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  127 ratings  ·  91 reviews


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Melissa
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
...more
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 by
...more
Susan
This wasn’t the book I was expecting but it was still pretty darn good. Set in 2155 in Colorado, the US is no more. Rather, the country has been divvied up among several large corporations. If you aren’t a corp, then you’re on the outside. Maybe you work in secret some place or perhaps you are with whatever military organization Aidan and his ragtag crew are part of. (It’s the Defense State Force but I have to look at the book description to figure that out as it’s not really mentioned or descri ...more
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 enjo
...more
Erica
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.
...more
Caite*
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.
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.

Jason Dias
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cyberpunk, glbtqia
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. Th
...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 f
...more
Teresa
Excellent. Stories involving trans characters can be hit or miss with me. This one really put me in Aiden's shoes and I appreciated the sensitivity the topic was. I also liked that it was another facet of who he was - a very important facet - but not his whole identity. I really liked Kevin as well. He was a complicated man but so very loyal to his base and family.

The dystopian aspect was well thought out and I could almost see us heading there. The descriptions of both on and off grid were com
...more
Florinda Grove
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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, lesbi
...more
E.M. Hamill
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hooked

Moving on to book 3 as I type this. Love this series! I am emotionally invested in these characters and their fight against corporate evil. Too real and too scary vision of the future.
Stephanie   GooglyEyes
3.5*

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
...more
Patricia
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
...more
Michele
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Hands We’re Given is the first book in the Aces High, Jokers Wild series. The author, O. E. Tearmann, is a master of character craft. He has written some of the most compelling, complex, and flawed characters that I have read in a long time.

In this future reality, corporations use gene-therapy to create “perfect” humans. Everyone else is disposable. Our team of flawed characters, aka The Wild Cards, is part of the Resistance. They live outside of the metropolitan corporate zones and fight f
...more
C.D. Tavenor
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I didn’t know what to expect when I started The Hands We’re Given, a cyberpunk novel by O. E. Tearmann.

The story was more intriguing and riveting than I could have imagined.

Tearmann explores a futuristic world set in the 22nd century, where corporations control everything. Our heroes attempt to survive on the outskirts of civilization as “Dusters,” rebels against the corporate overlords.

Aiden and Kevin, our two unlikely friends.

I don’t want to spoil too much about this story (and so much is easi
...more
Kosh Gott
Jun 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant and imaginative dystopian tale. While there is an LGBT romance (two, actually) woven into the story, this is not what I could classify as romance genre. There is excellent world building, excellent characterization, and just the right amount of angst. This is, at its core, a found-family type of story, with with people living in partially-militarized camps that are the last vestiges of freedom in a future, dystopian America. It has some of the feel of Brave New World, but with a more ...more
Jessica
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great opening to a series filled with brave well-rounded character who just *happen* to be various LGBTQIA sexualities. The story is a smashing prediction of what could happen if we continue to give corporations more power in our lives. And then gives us the rebels that would lead the futuristic fight against them. It's a wild ride, and filled with true character growth where people pursue their dreams in the fight for a return to a true Democratic Republic.
Speaking as someone who has read the
...more
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
...more
Michele
Nov 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Hands We’re Given is the first book in the Aces High, Jokers Wild series. The author, O. E. Tearmann, is a master of character craft. He has written some of the most compelling, complex, and flawed characters that I have read in a long time.

In this future reality, corporations use gene-therapy to create “perfect” humans. Everyone else is disposable. Our team of flawed characters, aka The Wild Cards, is part of the Resistance. They live outside of the metropolitan corporate zones and fight f
...more
Jan
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Aidan Headly isn't sure he's up to the task of pulling the formerly-best-performing unit of the Democratic State Force back from its dysfunctional tailspin. He's the third commander sent to the base in as many months. The traditional military-discipline approach has failed spectacularly with the unconventional unit, nicknamed the Wildcards, but Aidan tries a different approach. He's respectful, intelligent, and creative.

Neither he nor the Wildcards realize at first just how much healing all of
...more
Carolyn
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is not my normal type to read. It took me a few chapters to get into it but then I was hooked. It’s a look at live in 2155 and we have royally screwed up. The United States of America is not United anymore. It’s run by 7 Corporations. There are different levels for people from the elite to the poor workers. Then there are the Dusters living off the grid fighting the Corporations. Fighting to return the country to the people. This group of Dusters are based in Colorado. The Wildcards ar ...more
Linda Puritis
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't sure I was going to like this book. The genre, and gender issues, wasn't one I had explored before. I've been missing A LOT!
Future America is a scary place and I have to hope the U.S.A. in this story stays fiction. Corporations rule, people are divided into sects and resources are divided accordingly. Genetic manipulation is the norm. Not everyone just falls in line.
Welcome the Wildcards. A cog in the rebellion against the frightening world of corporate rule. I absolutely fell in love
...more
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 wo
...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 will t ...more
Stephanie A.
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I do not normally read military sci-fi dystopian fiction. I'm not a fan of military reads in general but O.E. Tearmann has turned me. This was amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters so much that I was so involved in each of their stories. Each of them is so fleshed out and complicated and has much bigger stories to tell in the coming books. I can't wait to read them.

When people want to write proper diversity in books especially when it comes to sexual orientation, gender, and mental illne
...more
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.
...more
Catherine Haynes
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Hands We’re Given
(Aces High, Jokers Wild Book 1)
by O. E. Tearman

The Hands We’re Given is an extremely emotional story, with a surprisingly thrilling complexity of the realistic and in eerie details. A compelling and wonderful story comes alive with the realization that this story gives a sense of urgency given the unstable political climates which we are currently under. A personal story of redemption and acceptance of the trans-gender and gay, handled with Grace and dignity.

Unique and we
...more
Low-La
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 A
...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
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Other books in the series

Aces High, Jokers Wild (4 books)
  • Call the Bluff (Aces High, Jokers Wild, #2)
  • Raise the Stakes (Aces High, Jokers Wild, #3)
  • Aces and Eights (Aces High, Jokers Wild #4)

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