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The Chimera Code

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  79 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Neuromancer for a non-binary age: an action-packed techno-thriller with a side of magical realism.

Everything’s for hire – even magic.

If you need something done, they’re the best: a tough, resourceful mage, a lab-created genderless hacker and a cyborg with a big gun.

But when they’re hired by a virtual construct to destroy the other copies of himself, and the down payment
Paperback, 500 pages
Published November 10th 2020 by Solaris (first published July 21st 2020)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  79 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Liz
Utterly engrossing, immersive (and non-binary) sci-fantasy -- action-packed and a little magic (in all the best ways); fun, swaggerifically imperfect, likeable characters.

(Thank you for the ARC, I thoroughly enjoyed this!)
Adah Udechukwu
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Chimera Code is good but not too good. The novel was action-packed but its flaw is that it became too technical. Complex words interfered with the storyline and this created difficulty in my comprehension.
Paula M
Dec 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
☕️🤎 Find me elsewhere: 🤎☕️

blog || instagram || twitter

Trigger/Content warnings: Violence, Murder, Implied sexual assault

Well, wow. This novel is just breathtaking. I honestly want to go inside Wayne Santos' brain and just admire how it works. I want more and more from this world!

Imagine mixing MAGIC and ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY. Thats Chimera Code for you. It might sound overwhelming especially for those who aren't huge readers of Science Fiction genre but I assure you, The Chimera Code is writte
Book Barbarian  (Tammy Smith)
eARC provided by NetGalley , thank you to Solaris/Rebellion. All opinions are my own.

Recommends it for: Science Fiction enthusiasts. Them people that wanted Ready Player One to be more Adulty


Wow. From the start this book was out of control – in a good way. I am loving the representation in this novel.

Cloke is a tough-as-nails mage, she is also the unofficial leader of a resourceful and dangerous team that has a gen
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.5 Stars
Blending together fantasy and science fiction, this was a rather unique SFF novel. Personally, sci fantasy is not my favourite subgenre because I am a bit of a science fiction purist. Yet, I will acknowledge that this story did a good job of blending the genres into a fun adventure story.

This novel contains an eclectic cast of characters, which made for some great interactions between the various personalities. The author himself has a diverse background and so uses his novel to uplift
Benjamin Appleby-Dean
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt
A punchy, compelling cyber-thriller that deftly weaves magic and technology together.

The Chimera Code starts off at full-speed, and Santos has a definite gift for writing action scenes, but the book's actually at its most compelling when it slows down - the world-building here is meticulous and convincing, and the character development of Zee, one of the two protagonists, is sympathetic and well-drawn.

A detailed, exciting read.
Aug 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020, cyberpunk
Plenty of action, average world-building, interesting characters but they lack depth.


ARC through NetGalley
Sunyi Dean
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fantasy
I really enjoyed this novel. Santos sometimes bills himself as a straight-up action guy whose books are full of explosions, but that's doing himself a disservice. Although Chimera Code is certainly an action-oriented novel with plenty of explosions, there really is quite a lot of depth to some the issues being presented and tackled throughout the storyline.

Everything about how a futuristic or fantasy world (depending on your genre) is constructed says a lot about the ideologies an author carrie
Ryan Rose
Feb 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
If you'd have told me a Cyberpunk book was going to have magic missiles, a sentient sword, and cyborgs, I would've said "two of those don't belong." Santos not only imagines a world where the other two could belong, he delivers one where they feel necessary.

The Chimera Code delivers on a promise of action, hacking, fascinating magic, and a surprising amount of emotional depth. I can honestly say that a cyberpunk hacking story has never made me tear up before this one. I can't wait for the next
Nov 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This felt a welcome 21st century fusion of fantasy and science fiction with hackers and mages in a non-US centric world trying to do the right or wrong thing. Diverse, smart and often funny

Full review -
Chantal Lyons
Jun 09, 2020 rated it liked it
*Advanced Reader Copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley - thank you!*

There's a lot to commend about this book, but it's also lacking in quite a few ways, for me.
It's billed as a new Neuromancer, and that's very apt - in fact, it actually reads like a fanfiction of Neuromancer. As a reader, it seems that you're expected to have already read Neuromancer, because there is zero explaining of the world. I hate an info-dump at the beginning as much as anyone, but 'The Chimera Code' really goes
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the interests of full disclosure, I have to say that I met Wayne when we were both young geeks in University. I've been reading bits and pieces of his writing ever since then, and I was so excited to hear that he was finally going to be published. He kindly sent me an ARC of The Chimera Code. I had a vague fear about what I would say if I didn't like it, but I should have known that wouldn't be a problem. This book takes huge portions of my formative years, squashes them into a whole and pres ...more
Ahhh new favorite alert! The Chimera Code by Wayne Santos is one I hadn’t heard almost anything about beyond the tantalizing premise: near future cyberpunk with magic. This book was everything I wanted it to be, the action was high-stakes and nonstop, the worldbuilding was thoughtful and exciting, and the characters quickly stole my heart. My only complaint is that this is apparently book one of the “WitchWare Series” but I can’t find any information on when I can get my hands on future books?!? ...more
Georgina Kamsika
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’ve read a short story by Wayne before so I already knew I loved his writing, but The Chimera Code blew me away.

Cloke is a mercenary in a world of magic and technology. I don’t want to get into her story too much, as it’s smart and I’d hate to give anything away too early but it’s fun to spend time with her and her companions.

It’s my favourite kind of worldbuilding, dropping you into a living world that gives you information as and when you need it but still develops into a compelling universe.
Khalidha Zia
Picked up the book impressed by the blurb. This was a genre I had been waiting to explore and I must put out a disclaimer that I don't have much to compare the experience with.

The narrative is fast paced and keeps the reader hooked to the book. The book opens up to a fast action scene and it only gets better with each page. At times, it did feel straight out of futuristic movies. When you think it's all science, the author throws in a little bit of magic and makes the plot more interesting. A sa
Gargee | Sapphire Bubble
Nov 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4.5 stars

Trigger Warnings for the book: violence, murder. implied sexual assault, misgendering of nonbinary character
Representation: Filipino-Irish MC, nonbinary MC

Really enjoyed this action-packed, infused with magical realism, techno-thriller. Hungrily looking forward to the next book.
Find the full review on my blog.

Find me elsewhere: Blog | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter | The Story Graph
Oct 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer-books
This book was a really fun read and such an intriguing concept. In this future, magic and computers will be used side by side in the world. This book follows a Chimera team that has three members: a witch, the muscle and a hacker. Each member working together for whatever the highest bidder has hired them to do.

The world-building was organic and it avoided a bunch of info-dumping which I always appreciate. The history of this world was very believable, which was amazing and also terrifying. Ther
Reid Edwards
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Chimera Code by Wayne Santos is a great take on SF/Cyberpunk, with plenty of worldbuilding, tech deep dives and action to keep any reader entertained. Santos does a great job at allowing the reader to slowly learn about the world he's created; no heavy-handed exposition ruins the flow of his story. His character development is solid, with each character's motivations and ambitions discovered through their actions and words with shifts and growth over time feeling organic rather than plotted. ...more
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
What can I say … this was a fast and fun, cyberpunk/mission impossible style story. World building was pretty much stock, but the author didn’t make any grievous mistakes throwing all of the tech jargon around (major props for that). Editing was also clean, so I never had any “WTF?” moments that sometimes interrupt the flow of the story with grammar or word choice mistakes. Characters were solid and interesting (although development was limited)… with a sub-genre combination you don’t always see ...more
Shelly Campbell
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Explosions Galore and so much more!

The Chimera Code is first and foremost a slick, breakneck-paced cyber action thriller. Even if you aren’t into tech, Santos has a knack of elegantly making you feel like you’re right there in the jump seat at the console with his characters. The blend of magic and technology felt fresh and the world-building was woven into the story effortlessly in a way that didn’t bog me down in details. But where Santos really shines is with his characters. Beneath the swagg
Nicole Luiken
Jan 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy, canadian
The tagline is Magic. Hacking. Action--and boy does it provide! Unique cyberpunk + magic futuristic world. This has a heist feel with a team of specialists each contributing to the "job". I loved the crazy, over-the-top finale. Cloke was my favourite character, but Zee has the stronger character arc and I hope future books in the series dive more deeply into hir background. ...more
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-read-books
There’s a lot of punk around these days. Between cyberpunk, steampunk, ecopunk, dieselpunk and myriad others, it sometimes seems that fans won’t be satisfied until every novel has its own specific genre. I’m being flippant of course, and it must be said that I quite like knowing what genre a book has been placed into (even if it’s so I can disagree with the decision). And all these punk genres do mean it’s fairly easy from a cursory glance to know where The Chimera Code sits. Cyberpunk, right? O ...more
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. So often I find that books do either SciFi or Fantasy and this does both, with style. The world building unfolds very naturally and vividly. The characters are interesting and I found myself invested in them right away. Also, this was the first time I read a book with a non-binary person and am glad to have learned the proper pronouns. I strongly recommend this novel!
Darby Harn
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“It was like something from a movie poster.”

A character describes one of the many kinetic action scenes in The Chimera Code this way. Though it might be the most inadequate way to explain this outstanding debut novel by Wayne Santos, it’s a good frame of reference for a novel that is highly visual, teeming with action, and loaded with detail and subtleties you can only find by pouring over the text with a magnifying glass.

It’s difficult to imagine the future right now, but the future in The Chim
Andrew Skinner
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Chimera Code lives and breathes, and you can feel all the details just out of sight. For a world full of complexities, though, the technical details don't hold you up. The plot has an emotional simplicity that carries you along, and side-character arcs that satisfy, covering some heady topics along the way; selfhood, intelligence and being, but with more enough action to keep the pace flowing throughout.

The book wears its influences on its sleeve, so you'll recognise hat-tips to Ghost in th
Allyn Nichols
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I adore Cyberpunk so once i'd started this novel i slurped my way though it like a smoothie on a hot summer's day. It really reminds me of a Jet Li movie called "The One". If you're a fan of Gibson, Tad Williams or Austin Dragon you'll love this. Everything a cyberpunk futurist needs in a novel. ...more
DNF @ 10%

When it comes to science fiction, I can be rather picky, and after a few chapters, I found myself bouncing off this book too much to enjoy it. The book launches you into a world with very little explanation and a lot of jargon, and I found it difficult to orient myself in the setting. Prose was middling, and plot and action seemed to be at the forefront of the book’s priorities. Not saying this is a bad thing—it’s just not what I look for in a book.

One random positive I want to mention
Thank you Netgalley, Wayne Santos and Solaris books for the Advanced reader copy. This is my honest review and not affected by this in any way

The Chimera Code by Wayne Santos is an action-packed science fiction novel.
A diverse group of mercenaries A mage, a Cyborg, a hacker, and a dead friend now AI, are hired by a virtual construct to destroy the other copies of himself. In this book, you mostly follow the Mage Cloke and the Hacker Zee through this mission.

Representation : Zee is Non-binar
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m pleasantly surprised with Wayne Santos’ 2020 novel "Chimera Code, The." Usually, the books I read that try to blend science and magic don’t work very well. This one does. Santos has put together an interesting world, populated it with interesting people, and come up with a good, fast-paced plot. I do have some issues with it and that’s why my actual rating for the book is a Pretty Good 3-1/2 stars out of 5 instead of my official 4 stars. First, the protagonist and all of her team are the bes ...more
By 6%, I disliked the main character so thoroughly that I actively wanted to see her fail at her goals, but not so much that I wanted to read the rest of the book.

Mainly because of the opening chapter, where she ruthlessly kills several gang rivals plus a security guy who is only doing his job, and causes the incidental deaths of several innocent bystanders in the process. And far from facing consequences, is offered a job by the cynical and heartless corporation.

So many of my least favorite cy
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Wayne Santos has been an ad copywriter, a TV scriptwriter, a magazine contributor, an editor, and a freelance writer for too many things on the Internet to count. He grew up in Alberta, lived in Singapore, and settled down in Ontario with his wife and an ongoing rotation of two household cats. He is a multi-disciplinary geek with a double major in science-fiction and fantasy, specializations in no ...more

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