Andrew's Reviews > Void Star

Void Star by Zachary Mason
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really liked it
bookshelves: science-fiction
Read 2 times. Last read April 18, 2017 to May 3, 2017.

Void Star by Zachary Mason, is a cyberpunk-style science fiction novel that takes place in the near distant future. The book follows a couple of characters: Irina, a women with special implants that allows her to examine complex AI. Kern, a boxer from the massive slums of San Francisco, who bites off more than he knows when he steals a prototype cellphone. Thales, son of a Brazilian politician, who is slumming in his expensive car around the city. These characters become embroiled in a mysterious plot by a tycoon, Cromwell, who has mysterious designs over the archived memories of our main characters. Irina discovers one of Cromwell's AIs has been hacked by an unknown entity, and becomes a target. She flees, while trying to get to the bottom of the plot against her. Kern becomes involved when someone on the other end of the phone he has stolen starts issuing instructions. Thales becomes suspicious after a surgeon he has been seeing recently due to a previous injury starts toying with his computer implant, and possibly altering his mood, thoughts and understanding of the world around him.

This book is a bit of a mind bender. It plays on themes of memory, immortality and artificial intelligence. Mason has written a compelling science fiction novel, very much in the cyberpunk sub-genre. The atmosphere is gritty, dystopic and high tech. The world is fragmented, and many gray areas outside of the law exist for businesses and criminals to ply their trade. Events in the book often lead to questions of existence, and the lines between real and artificial begin to blur. The book touches on many interesting topics in the high tech world - AI, online security and privacy, private sector power, and consumer culture. Their are a lot of interesting themes in Void Star.

All in all, this was an interesting book. It was a compelling and interesting read, and heavily inspired by the likes of Neuromancer or Blade Runner. It jumps on and off the net, questions existence in the virtual world, and has the feeling of an early cyberpunk story while still maintaining a modern feel. It was a refreshing science fiction read in a genre becoming crowded with similar ideas. Mason has written a great book, and one worthy of a read for fans of the cyberpunk genre, and those looking for a more grounded science fiction novel.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
April 12, 2017 – Shelved
April 12, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
April 16, 2017 – Shelved as: science-fiction
April 18, 2017 – Started Reading
April 21, 2017 –
page 61
April 30, 2017 –
page 120
May 3, 2017 – Finished Reading

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