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For a book with a space station on its cover, this is some of the thinnest science fiction I have read recently. If you call paper "data scrolls," airplanes "FTL travel," and drones "drones" you have the level of worldbuilding that Platt brings to the table. It is such halfhearted stuff that you wonder why the author didn't just write this as a mediocre present-day Mafia story, which is what it aspires to be.
Unfortunately, it fails there, too, because the characters are so thin and badly drawn that they barely exist. Our conflicted central character, who murders people on orders, is only conflicted because Platt makes sure to tell us he is, not because there is any sign of actual emotion or motivation in the character. There is also a grizzled cop and a beat reporter (sorry, "blogger," because we are obviously talking far, far future here), if you felt there weren't enough stock characters involved.
A few fun-ish action scenes work, but otherwise this is pretty terrible. I found myself hate-listening for awhile just to see if it would get better. It didn't.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I felt like this one delivered on the premise of the blurb. The story was mostly told from the POV of Rath, an assassin, and those segments of the story had the feel of an action thriller. There was additional POV's from a police detective and a journalist and those segments of the story had a noir mystery feel to them.
This was light action sci-fi. The story was interesting and the pacing was decent. The flaw that held this back from being a better book was the fact that I never really managed to form an emotional investment with any of the characters.
All in all I felt like this was an OK listen and worth the bargain price I paid for it.
The big bonus was the narration. I felt like James Fouhey gave an excellent performance. He dealt equally well with the general narration and voicing characters of both gender.
Would you listen to Rath's Deception again? Why?
Yes. And soon. This is fresh, inventive and absolutely captivating. Rath, orphaned, is sold the idea of joining a super-secret organization of highly-lethal assassins. His task? Get 50 confirmed kills and he gets 50% of the monetary rewards. The only thing is, he can't get caught and he can't fail, regardless of the assignment. Can he make it to 50, and can he trust his employers? Wow.
What did you like best about this story?
I love the technology and also the authors experience and military knowledge. I enjoyed the occasional glimpse into the control room where The Group was monitoring all of its contractors/assassins. There was something fun about getting that inside look, and I liked how those scenes also told us a little about what the other contractors were doing. I’m very excited to see how things play out with the other two contractors who have been introduced to the story, particularly Contractor 339.
Which character – as performed by James Fouhey – was your favourite?
Rath. A smart kid with a perfect memory. He doesn't like killing but it's his only way out. A great character. The worlds are well planned and Rath is a complex character. We feel sympathy for him even as he does terrible things because we see the price he pays for his actions.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Glorious cyberpunk and an assassin you can root for? Loved it from start to finish.
Any additional comments?
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com.