Book Review #11: Cybrosis by P.C. Haring

Title: Cybrosis
Author: P.C. Haring
Publisher: Off the Deep End Multimedia
Release Date: December 16, 2011
Available Formats: Electronic formats including Epub, Kindle/Mobi. Available soon from Amazon, B&N and author’s site.

I’ve listened to a lot of works of podcast fiction. Some are nothing more than a way to pass a 20 minute commute. Some are really decent stories. Then again, there are some that definitely should be turned into printed works and shared with a larger reading audience. I truly believe Cybrosis has been in this latter category and am glad to find it has made the leap into the e-book market.

I was lucky enough to obtain an Advanced Reader Copy of Cybrosis and with the pending release of the book tomorrow, wanted to share my impressions.

So on to the review.

Synopsis: For Agent Ciris, the mission should have been simple: get in, apprehend the target, get out. But when the simple snatch and grab goes horribly awry, the worlds first cyborg finds herself backed into a corner. At odds with her superiors, she becomes embroiled in two conspiracies — one intended to destroy her with a cybernetic virus that will neutralize the technology that keeps her alive, the other intended to keep hidden the untold secrets of her origin. With the walls closing in around her, Ciris becomes a rogue agent with no one to trust and only one objective — unravel the shrouds of secrecy before time runs out.

This cyberpunk action adventure was first released as a free audio podcast in early 2010 and promises to be the first in a long line of titles by P.C. Haring.  (from Author’s site)

Setting: The setting of Cybrosis is a future world city. If it is stated, I don’t remember. It could easily be Chicago or New York. Much of the story takes place within a government facility. Each setting in Cybrosis, whether it is running down criminals in a packed urban environment or dining in a secluded manor, rings true.

Plot: In Cybrosis, Mr. Haring creates a world just entering a cybronic age. The economics of controlling this research, as well as the technology capable or allowing humans to live normal lives after the loss of a portion of their body has far reaching ramifications. Not everyone would use this technology for the good of mankind however, and Agent Ciris must fight the fight of her second life against a foe thats abilities are unknown and agenda might be larger than anyone realizes.

Characters: I loved the characters in Cybrosis. All the main characters left a lasting impression on me and I think part of the strength of Mr. Haring’s writing is his ability to create characters that resonate with the reader. They’re not perfect. They make mistakes. They prove, that even if they’re mostly machine, they’re still human.

Odin’s recommendation:  Cybrosis is essentially the same story in print that it was in podcast form. Very little was changed and the book itself comes in at a bit under 100,000 words. It is an easy read that sweeps the reader from subplot to subplot with ease and keeps the level of breathless anticipation up. Though it is violent, it doesn’t have the dark feel of many futuristic cyberpunk stories. There is an element of hope where many stories in this genre prefer to dwell on the despair that dystopian society has brought upon mankind. I prefer Mr. Haring’s vision, and I think you will too.

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