Review: Necrotech by K.C. Alexander (SINless #1)


Necrotech by K.C. Alexander // VBCNecrotech (SINless #1)
K.C. Alexander
Published: Sept. 6, 2016 (Angry Robot)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review 

Reviewed by: Margaret

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

In the world of Necrotech, everyone has nanos that allow them to survive the pollution and radiation in the city. When children are conceived, their nanos carve a SIN, a social identification number kind of like a VIN number on a car, into their brain. The SIN provides them access to jobs and health care, but also allows them to be tracked and monitored. Some people choose to have their SIN removed and live off the grid. They are called SINless, or saints, while the rest of the world are sinners.

The SINless often augment their bodies with bio-technology that allows them to be better at their jobs. For example, someone might have a chipset that allows him to be a faster hacker or a cybernetic arm that gives her extra strength. Such modifications are illegal because they carry the risk of going necro. If too many modifications are made, the technology can overwhelm the remaining human parts. The tech takes over, effectively killing the person and creating a zombie obsessed with whatever that tech’s primary function was. That zombie is called a necrotech.

Mercenary Riko wakes up in strange lab with no weapons, no clothes and no idea how she got there. She escapes, but not before watching her girlfriend go necro. Riko returns to her team for help, only to discover that they all believe she betrayed them and she’s been missing for months. With her reputation destroyed, Riko will have to turn to a new ally for help. In an action packed adventure, Riko and her new team battle rival corporate armies and hordes of necros to uncover a conspiracy.

I love Riko! She’s comfortable in her skin and unapologetic about her skills and her desires. She challenges traditional gender expectations with her job as a mercenary, her graphic language, and her self-professed “horndog behavior.” But what I love is that no one around her wants her to be any different. (I also thought the way her worldviews race as a cosmetic option was interesting.)

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a story with so much bio-tech set on Earth. The ever-present virtual ads and neon tattoos also remind me of movies set in space. That’s not a criticism, just to say that if you like Dark Matter or Killjoys you should check out Necrotech. Or if you like zombie killing action. Or badass, foul-mouthed heroines.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions at the end of Necrotech. I’m looking forward to more of Riko’s baddassery (and her innovative cursing) as her story continues.

Sexual content: references to sex

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