June 21, 1998
San Francisco, California
The world is not what it seems.
Michael Bishop is an Asset of the Facility - a job that comes with many strange perks. He is a man who never gets ill, who never pays taxes. He is effortlessly fit and has a different woman every night of the week.
That is, when he is not on assignment.
When activated, Michael becomes Asset 108, a cyberenhanced human who stands against the strange darkness that lurks at the edge of our world. Armed with equipment that most would find impossible to comprehend, he is sent on missions both strange and deadly. Each dossier pits him against irrational creatures and beings - most with the power to unravel his sanity or reality itself. It's never a simple job.
This job, however, is more complex than most. Mysterious, unknown targets are fracturing reality somewhere in the middle of the Mojave Desert. The Facility has no other Assets in the area, and their telemetry is spotty at best. Without knowing what to expect, Bishop is activated, assigned to a cadre, and sent to the middle of nowhere.
What he finds there is both the beginning and the end.
©2013, 2015 Irrational Worlds (P)2015 Irrational Worlds
Many would be envious of Michael Bishop's life. With regular large sums of money paid tax free, direct into his bank account, he has no need to work. His luxury apartment and the utilities which service it are all prepaid. Even his car, clothes and shopping are bought for him: Anything he needs he only has to request it. And he is never ill. But Bishop has a secret: he is asset 108, and,: when the need arises, he can be called upon to protect the stability of the world against singularity changes.
We meet Michael just after he receives one such call and follow him as he is sent, with two other assets, to investigate some strange readings at a spot in the heart of the desert. Bishop suspects that this is an unusual mission, a feeling reinforced when he is lured into a trap whilst still travelling. Written in the first person, the story has an immediacy as Bishop and companions struggle to discover what is happening, and survive. It is slightly reminiscent of gamer (LitRPG) novels in that the protagonists move amongst different levels of reality, fighting with whatever weapons they carry in their arsenal, and facing strange monsters along the way. But the only prize that they are fighting for is the survival of humanity itself.
Narrator, Joel Richards, has fully immersed himself in the character of Michael Bishop. His voice is warm and well modulated, beautiful as befits the description of the man; the reading is pace perfect and the other characters are also individually recognisable in dialogue. His performance helps to transform this already enjoyable story into something special.
I was very fortunate in being gifted my copy of Rationality Zero. My thanks for that. I am now looking forward to hearing the second book in this series.
This book provides ok tale about cyberpunk future and lovecraftian horror. Book does not go deep on either subject matter, but manages to provide entertaining story with action and suspence.
Writer, reader, now an avid listener, why hadn't I discovered this before!
Umm I have to say the lovely tone of voice from Joel. It was one of the best performances I've listened to in the last few weeks. Great narrator.
But, it's defo a toss-up over that and the actual story. What an interesting story and world. I can't say enough about that either, so will go into more detail below.
So both, together these two are a fab team.
Honestly, don't know on this one. I'm a sci fi girl, but this sub genre was a different take on it.
The characters are just so well drawn out, that even when they're in the darkest of situations their humour and banter carries you off. I have to admit, when Wyatt's face is taken off and Anya's deploying them the right pain and healing meca the fact that he's just his usual self is a very good thing.
There were some really awful and cringe worthy moments, with the creatures and the Verum. I think the whole journey in the facility is just that on the edge of your seat, that the defining moment has to be when they finally do get near leaving it's makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end.
Okay, so there were several things I did love about the story and a couple of things I wasn't so keen on.
The world building and understanding of science in here must have been a huge undertaking, because although I'm no scientist, it felt so real. Like the tiniest part of the story just made so much sense. All with irrational and rational space. I'd love to know how much effort this was while writing. :) I felt like there was an amazing amount of knowledge in here, yet I didn't feel like it was that heavy that it bogged the story down at all.
I do remember thinking that sometimes the explanation of the mecca came a little late when it was being used and not first taken from their white room.
I think what I would have liked more was that human connection, having said that. I got the feeling that Bishop really started to like Anya towards the end of the narration. Was there more to that than I thought, maybe I'll listen to another book in the series and find out. hehe. I do hope that Wyatt's face isn't that badly scared as well. Even with the time taken in the hospital I felt so bad for them all. Maybe a little more at the end of the novel would have been a good idea. I know they've got all that great information, and are prepared better for the invasion... I think with the MC having a life outside of his job the start of the story and the ending, though they tie in well kinda left me with a little headscratch. More because of Bishops lack of personality there or it felt like it. The woman he was with in the start, just a throw away. And in the beginning, that made me not like him as a MC, however, he did care for his job and what he was doing, so he kinda won me over in the end, and the fact he cared for his friends, especially Wyatt, who he does call his best friend at one part. I liked that.
Thank you for the awesome job that you both put into this. :) I'll happily buy the next in the series, and the one after that, lol
"The adventure comes to audible!"
The narrator's talent and attention to the roles.
The unfolding plot as we are introduced to what this new universe has in store.
The introductions of the cast of characters and their seamless teamwork in the face of eldritch horror.
Having read this first installment of the Assets and their covert adventures safeguarding this reality from the forces of chaos from beyond the bounds of dimensioned space, I went into the audio realm with one overriding question: does this narrator sound like Michael Bishop?
To that I give an unqualified ‘yes.’
Joel Richards’ performance captures the character’s voice as he relates the first-person adventure investigating an alien conspiracy.
Richards conveys Bishop’s businesslike and oft times humorous descriptions of and commentary on the bizzaare situations, while still expressing the horror of the otherworldly monstrosities they face. Whether suddenly finding himself thrust into realms inimical to humanity or facing off against aberrations, Bishop relates it all in his own way, never confusing grim gallows humor with annoying flippancy.
The next criteria I paid attention to was the quality of the other voices in dialogue. The book has a varied cast of characters, from gritty American Southern to Russian, and Richards projected the accents well.
Listeners will also appreciate Richards’ work dealing with the involved tech-speak and uniquely alien phraseology favored by the denizens of Irrationality. I look forward to again listening to this journey into a universe beneath and around our own.
"Fun Cyberpunk and Lovecraftian story."
This story brings together two of my favorite genres of fiction: Lovecraftian monsters and Cyberpunk.
I really enjoyed the characters. Seeing the story through Michael's eyes really pulled me in making me feel a part of the story. The secondary characters were also very likable and easy to feel for. I also loved all the technology and world building. It was nice to see the universe the story is set in revealed to us piece by piece instead of in a large info dump like some stories. I'm really interested to see more adventures in Michael's world. Lastly, the action scenes were fast-paced and very gripping.
The narrator did an ok job I felt. At times, it seemed like the action scenes were moving in slow motion. I didn't feel there was enough excitement in certain parts. overall though, it was a pleasant listen and didn't make me want to turn it off.
This is a great start to what I hope will be an acceptional series. I can't wait for more.
Yes, this was a heart stopper to say the least. I held my breath and winced through each chapter
He was FANTASTIC!!! Has changed my mind about purchasing books on my Kindle, I may be going to audio. He was fantastic, multiple voices and perfect tones....loved him
Prepare yourself, this will be no ordinary ride!!!
I am excited to see what the continuing saga will look like with JM's books, he has me on a scavenger hunt and I can't wait to win!!! Thank you JM Guillen
"Action Adventure or Children's Book?"
I like the story but, I would rather re-read it instead of listen again
Anyone that can read the book as if it's a Lovecraftian Si-fi instead of a children's book would do a better job voicing this
"JM Guillen- lovechild of Ian Fleming & Lovecraft"
JM Guillen will take you on a wonderful adventure through the veil of Rational space. 'Rationality Zero' is a tangling tale of well-choreographed combat, subtle intrigue, Booby Traps, futuristic technology, and video game-like abilities. It reeled me in and wound me tight with quips and jokes and serious moments. It’s worth a listen thanks to the narrator, whose depiction of the characters is clean and consistent!
I will definitely be picking up the entire series.
This is an excellent work. One of the author's earlier works, it is slightly less polished then his more recent works.
The characters are engaging, and the things that are hinted at but never revealed serve to draw the reader in further.
The narrator works well, but don't listen while tired and driving.
The world is very deep and you can tell there is a lot of work that went into developing it and the characters. I do not generally enjoy this genre but It really draws you in and makes you wonder what will happen next and how the characters will get out of the trouble they have found themselves in.
When the main character, Michael Bishop, is pulled through a tear in his world to do battle with a being on the other side of it.
I love the scenes that are the banter between the characters. It really helps you get to know them and their personalities ... as well as being humorous.
Yes, and I did. I was on a road trip and it was a pleasant way to pass the time on the road.
Wonderfully written. Narrated well.
"GREAT Audio book! Great narration!"
Joel Richards keep me listening. He made me laugh and view certain topics in a different light. I've tried audio books before and could never really make it through a complete book. Guillen's writing and Joel's narration for this book was a perfect match. I was thoroughly entertained. I will definitely be looking for more from Guillen & Richards.
Bishop. His character is so believable. The story captures you and Bishop won't let go of you. You want to see him succeed.
This was my first-time hearing Joel. He's made a fan of me.
Joel Richards did a superb job of narration, but, it was Guillen's genius that made it all work. I will definitely be following this author.
"Your ears will thank you."
Not necessarily; they each have their own unique delights. There are little nuances you can catch only by reading, but the narration of the audiobook is just wonderful.
Michael Bishop, as he's the main protagonist. But, Wyatt and Anya are a lot of fun, too. The interplay between characters is both enjoyable and believable.
My favorite scene happens fairly early in the book. It's the scene with Michael in the airport restroom. I won't say any more, because spoilers aren't any fun for anyone.
The tag line would be "Action, Adventure, Super Spies and Monsters!"
The story has so many different layers to it. To get the most out of it, you really ought to listen to it more than once. The first time for the initial glee of an excellent story. The second time for clues about the different threads of the Irrational Worlds. The third time so you can second-guess all your first impressions.
"This was fascinating!"
I read the synopsis and I was not completely sold. Mostly because it is sci fi. There was just something about it that sounded intriguing enough to give it a go, and it paid off!
First off, the beginning starts with a note. Each of these can be read separately but to get all of the clues, all of them must be read! Interesting!
Michael is sort of like a cyborg or something. He is able to download and remember information much like a computer. He processes information, and even needs certain upgrades depending on his assignment. But, those upgrades can only be used if he has enough room.
The language is pretty easy to pick up. There is a bit of jargon, but not so much that I felt totally out of my element. The main characters, pull you right in but at the same time, almost keep the reader at arm's length. Not enough to cause the book to become boring, but just enough to feel like they are way too busy working and fighting abnormalities to worry about telling each other about themselves.
When they are not working, they slip back into their lives, but forget that they are agents. They have lives but their lives are far and away from being agents!
This was a short story, but pretty much had me from beginning to end. It did take me a minute to get into the Sci Fi atmosphere, but I attribute that to my lack of love for sci fi.
Really curious about the next book in the series now.
The audio was brilliant. I could have listened to this and to the narrator, Joel Richards, forever. He has a deep, rich voice. He was great with the different accents but also with the highs and lows of the story. As Michael is getting upset Joel's voice kept up with the anxiety. The three main characters are also easily distinguishable even though they talk to each other, and sometimes over each other, often!
In short: lovely, quite fascinating story. Took me a minute to be fully engaged but once I was I didn't want the story to end!
On a side note: Cool cover!
Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
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