Humanity is in the eye of the beholder. But for street-smart detective Amber Payne, it's the eyes that aren't human. Cybernetic implants replaced the organics she lost in the line of duty, and their appearance often causes Amber to doubt her self-worth. Rookie detective Kevin Glass is her partner. And though he may be new, Kevin's unparalleled skill as an elite cyber-surfer makes him an invaluable asset. When Alta Corp contracts the two of them to solve a case of high stakes data theft, they will need every bit of skill, experience, and determination to succeed. For the more they investigate, the more it becomes evident that this case is much more than it appears, and its resolution may forever alter the world in which they live.
©2013 Jeff Brackett (P)2013 Jeff Brackett
Jeff Bracket's audiobook, Streets of Payne, has brought together a superb narration by Joy Nash with an innovative, exciting science fiction futuristic police procedural mystery adventure.
Amber Payne is a law enforcement official who still suffers constant nightmares of the street bangers who took her eyes some years before. Her replacement occular cyber implants might have several advantages over the old, organic ones but the obvious metallic grey has crippled her self esteem. And left her with a ten year debt. Partnered recently with rookie Kevin Glass, the best cyber surfer she knows, the pair are sent to investigate the disappearance of two major research files from Alter Corp, a job which will have far reaching implications not just for Amber and Kevin but for the future itself.
The story is intriguing, fast paced, and with great characterisations which felt real despite the futuristic aspect. People might be altered, but they stay the same. The earlier half of the book is often sardonically funny, with good, natural dialogue, and the story develops into an action packed race to solve the mysteries. Ms.Nash mirrors the pace throughout, with a warm, rounded voice, clarity and intonation to match the text and the emotions. She is a perfect choice for the determined, yet still slightly fragile, Amber, and her performance of the other characters is also distinctive and very appropriately voiced. An exemplary narration.
I very much enjoyed Streets of Payne, with it's twisting tale of twisted people and of the others who aim to keep the ordinary folk safe. So deep thanks to the rights holder who gifted me my copy, via Audiobook Boom. This is the first book by this author that i have read but it will certainly not be the last. And although this story was complete in itself, i hope that there is more to come of Amber Payne and her friends. Recommended to all who enjoy their investigative-style science fiction stories both cyber and character rich.
"Futuristic police procedural"
Brackett's Streets of Payne is a gritty and futuristic police / detective story. Detective Payne works for a contract law enforcement company along with her partner who is an ace hacker and investigates first some missing files and then a kidnapping in connection with company making computerized prosthetics. The overall mood is a cyberpunk / Bladerunner style.
The sci-fi element are mainly artificial body parts, monster AIs, and computer hacking. The pacing is excellent with a good flow of back and forth between real world action (high tech weaponry and armor) and cyberspace battles. Payne is continually being put back together and with a sequel could end up becoming a female robocop.
The narration is first rate with an excellent range of voices
"not sure where all the 5's came from"
not sure... if you want a harlequin romance for detective stories set in the future, i suppose. and don't care about character development, or plot that reminds me of my high school creative writing class.
first book by mr brackett
the narration was OK. There just wasn't any story to grab onto
not sure if cutting a character would help the book. I just did not care about any of them, or find them the least bit interesting.
I listened for about an hour and a half before changing to another book. I was forcing myself to listen, as maybe it would get better or I would somehow get used to the book. I switched to a John Scalzi book and it was like coming in from the desert to a cool drink of water.
"Awesome cyberpunk mystery"
Well, fuggle me blue! This book was everything it promised to be—and more. I was lucky enough to receive an audiobook version of Streets of Payne, narrated by Joy Nash. The only downside to this is that I have no idea how anything is spelled, so apologies in advance if I get things wrong.
In a future in which law enforcement has been privatized, street-smart Amber Payne is a detective with Securi-Tech, partnered with hacker extraordinaire Kevin Glass. The first thing people notice about her are always her eyes—or rather, the cybernetic implants that replaced her eyes, after she lost hers when street bangers attacked her.
When Amber and Kevin are hired by the powerful Alta Corp to investigate the theft of valuable data, they stumble upon something, much, much bigger than corporate espionage. They find themselves in the crosshairs of a powerful enemy, one who will stop at nothing to end them.
Where to start the gushing? This book has everything a good sci-fi adventure ought to have: intriguing characters, awesome tech, snappy dialogue, thrilling action, and even a touch of philosophy… And the street slang Amber employs is infectious. Brackett really brings his world to life.
The first thing that came to mind when I read (or rather, was listening to) this book was Gibson. And then as the book progressed, I felt shades of Philip K. Dick. Brackett seems like a natural heir to these sci-fi greats. His novel explores the possibilities of cyberspace and artificial intelligence, as well as the possible future of cosmetic surgery. In this world, people can get enhancements of all kinds—muscles, limbs, and more all have artificial counterparts that are more powerful than the real thing.
Pretty much every character in this book counts as a cyborg—part human and part machine. For Amber, it’s her cybernetic eyes. For Kevin, it’s his virtual alter-ego, K2. And then there are the street bangers and mercenaries they run into, who are so jacked up with tech, you start to wonder if they still count as human.
The plot of takes the stories on twists and turns, leading the characters in unexpected directions. I found myself more than once yelling, “What!” The mystery turns out to be far more complex than Amber anticipated, and there were times when I found myself wondering, “What is going on here?!” But the threads all come together in the end, leaving the reader with a satisfying resolution.
As a character, Amber is a familiar figure—the haunted, tough-as-nails detective who will stop at nothing to solve her case. But Brackett also brings her human side to the surface—the compassionate woman who cares about her partner and who isn’t without her faults.
Overall, this book was a very enjoyable read, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a healthy dose of sci-fi. And if you’re too busy to curl up with a book (like I am these days), the audiobook is phenomenal. Joy Nash’s narration really makes the characters and action come alive, giving each person his or her own voice.
What more can I say? If you’re a fan of Gibson, the TV show “Almost Human”, Bladerunner, or anything else by Philip K. Dick, I highly recommend you give this book a try.
"A great cyberpunk story!"
It's been a long time since I've consumed cyberpunk, but this offering hit all the bright spots in my memory. The story was fabulous and the narration amazing.
"TOP JOB Jeff Brackett and Joy Nash "
I was gifted this ARC from the author for a honest and unbiased review. I thoroughly enjoyed this book as the story was riveting and entertaining. I really hope that there are some follow up books and that it will be a mini series.
"Johnny mnemonic and matrix all rolled together"
Cyber enhancement, A.I.'s, mental jacks and more Lewis's
Out to some great sci-fi listening. Cool weapons, intrigue, action, all rolled into one great package. The author and. Aerator deliver a wonderful experience with a great set of characters. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.
"Not worth the time"
The story just wasn't for me. I forced myself to listen to it for 90 minutes and couldn't take it anymore. Removed from device.
This was a very good listen. The action was steady and the story interesting. The narration was excellent but there was one small portion that had some background noise.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.
"Not a story for kids, but engaging fun for adults!"
There is some questionable and unnecessary material early-on in this book, but the story evens-out and sucks you in. don't be fooled by the title; this isn't a corny book. The story is great, the characters are convincing and the twists in the plot keep you guessing. Buy this book if you like cyberpunk and are ready fir excitement, anger, sadness and suspense with just a hint of romance.
"Captivating story and narrator"
Story was imaginative and kept you wanting more. Found I hard to put down and ready for a sequel.
Narrator did a great job at changing characters and keeping you attention.
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