The Transhuman Project
by Erin Rhew
January 15th 2019
YA Science Fiction
When a video of Molly Richards is taken out of context and goes viral, she’s thrust into the upper echelons of social media stardom and becomes an overnight success in a country where Life Channel ratings reign supreme. As Kadar’s fastest rising celebrity, her life becomes a media circus, a show put on for the shallow national audience salivating for the next new thing.
But in a world where image is king, danger and death hide among the shadows. In the nearby country of Pacifica, the brutal Caezar turns his citizens into robotic weapons who infiltrate Kadar as sleeper transhumans. They walk among the populace, unaware they are pawns in the madman’s personal arsenal.
Only Molly, her friends, and an elite group of Kadarian fighters known as the Cyber Knights fully understand the transhuman threat, and only they can break the Caezar’s terrorist grip on both Pacifica and Kadar. Battling Fire Bots and humanoid agents, they seek to put a stop to the Caezar’s tyranny by unraveling the secrets buried between layers of deception.And they have to do it all while smiling and waving for the cameras.
As Molly and her friends peer behind the glitz and glamour, they discover something more frightening and more sinister than anything they’ve encountered yet…the truth.
An exciting weave of truth, lies, expectations and survival molds with a science fiction world in a dangerous game.
They are on a mission to stop the Transhuman Project and the man behind it, the Caezar. But when a mission ends with the near death of one of the team, Molly is caught on film as she saves her team member's life—a single moment of emotion taken out of context. Being taken to a nearby society where their Commander awaits them, Molly finds that the video has been released on the show which everyone in the society is addicted to, and she is now the star. The earlier star, one which comes from a line of them, is not about to have her place taken away and plots against Molly. But that is not the plot Molly is concerned about most. Her entire team is in danger.
From the very first page, I was swept up into this world. Not only are Molly and her team members an interesting bunch, but the world around them is well woven. The science fiction and imagination is clear, but there is a haunting truth to the society as well which reminds of modern society. It makes a very powerful mix. Add a cast of characters with quirks, issues, heart, determination and loyalty, and it's a group to root for until the very last page.
The pacing is well done. With the complicated various layers of intrigue, it's hard to guess what will happen next. There's a lot coming at the team from different sides, and this doesn't include the personal relationship issues within the team itself. Boring is just not the word for this tale.
While I was very caught up in this book and enjoyed it immensely, I did keep glancing back to see if this was the second book in a series. While the author tries to fill in the gaps of the past little by little, I always felt like I'd been thrown into the middle of the tale. The team's predicament and relationships are completely based on their last mission and their build-up as a team including their relationships to the commanders. The information does trickle in somewhat as the book continues,
but the basis for all of this is missing and leaves a big hole, which pulls out of the story again and again.
This is a well-written book with tons of action and a plot to grab until the very end. I enjoyed every page and can't wait to see more from the author. However, I do wish the story would have started much earlier and would love to dive into that beginning tale.
Erin Rhew is an editor, the operations manager for a small press, and a YA fantasy and sci-fi author. Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word. She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the "Grammar Police."
A Southern girl by blood and birth, Erin spent years in a rainy pocket of the Pacific Northwest before returning to her roots in the land of hushpuppies, sweet tea, and pig pickin’. She’s married to fellow author, the amazingly talented (and totally handsome) Deek Rhew, and spends her time writing side-by-side with him under the watchful eye of their patient-as-a-saint writing assistant, a tabby cat named Trinity. Erin and Deek enjoy taking long walks, drinking coffee, lifting, boxing, eating pizza, staying up late into the night talking, and adventuring together.
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