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Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

booklore.co.uk
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I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hammered

Hammered, Elizabeth Bear, Bantam Spectra, 2006

First of a trilogy, this near-future tale is about a woman for whom time is running out.

Set in the mid-21st Century, Jenny Casey is a former member of the Canadian Special Forces. She was part of the UN peacekeeping troops sent to New England in reaction to the food riots of the 2030's. She decided to stay in Hartford, Connecticut, mostly hiding from her government. A new, and very deadly, drug, a Canadian military enhancement drug called The Hammer, has become available on the streets of Hartford. Not even Razorface, the local crime lord, can discover the supply route. Much more important to Jenny is that her cybernetic enhancements are failing.

Years earlier, in a different war, Casey was severely injured. She walked out of the hospital with a metallic left arm, an artificial eye and various internal "improvements." If she doesn't have the required surgery now, she will die. Traveling to Toronto on the track of The Hammer, she is roped into having the surgery (she is pushing fifty years old). Casey is given a chance at what might be the ultimate pilot job (she is a former medevac pilot). It has to do with the "space race" moving to Mars, and shifting from Russia vs America (which is now a Christian Fascist state) to Canada vs China.

Bear does an excellent job from start to finish. I live just a few miles from Hartford, so I was most interested in her portrayal of the city (she gets it right). The book has enough high-tech and near future dystopia to keep anyone happy. This is a gem of a book.

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