Division Zero

Division Zero (Division Zero #1) - Matthew S. Cox

[I got a copy through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

3.5 stars. The idea of mixing cyberpunk, crime, psychic powers and ghosts was really interesting, and in general, I liked what the author created here. The world depicted here seemed true enough to what I expected of such a setting, seen through the eyes of a young police officer who's had her share of difficult moments and knows how far from rosy and sheltered life is. It addressed the matter of consciousness in various ways, the main ones being ghosts, but also AIs (the most advanced ones are granted citizen status, and failing to repair them is legally considered as murder).

I really enjoyed the way the normal world existed alongside the "dead" world. Ghosts tend to linger due to various reasons, from revenge to being tied to items or places (we get to see a few of these throughout the course of the story). Apart from that, their options are to either "go to the light", or to fall prey to the strange, shadowy Harbingers, who (which?) come for the darkest souls. The way the novel ends leaves room for more on that, I think, but since we already learn a lot in this first installment, I felt satisfied.

I found it a little hard at times to get into the story, especially in the first half, but after a while things flowed more seamlessly. I think what bothered me in the first part was that a couple of side characters popped up, without exactly being solved.

It may seem trivial, but I really wanted to learn if Adrian finally got to achieve "his" dream, because his story was touching. Unless this is to be revealed later in the series? And what about Templeton?

(show spoiler)

So I was left wondering, when do I see them again, and... nothing.

Kirsten also annoyed me in the first half, because she's such a whiner about never finding a boyfriend (they all run away when they find out she's psychic). She's 22, there's still plenty of time for that, and I don't like it when a female character who has a lot of potential is shown as pining after men, as if everything else wasn't important. Everytime it happened, I wondered why she kept putting herself in such situations, too (it was as if she set herself for failure?). I must admit that behaviour made me knock off one star here. Fortunately, the second half of the novel was better in that regard, and she was more focused on her job. She also got to battle her own demons, and with this came a new acceptance, too, and another perspective on life.

Dorian... Dorian had his annoying quirks, but I liked what the author did with him, and I hope he appears in the next story.

I sensed that something was fishy with him after the first couple of times he systematically wasn't here when Kirsten needed him, but this actually made sense. Maybe it was a little too subtle, though; I don't know. I think the hints are there, but with the first half being a little confusing, it's easy to miss them.

(show spoiler)

In spite of my initial qualms with Kirsten, I do want to read the next installment. I've seldom seen ghosts used in such futuristic settings, so the whole premise was interesting, and remained so in my opinion. (Also, I still hope we'll see some of the minor characters again, such as the ones I've already mentioned.)