4 July 2014

Tour Stop (Review): Division Zero - Matthew Cox

Division Zero by Matthew S. Cox 
(Division Zero #1) 
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: March 7th 2014
Genres: Cyberpunk, New Adult, Paranormal

Most cops get to deal with living criminals, but Agent Kirsten Wren is not most cops.

A gifted psionic with a troubled past, Kirsten possesses a rare combination of abilities that give her a powerful weapon against spirits. In 2418, rampant violence and corporate warfare have left no shortage of angry wraiths in West City. Most exist as little more than fleeting shadows and eerie whispers in the darkness.

Kirsten is shunned by a society that does not understand psionics, feared by those who know what she can do, and alone in a city of millions. Every so often, when a wraith gathers enough strength to become a threat to the living, these same people rely on her to stop it.

Unexplained killings by human-like androids known as dolls leave the Division One police baffled, causing them to punt the case to Division Zero. Kirsten, along with her partner Dorian, wind up in the crosshairs of corporate assassins as they attempt to find out who – or what – is behind the random murders before more people die.

She tries to hold on to the belief that no one is beyond redemption as she pursues a killer desperate to claim at least one more innocent soul – that might just be hers.


My Review:
I love a bit of paranormal fiction, and I love watching CSI TV shows, so the fact that policing, murders and ghosts have all been mixed into this book is really great for me, and let's not forget the futuristic setting too. The blurb really ticked all of my boxes so I was so excited to be a part of this tour. So without further ado:

Kirsten works for Division Zero, a group of police officers with extra-ordinary abilities, and her latest case is something that has left all the other police baffled. It starts with one rogue robot malfunctioning, but quickly escalates into a series of gruesome murders of innocent civilians. Kirsten soon realises the truth; they're being posessed by a very powerful and very angry ghost.

Being perfectly honest here, at first I was confused by this book; there were a lot of words that were made up for the futuristic setting and I felt immediately bombarded with the fact I didn't understand this world. However, that feeling soon passed and the technical speak became more apparent to me after that.

Also, before the writer really gets into a stride, I often found myself flicking back a page to ensure I hadn't glossed over bits. There were a few instances where things that may well be obvious to the writer are left out, for example the fact that Dorian, her partner, has accompanied her into a bar. At one point he wasn't actually mentioned until he made a remark.

Speaking of Dorian, there was one more confusing thing to go with the odd omissions; the fact that at one point I was trying to guess who was dead and who wasn't, because to Kirsten they appear solid and act like normal people. I was wondering why people were giving her weird stares when she was on the bus with her dad, and then I figured it out! That being said, as soon as the story got into the full flow, there was nothing to confuse me.

Now for the good stuff. Sometimes in books, the subplots are really rubbish, but in this one, they really helped the story along, and they added more soul to Kirsten's character. One or two subplots can easily be developed through to a second book, should the author choose to write a sequel. Oh! And one thing that is really great? No romance! OK, there is a little bit hinted at, but nothing comes to the fore over this short space of time; kind of like how it is for every single career girl in her early twenties, only this one happens to be a kick-ass psionic. Kirsten could have easily been a Mary Sue if not for her fears and her lack of control when unexpectedly threatened, so I was really glad to see some flawed attributes coming through.

The ending was really satisfying; a culmination of all that non-stop action and emotional tension built up to a dramatic and bloody scene, levelling its-self out with a perfect end, with all the strands of plot tied off nicely.

Warning: This is quite a interesting novel in terms of themes, and some readers may not like what they read. There is the discussion of death, heaven, hell and faith, as well as scenes of child abuse and mentions of homosexuality. However, the main overwhelming theme seems to be that of overcoming your demons and doing what you think is right.

Like an American, sci-fi version of Rivers of London, but with a lot more gross scenes and ghost handling rather than detecting.

Thank you to the author and Xpresso Book Tours for the e-arc supplied for this review.

Author Bio:
Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.

Hobbies and Interests:
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it. He is also fond of cats.

Awards: Prophet of the Badlands (excerpt) – Honorable Mention – Writers of the Future

Author Links:

This is the tour-wide giveaway for a signed copy of Division Zero and a $25 Amazon gift card. To enter, please fill in the rafflecopter below. Open Internationally.

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