Title: grydscaen: dark
Author: Natsuya Uesugi
Publisher: PageTurner Press and Media
Genre: cyberpunk/psypunk (non-romance)
Price (paperback): $11.99 (US) £9.04 (UK)
Reviewer: Michael Barnette
From an uncorrected author provided ARC.
Author’s Blurb/Tagline: A clandestine meet occurs in the Echelons under cover of darkness where Top Secret intel on the stock market changes hands. The insider tip gets the gothic hacker Jester engaged in a high tech game. Parliament votes to lower harsh stock market regulations fueling the Corporation’s bottom line, a payoff from ministers who were propped up by illegal corporate campaign donations. Ordered by Jester, the teenage hacker Rom infiltrates the largest high volume brokerage house causing wild gyrations in trading. When Jester triggers an insidious stock market payload all hell breaks loose threatening the pristine City. Will Zoon, the leader of the Triumvirate, get roped into the fray? Can Raven, the government hacker, put the cryptic clues together before the market crashes? Find out in grydscaen: dark. Whose side are you on?
Short Review: A complex novel of intrigue, deceit, and secrets piled on more secrets, grydscaen: dark delivers a solid story with a host of unique characters.
Full Review: Mingling cyberpunk and psychic powers, this novel creates a unique setting in an alternate earth where the world is a toxic, dangerous place. The elite of the land live in comfort in the save environs of the City. The rest of the people, the ‘non-citizens’, are trapped in the dangerous environment of the Echelons, where crime, drugs, radiation exposure, and poverty are the norm.
This is a take on the classic cyberpunk dystopia of the wealthy verses the poor, with a few twists, including the existence of psychic powers. (A personal favorite mix of mine as my own readers know.)
The cast of this book is large, and complicated and each and every one of them has a motive for what they do, though sometimes those motives aren’t immediately apparent. And this is a good thing because it keeps the plot rolling along at a steady pace. I found it very difficult to put this book down because I wanted to find out what was going on, and what would happen next.
Each character is well-drawn and comes to life, though some aren’t what they at first appear to be. And that’s part of the power of this book, the conspiracies and counter-conspiracies are well woven and quite elaborate, coming to a solid, well-worked ending.
Reviewer’s Note: Please purchase directly from the publisher as the author receives far more royalties from such purchases than are received from 3rd party distribution.
Amazon Buy Link (eBook): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HHFH6ZN/
Amazon Buy Link (paperback): https://www.amazon.com/Grydscaen-Dark-Natsuya-Uesugi/dp/1643760106/
Amazon Buy Link (UK eBook): https://www.amazon.co.uk/grydscaen-dark-Natsuya-Uesugi-ebook/dp/B07HHFH6ZN/
Amazon Buy Link (UK paperback): https://www.amazon.co.uk/grydscaen-dark-Natsuya-Uesugi/dp/1643760106
Barnes and Nobel Buy Link (paperback): https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/grydscaen-natsuya-uesugi/1128990394