Review: Data Runner by Sam A. Patel

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Publisher: Diversion Books
Publishing Date: May 2013
ISBN: 9781626810600
Genre: SciFi
Rating: 3.8

Publisher Description: Now even the internet is owned, and the only way to transmit sensitive information is by a network of highly skilled couriers called “data runners” who run it over the sneakernet. It is a dangerous gig in a dirty world, but Jack Nill doesn’t have much choice in the matter.

Review: Although the verbal interaction between the characters is sometimes stilted and lacking depth, this novel delivers action from start to finish. The inner monologue in the form of narrative usually bugs the crap out of me, but in this case it worked very well. Character development was pretty good for the main players, and undervalued for the fillers. You had no sense of loss when they died, as they never really contributed to the story-line in a meaningful way.

Reviewers were a pretty mixed bag on this one. One reviewer said that it was “shallow and gratuitous” as well as racist. Huh? So, because part of the story involves a Japanese man lopping of arms of data runners with a Katana, the author is racist?? What the fuck? This crap is a juvenile attempt at playing the race card in order to garner a sense of self-righteous indignation. Another reviewer/inverted misogynist stated there was no care given to the complexity of the issues presented. Really. Then write a book on “complex issues” that are near and dear to your shriveled heart and develop your own story-line.

The cover art is ok. Would have liked to have seen real parkour rather than some guy falling through space.

This is a “Have Fun and who cares about the details”, kind of novel. It is a short read and should be enjoyed in it’s sole ability to transport you to another time and place. I am sure the author will only get better at developing characters and storyline with a prose to do it justice.

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