Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review: The ABACUS Protocol: Sanity Vacuum

The ABACUS Protocol: Sanity Vacuum
The ABACUS Protocol: Sanity Vacuum by Thea Isis Gregory

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Science Fiction/Space Opera
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: fans of softer sci-fi/space opera
Trigger Warnings: murder, attempted murder, racial epithets (of the people of the future, not modern ones)

My Thoughts: A very interesting story, albeit one with a bittersweet ending. The author has a great grasp of characterization and plot, and her presentation of quIRK is very appealing. I felt badly for both quIRK and Vivian. Bryce is a really horrible person whose only concern is his own quest for power and status.

I loved that quIRK had two cats, and was amused by their names: Muon and Lepton. I also liked the bits and pieces we learn about the different societies and the various differences between the planets after humans have left Earth. If you like softer sci-fi and/or space opera, you should check this book out, it has some really interesting ideas.

Disclosure: I received a copy from Curiosity Quills via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: Vivian Skye just finished university, and landed a dream internship.

Not many would consider the distant and isolated Extra-Galactic Observatory cushy, but to Vivian it’s a dream come true. Hailing from the low-tech planet of Aurora, she studied for years to work on advanced quantum supercomputers. This is her chance to start a career and leave her past life behind.

Her assignment is simple: a routine upgrade for the station’s supercomputer, quIRK.

Her reception isn’t a friendly, one, and she finds that her only friend is quIRK. However, the station’s administrator, Bryce Zimmer is obsessed with quIRK—he suspects that the AI may have achieved sentience, something explicitly prohibited by the ABACUS Protocol.

Bryce’s traumatic and privileged past makes him distrust Vivian from the beginning; his jealously compels him to set Vivian and quIRK against each other. Deciding that the ends justify the means, his power-hungry sabotage threatens to consume the entire station and send them into the unknown void of intergalactic space.

Vivian must struggle to survive not only Bryce’s megalomania, but also the emerging artificial super intelligence that is quIRK.

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