Cipher (The Shadow Ravens #1) by Aileen Erin

Friday, 27 February 2015

Cipher (The Shadow Ravens, #1)Cipher by Aileen Erin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cipher has a very compelling short and it immediately drew my eye. It is not often I see a book which promises a strong female lead that is a Game and Hack wizz on tech department and has special powers!


The described world is futuristic however it has a feel as though the world has crumbled through disaster, almost giving it a post apocalyptic/dystopian air. That being said, the writing makes it a lot less serious/intense then I believe the story could have been.

The style is cool. Language is current and swearwords and slang are used to make the writing appear more edgy.

We get a quick introduction to Cipher who is an 'always on the run' loner with great hacking skills. The start was great and we get thrown right into her action. She is trying to find out more about herself but then lands herself in a bit of trouble. The world has people with 'Special skills' marked through a helix on a persons skin. Unfortunately we do not learn a whole lot of this. It gets mentioned here and there and it leaves me wondering how they came about.

From here on out I am starting to grind my teeth a little bit. Even though the situation clearly is more on the serious side, the actions and reactions of our main girl are no where near what I expected. From the story we can make out that Cipher is 20. However from her persona in the book she comes across as 14/15.


Then we get introduced to Knight, who is our second lead (the book is in dual persona, switching characters per chapter). I like him but I also find him a little delusional. He is looking for a girl that once saved him, a girl with abilities (ie Cipher, all though he does not realize it is her just yet) and the reason why is because she took care of his abusing old man when they where younger.

At this stage the two meet and you've guessed it.. I can feel the cavities appearing in my teeth at the instalove. Undeniably there is a history between the two and I am in a sense invested to see them work the connection out but a marriage proposal in 2 days from two supposedly adult people with trust issues that have never been in a serious relationship before? That is just a one way ticket to the Dr Phill show..


Im digressing however..

They come to the final confrontation and we are left with a conclusion which only felt like a big introduction and some wild packed action to sweeten the deal. The book is not long and the story line and writing could have been polished and lengthened a lot more.

The story has major potential and loads of directions to go into with the next instalments, the next one called Quanta and due October 2015 (I believe 4 are planned in the series at this stage co written by 3 authors). So I silently have the hope that the next will be better.

I also very much liked Cipher's initial identity and consequently was a little disappointed that this slowly got stripped away. It would have also been nice to see a bit more hacking action.

Overall would I recommend it?


Yes - To people I know that can look past minor issues and are part of the gaming/tech community with a love for books :D

No - To anyone with a aversion to little world building, instalove and not so fantastic writing.

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