Unacceptable Risk by Jeanette Grey is a terrific read. It’s gritty, dark and almost has an urban fantasy feel to it in some ways, because there’s a mystery to be solved. But it’s not urban fantasy. Oh no. This is science fiction romance. Oh yes. A little cyberpunk, a little post-apocalypse, and absolutely, positively SFR.
Plix returns to consciousness the way she always does, battered, bruised and broken in an alley, surrounded by the scents of her own blood and burnt circuitry, half-blind with pain and with pieces of her memory wiped. She knows this has happened before. But this time is worse than usual. Her only hope is that whatever she found is worth this much damage.
Plix is mostly flesh and blood, but she has a few added cybernetic features. They’ve saved her life. They’ve aided her in her quest. She prays that she stashed whatever it was that she learned into those circuits before SynData found her. But there’s only one way to be sure. She has to go to the only person who can “tune”, repair and maintain her cybernetic parts and data circuits. His name is Edison. And Plix loves him. Which is why she keeps leaving him behind. Because her secret mission to bring down SynDate is going to get her killed some day. Probably sooner rather than later.
She knows that SynDate killed her father.
But if she doesn’t uncover the evidence that she is looking for, the poison that SynDate is spilling into the ecosystem will eventually kill everyone. It will just take longer.
Plix takes a suicide mission, thinking it will be the end, cutting all ties, but leaving one final message of love. He’s both angry and heartbroken. Edison loves Plix, and putting her back together only to have her come back broken again and again is killing him. This time he’s done.
But when Plix returns, nearly dead, he finds her last message, and they finally have a chance together. He knows all her secrets. Can Plix stop protecting him enough to include her lover in her quest to save humanity?
Escape Rating B+: The story ended and I was not a happy camper. It was too short. I want to know how things got so bad. This world is neat, in a really, really sucky way, as in I seriously would not want to live there, but I want to know more about how it got that way, and how Plix got to be Plix. Edison is a really cool guy, his job is fascinating. How do things work? I like these people, I want to know more. And what happens after? This world has gone so far down, I’m not sure that even getting SynDate out of the way solves a whole lot. I want part 2.