Grinders by C.S. Boyack #bookreview #cyberpunk #scifi #TuesdayBookBlog

Jimi Cabot made one mistake as a starving college student. When she went to work for the San Francisco Police Department, it nearly cost her the job. The union stepped in and they had to reinstate her. They did so by assigning her to the duty nobody wants, Grinder Squad.

Grinders are people who use back room surgeries to enhance their bodies with computer chips, and various kinds of hardware. Jimi is sure that if she can just bust one grind shop, it will be her ticket back.

Paired with veteran cop, she soon learns that Grinder Squad is a cash-cow for the department. They are nothing more than glorified patrol cops, and generally get the worst assignments.

Matchless is the most wanted grinder of all time. He disappeared years ago, leaving only the evidence of those he enhanced during his career. With these pieces, Jimi picks up the cold trail to try working her way back to more respectable duty.

Grinders is a cyberpunk story set in a world where global warming has eroded coastlines, and society has solved many of our current problems by replacing them with new ones. There are cyber shut-ins, cyber-currency skimming schemes, and more in this futuristic tale.

This book also takes the opportunity to poke a stick at current issues that seem to have lasted into the future. Entitled people, helicopter moms, overzealous homeowner associations, and lack of decent jobs are all present. Never preachy, these issues make up the day to day work of a patrol officer.

I’ve mentioned this in reviews of Boyack’s books before, but his imagination is astounding.  Grinders is full of wildly creative world-building and yet, some of the creations aren’t so far-fetched and are entirely plausible in the not-too-distant future (although I could live just fine without the holobarkers – I’m not a fan of commercials/advertisements).

The rotating POVs helped me see this story from all angles, and despite Nootropic’s illegal activities, I felt for the guy.  His heart’s in the right place, but it took me a while to figure out the deal with his rats.  I enjoyed the cast of diverse characters, but my favorite had to be Lou, Jimi’s gruff veteran partner.  I loved their working relationship and how they learned certain ‘lessons’ from each other.  Shout out to AI cat Cole who gave me several laughs.

Grinders is vividly colorful and full of futuristic elements and technology sure to thrill sci-fi/cyberpunk fans.

57 thoughts on “Grinders by C.S. Boyack #bookreview #cyberpunk #scifi #TuesdayBookBlog

  1. Grinders is a book I can see myself reading again, I enjoyed it so much. I like all of Craig’s wildly imaginative work, but this one is my favorite.

    And how about the electric forest, or the plants that light when you shake them? I so want one of those! And even though the holobarkers would drive me nuts, they are one of my favorite Boyack inventions. I fell in love with them when Craig introduced them in a short story in one of his Experimental Notebooks.

    Great review, Teri, and a huge congrats to Craig!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. So glad you enjoyed Grinders, Teri. This was my first dive into cyberpunk, but it’s a fun place to hang out. I tried to balance the grim with the good, because that’s kind of how humanity works. Thanks for sharing your review today.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review of Grinders, Teri, and I agree with you 100%. I’d never read a cyberpunk story before, but I feel sure this was a great place to start. It was so well imagined and so mind-boggling, I felt like Alice in Wonderland gaping at all the tech! I really enjoyed it, and also agree about Craig’s fantastic imagination! I’ve read The Hat, and have Viral Blues lined up to go, and both Lanternfish books waiting in the wings. (OH, for the reading time I once had!)

    Congratulations on gaining another Grinders fan, Craig, and continued best wishes for this and all your books! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Enjoyed your review, Teri. I read Grinders and really liked it, too. I wanted an apartment under water after I read it, especially if a cute little octopus made a home on my doorstep. It would be like living in an aquarium. And I felt for the grinder, too. I even got attached to the rat and the muskrat.

    Liked by 2 people

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