sorry for the crazy formatting near thr end of the review im on my phone and cant fix it at the moment
i picked this up because it appeared to fall squarely within the genres i enjoy, and i'm familiar with some of the author's other work (for TTRPGs).
holy crap am i glad i did! here's my brief breakdown as to why:
1) pacing: great pacing. it starts off ordinary enough, if "ordinary" includes the protagonist arriving on mars to aid in a corporate AI issue and finding out his wife wants a divorce, and from there it gets faster and faster until finally the ride slows down and deposits you at the exit, where you find yourself almost screaming "AGAIN! AGAIN!"
2) tension: the author uses tension throughout the book, both at the end of chapters and at the end of key sections to mercilessly drive you forward to the next page, and the next, and the next, until it's 5 am and you're hearing birds announcing that it's time for you to get your ass into the shower and off to work.
3) characters: GREAT characters. the cast of characters is kept small and the development of the key players is excellent; side characters get exactly the right amount of attention--no pointless exposition about their childhoods, and no glossing-over that's so brief that you are left without even an idea of who the person is or was. you CARE about the main character and his primary interest. you WANT the antagonists to lose, and lose hard. i can't say more because spoilers, but i loved the cast of characters.
4) the tech and setting: what can i say other than cyberpunk action thriller romance on mars that is completely and absolutely different from total recall, but in great ways. i'll leave the cool tech and terminology and the FEEL of the setting for you to discover first-hand; i'll just say that it really made the book for me, and fit the cyberpunk genre neatly and uniquely.
5) last thoughts: the author uses metaphors and similes like a f***in' boss. clever new ones that are spot-on, and clever uses of old favorites with new twists dot the landscape of this book's pages and brought a grin to this reader's face more than a few times.
well worth the cost, and i will be rereading this one in the near future, i am certain.
[5 of 5 Stars!]