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Implanted

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The data stored in her blood can save a city on the brink… or destroy it, in this gripping cyberpunk thriller. When college student Emery Driscoll is blackmailed into being a courier for a clandestine organisation, she’s cut off from the neural implant community which binds the domed city of New Worth together. Her new masters exploit her rare condition which allows her to The data stored in her blood can save a city on the brink… or destroy it, in this gripping cyberpunk thriller. When college student Emery Driscoll is blackmailed into being a courier for a clandestine organisation, she’s cut off from the neural implant community which binds the domed city of New Worth together. Her new masters exploit her rare condition which allows her to carry encoded data in her blood, and train her to transport secrets throughout the troubled city. New Worth is on the brink of Emergence – freedom from the dome – but not everyone wants to leave. Then a data drop goes bad, and Emery is caught between factions: those who want her blood, and those who just want her dead. File Under: Science Fiction [ Blood’s the Thing | Under the Dome | Going Viral | Mega City Bytes ]


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The data stored in her blood can save a city on the brink… or destroy it, in this gripping cyberpunk thriller. When college student Emery Driscoll is blackmailed into being a courier for a clandestine organisation, she’s cut off from the neural implant community which binds the domed city of New Worth together. Her new masters exploit her rare condition which allows her to The data stored in her blood can save a city on the brink… or destroy it, in this gripping cyberpunk thriller. When college student Emery Driscoll is blackmailed into being a courier for a clandestine organisation, she’s cut off from the neural implant community which binds the domed city of New Worth together. Her new masters exploit her rare condition which allows her to carry encoded data in her blood, and train her to transport secrets throughout the troubled city. New Worth is on the brink of Emergence – freedom from the dome – but not everyone wants to leave. Then a data drop goes bad, and Emery is caught between factions: those who want her blood, and those who just want her dead. File Under: Science Fiction [ Blood’s the Thing | Under the Dome | Going Viral | Mega City Bytes ]

30 review for Implanted

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    From the get-go I was reminded of a direct mix of Nexus and Europe in Autumn. This isn't a bad thing. I love neurotech and transhumanist stories and love spy fiction couched as Courriers. So based on nothing more than the blurb and a Netgalley interest, I tore through this book and quite enjoyed it. Who doesn't like to do clandestine data handoffs through their blood, become invisible to all sensors, or otherwise erase your identity in favor of being a hardcore member of a spy network in a futuri From the get-go I was reminded of a direct mix of Nexus and Europe in Autumn. This isn't a bad thing. I love neurotech and transhumanist stories and love spy fiction couched as Courriers. So based on nothing more than the blurb and a Netgalley interest, I tore through this book and quite enjoyed it. Who doesn't like to do clandestine data handoffs through their blood, become invisible to all sensors, or otherwise erase your identity in favor of being a hardcore member of a spy network in a futuristic Earth city under a dome with archeological layers of city life within? You know, with the poor down below and the rich up above? Uh, right. That doesn't sound too good, even if direct mind-to mind linking is possible and it encourages a level of intimacy unheard of except among full telepaths. Or the wild virtual games that are better than life. Unfortunately, the haves and the have-nots take up the crux of the novel. I thought it was going to be more about intimacy avoidance and layers of consciousness and identity, and there was a lot of that, but most of it revolved around economics, re-terraforming our own planet, and other dystopian stuff. I liked the early spy stuff quite a bit more than the later stuff. :) All in all, it was a very enjoyable mix of tech and the future vision of dystopia with a bit of romance, rebellion, and funky spy-stuff. :) Quite decent for what it is: some fluff, some angst, great tech, and an overarching idea. :)

  2. 4 out of 5

    The Captain

    Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . . This was a fun read that I read in one sitting.  The story takes place in a domed city called New Worth where most of the society is implanted with a technological implant.  The story follows Emery, a college aged student, who is about to graduate and begin working in a mundane job dealing with data organization.  Only her extracurricular activities have caught t Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . . This was a fun read that I read in one sitting.  The story takes place in a domed city called New Worth where most of the society is implanted with a technological implant.  The story follows Emery, a college aged student, who is about to graduate and begin working in a mundane job dealing with data organization.  Only her extracurricular activities have caught the eye of a clandestine organization that transports data via couriers.  The hitch - the data is carried in an encoded format in the courier's blood.  The data is set to self-destruct in less than three days so if not removed the courier ends up dead. Emery is a fun and fierce protagonist.  Besides having to be the actual mule for the data, belonging to the courier organization means that ye have to give up yer prior identity by faking yer death.  Being removed from all the data of yer previous life and learning the city from a implant free standpoint is rough.  Watching Emery try to reconcile the change is one of the better aspects of the novel. The domed city has been working on revitalizing the land outside in preparation for "the Emergence" when the residents can leave the dome and start their lives anew.  However there is a faction of the city that does not have implants.  These people are called Disconnects and either don't have implants because of money or circumstance.  Like all places, money equals status.  The more money, the higher up in the dome ye live with access to cleaner streets, more light, and more space.  The Disconnects are the bottom dwellers of the dome.  Literally.  While I enjoyed the concept of the Disconnects, this is where the novel didn't fare as well for me. The first half of the book dealing with Emery and her change in circumstances was easy to follow, engaging, and fun.  When she is pulled into a bad data exchange, the scope of the novel changes and becomes about the larger issues of the Disconnect and their dissatisfaction with being low-class citizens.  Add into the mix the politics of the Emergence and the plot became rather messy.  I wasn't sure which groups were the "bad" guys and the political issues were rather flat and one-dimensional.  Some of the outcomes were extremely predictable and yet the plot meandered in a rather odd fashion to reach these events.  Plus the romance lightly discussed in the beginning becomes an additional issue.  I missed the clear concise writing of the beginning. Still I did enjoy this one and the other members of me crew seemed to have loved it. So lastly . . . Thank you Angry Robot! Check out me other reviews at https://thecaptainsquartersblog.wordp...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Keith Chawgo

    Firstly, I review multiple books a month and when I go through the list of books to review, I try to review from many different genres to try to mix it up. I am not a huge fan of science fiction as I tend to find the science tends to bog down the narrative or the science doesn’t’ quite work due to multiple authors not able to make a believable world that works. I also have difficulties with writing in the first person, as I find a lot of authors have difficulty writing in this narrative because Firstly, I review multiple books a month and when I go through the list of books to review, I try to review from many different genres to try to mix it up. I am not a huge fan of science fiction as I tend to find the science tends to bog down the narrative or the science doesn’t’ quite work due to multiple authors not able to make a believable world that works. I also have difficulties with writing in the first person, as I find a lot of authors have difficulty writing in this narrative because you end up spending four to five hours with an annoying voice. Teffeau, first novel Implanted has surprisingly has contradicted all my concerns and I found myself totally engrossed with the new world and with her main character as well. This is has totally caught me off guard and for a tainted reader such as I, this is a very welcoming surprise. The characters are richly drawn and you care about these characters in this futuristic world. She has a real talent of bringing these to life through the eyes of her first narrative character Emery which is a very difficult thing to do and the author did this masterfully. The science works very well and she has made a future that is very plausible. I loved how she was able to utilise this within her plot. She also was able to put in the science without slowing the pace which is another trap that a lot of authors fall into. The only other author that comes to mind who is able to do this is Mira Grant, whom I am a big fan of. I am totally chuffed that I now have another author that I look to for future releases as Mira Grant’s books do not come out quick enough for me to savour. Teffeau is now a new author that I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. This is a masterful tale full of science, intrigue and mystery but is lead by real emotion which gives the reader that little bit extra to make this a most enjoyable read. The work works on so many levels and she cross genres her work in a most ingenious way. She mashes together science fiction, human interest, apocalyptic, political thriller and mystery in an most rewarding way. Overall, this is definitely a must read and a book to savour. Hopefully this is not the end of Emery and the richly drawn characters and world. This is an author to really invest in because she is the future of excellent writing with an excellent well throughout premise. Implant has to be one of the best science fiction, dystopian political thrillers of the year. I would eagerly urge all lovers of fiction no matter what age to get their copy today. I am more than excited to have discovered a fantastic writer at the beginning of a most successful career. Simply fantastic.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lukasz

    I’m new to Cyberpunk. Sure, I saw Johnny Mnemonic and read Altered Carbon but that’s basically it. Not much. I have no idea why as I enjoy fancy advanced technology mixed with dystopian elements. Well, on the bright side, I have a lot to discover. Implanted hooked me with the premise and unique concept of the hemocryption - coding data in the blood cells. Not only it’s imaginative but also infinitely cool. Here’s the quote explaining the process. Aventine employs a proprietary hemocryption proces I’m new to Cyberpunk. Sure, I saw Johnny Mnemonic and read Altered Carbon but that’s basically it. Not much. I have no idea why as I enjoy fancy advanced technology mixed with dystopian elements. Well, on the bright side, I have a lot to discover. Implanted hooked me with the premise and unique concept of the hemocryption - coding data in the blood cells. Not only it’s imaginative but also infinitely cool. Here’s the quote explaining the process. Aventine employs a proprietary hemocryption process where data’s encoded onto the protein strands of your immune cells in your bloodstream. When you get an assignment, encoded blood’s injected into your body. When you arrive at the drop-off location, your blood needs to be scrubbed – essentially a type of dialysis where the encoded cells are separated out from the rest of your blood. The data encoding is geared to a specific HLA type that you and the other couriers have. In other words, you are immune, unaffected by the encoded blood, where people with different HLA types would become sick, with something akin to anaphylactic shock, if injected. Dope. In the world of Implanted, people live under a glass dome that separates them from the hostile environment outside. New Worth, built on the battered foundations of Fort Worth, Texas, makes life difficult and demanding, especially for the underprivileged. Under the dome, everything comes to status, credit balances and career potential. Stratified society lacks common goals and a sense of solidarity. Emery Driscoll hopes to pursue a career in data curation. Unfortunately, her DNA has special traits that make her interesting to a clandestine security company. Soon, she finds herself blackmailed into being a blood-courier. She has to cut off any ties with her friends and family.  Officially, she dies. For the most part, Implanted kept me glued to the pages. A dystopian world, a stratified society obsessed with technology and thought-provoking concepts make it an excellent read. Especially that Teffeau introduces everything accessibly. Her prose flows nicely and never gets in the way of the story. Teffeau tells the story in the first-person present tense. As a result, the reader is experiencing the events of the book at the same time as the narrator. I would say this feeling of going through the plot together creates an instantly closer relationship. On top of that, Emery remains likeable throughout so rooting for her comes naturally. She’s a fully fleshed, three-dimensional heroine with an interesting back story that defines her choices. I find her admirable. While we don’t get to know other characters so deeply, they all feel distinct and believable. They are fixated on technology and connectivity, and it allows for passages of interesting explanation. Emery’s point of view is saturated by technology because her perception is shaped by it. Like most people, she has an implant that allows her to constantly ping emotions and thoughts with her friends and family. She’s addicted to the neural implant, instant connectivity and resulting camaraderie. When she loses it, Emery goes through the feeling of mental amputation.  There’s a romance, but it develops slowly and convincingly. Apart from things done right, Implanted has a few things going against it. In the second half of the book, the plot becomes a little unclear. Emery’s storyline intertwines with larger things, but the connection feels loose. For example, I still don’t know how corrupt is the government. Adding data about the world and things that actually happen there, would make the story more comprehensible. The ending scenes were bloodcurdling, but the last chapter felt too tidy and, as a result, anticlimactic. Regardless of these issues, Teffeau paints a distressing and convincing picture of the future I wouldn’t like to experience. In the realm of ratings, I’d say this landed pretty solidly in the lower-end of the I really like it. It was a solid book that read fast, kept me engaged, but didn’t really amaze me. Worth the read though.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Minerva Spencer

    Growing up during the Reagan years, I've long been a fan of dystopian stories. I love the ones that offer no hope just as much as I love the ones that do. That said, I stopped reading post-apocalyptic books a while back because I felt like I'd consumed everything the genre had to offer. But then a couple of months ago I read The Postmortal and decided to give the genre another shot. Boy am I glad I got my hands on IMPLANTED. the only things I require in my sci fi (aside from excellent writing, o Growing up during the Reagan years, I've long been a fan of dystopian stories. I love the ones that offer no hope just as much as I love the ones that do. That said, I stopped reading post-apocalyptic books a while back because I felt like I'd consumed everything the genre had to offer. But then a couple of months ago I read The Postmortal and decided to give the genre another shot. Boy am I glad I got my hands on IMPLANTED. the only things I require in my sci fi (aside from excellent writing, of course) are some unique ideas and a story that moves. So I guess I actually require 3 things... Anyhow, Teffeau provides all three things and more. She also develops characters you end up caring about and I enjoyed both Emery and her relationships, which are nuanced and deep without being sentimental or unbelievable. I especially love the concept of carrying messages in ones very blood. I don't think I'm alone in being both attracted and repelled by the notion of having a computer chip in the brain or submitting to any of the invasive bio-technology that so often pops up in sci fi. But I have to admit I've never read anything to match Teffeau's idea of hemocryptography. What a great idea! Sometimes the science in science fiction gets lost, but Teffeau does a great job of educating the reader without boring them. Great action sequences and clean, crisp prose makes this book hard to put down. She's also remarkably deft when it comes to setting the stage and bringing the reader into her futuristic/dystopian world. There is enough detail to make it real, but she leaves enough to your imagination to maintain some mystery. This was a great read and goes on my keeper shelf!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kerys

    Note: I got a copy of this book through Net galley in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own and no one else’s. At first, I honestly DID NOT EXPECT to like this book as much as I did but it was really interesting and I loved the whole idea! I thought Implanted might just be like other dystopian/ sci-fi books but it was really well executed and had a super engaging plot line! I mean, it's not just everyday you read a book on a person who carries secrets in their own blood?!?! AAG Note: I got a copy of this book through Net galley in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own and no one else’s. At first, I honestly DID NOT EXPECT to like this book as much as I did but it was really interesting and I loved the whole idea! I thought Implanted might just be like other dystopian/ sci-fi books but it was really well executed and had a super engaging plot line! I mean, it's not just everyday you read a book on a person who carries secrets in their own blood?!?! AAGGGHHHH THIS BOOK WAS HONESTLY SO GOOD!! I LOVED IT!! The story was interesting and the general plot was great! I loved how there wasn't one specific good/bad side which made it more captivating for the reader and put doubts in your mind! This is definitely a book I liked and would read again! The characters are really well developed and brought to life which really makes me feel ATTACHED to them! Emery was relatable and fierce. She was distressed about having to give up her identity and all but was quite cool and brave about it and was ready to work! The relationships were great; particularly with Brita and Rik! Emery's handler (I forgot his name oops) was probably my favourite! He completely supported Emery and helped her out when he wasn't supposed to which was really sweet! Rik?? and Emery??? were sooo cute together?!?!?! I'd normally HATE two of the main characters falling in love but I appreciated how their relationship developed over time! They had grown to trust each other over a few years before they even met in real life. And when they DID meet, they didn't just rush to calibrate with each other and Emery was quite hesitant! And BONUS POINTS FOR: a) No love triangle b) No Instalove Overall, I really enjoyed this book! I give it 4.5 stars and would definitely recommend to a sci-fi/ dystopian lover! I can't wait for the next book!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Splatter Geist

    Implanted is a novel I’ve been waiting to read for ages, not only because it’s a science fiction novel, but because Teffeau has put her entire soul into this collection of pages. Previously I’ve written about authors who nearly bridge the gap on creating their own genres, I’ve written about authors who have created works of art and not just excellent literature, and now I’ll be talking about an author who has gotten it right to put her soul down in ink. Touching on that fragile link we as humans Implanted is a novel I’ve been waiting to read for ages, not only because it’s a science fiction novel, but because Teffeau has put her entire soul into this collection of pages. Previously I’ve written about authors who nearly bridge the gap on creating their own genres, I’ve written about authors who have created works of art and not just excellent literature, and now I’ll be talking about an author who has gotten it right to put her soul down in ink. Touching on that fragile link we as humans cherish between ourselves whether it’s a bond we have with a parent, a friend, or a lover, Teffeau has focused a lot of her attention, and IMPLANTED’s general theme, around surviving in a world where not only has that link been severed, but what one girl will do to set things right again. Naturally, reading this quick summary you’ll think that there are literally hundreds of books in every genre positioned around the same idea, and maybe this one is no exception, but each story is different (even slightly) and each author has a right to put their own little signature or impression on it. Implanted is undoubtedly the brain-child of a Glen Cook and Marissa Meyer novel and without a doubt Willaim Gibson. If you wanted a fresh take on cyberpunk while waiting for CD PROJEKT RED to release their latest game, then by all means, Teffeau has given us the perfectly mixed cocktail of science fiction, romance, and drama that eases us into one hell of a ride. You guys know me, the SplatterGeist does not do spoilers and I shall not break that vow (too many people know where I live and I like staying alive), but if there’s any reason to get lost in the 300-plus pages of Teffeau’s proudest work to date, or if you’re like me and this is the first time you’ve even heard of this lady, take the following declaration with the best intentions of reassurance: Read it. Love it. Reread it. Joseph Brassey is one of my new favorite authors, and if any of you have enjoyed my reviews about his last two books, then just know that Lauren C. Teffeau is another author whose books you can start collecting and keep your social life on standby.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Zullo

    4.5 Stars A look at a potential future. Even in the face of disaster the power brokers are still working to create a caste system. I loved the heroine- her obsessive need to fix everything. She is paired nicely with a more realistic hero. Very cool world building - are we going to see more from this world?

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elle

    **Note: You can find this review along with some art I made of the book over on my blog at http://elleloughran.blogspot.com/2018... ** Implanted is YA cyberpunk with a very interesting premise. Emery lives in a dome city called New Worth, built on the remains of Fort Worth after climate change made the outside world uninhabitable. The city is built hierarchically, with three vertically-stacked districts: the Terrestrial District, the Understory, and the Canopy. The rich and powerful live in the C **Note: You can find this review along with some art I made of the book over on my blog at http://elleloughran.blogspot.com/2018... ** Implanted is YA cyberpunk with a very interesting premise. Emery lives in a dome city called New Worth, built on the remains of Fort Worth after climate change made the outside world uninhabitable. The city is built hierarchically, with three vertically-stacked districts: the Terrestrial District, the Understory, and the Canopy. The rich and powerful live in the Canopy and get to see the light; the poor, in the Terrestrial District, live in perpetual twilight. Nearly everyone has an implant, or computer in their head, that lets them communicate with others silently, get directions, find out how near people are, etc. The really interesting thing, though, is the idea of hemocryption. Emery is kidnapped and made work as a courier transporting top-secret information through the city in her blood, encoded in her blood cells. She was chosen because she's one of the rare few who can withstand hemocryption without their body rejecting the information-loaded cells. Hemocryption introduces some very original mechanics to the story, like how Aventine (the courier company) has the encoded cells set to release a toxin after a certain amount of time that builds up in the courier's blood until it induces the 'curdle', incapacitating them if they don't deliver the information (i.e. complete the drop) as promised, and so the couriers need to get their blood filtered and deliver the data as soon as possible ('scrubbing'). Art! I drew some stuff from Implanted because the more I wrote of this review the more attached I grew to the book. At the top is the domed city where the book is set, and at the bottom are the main characters, Emery, Rik, Brita, Tahir and Kat. [on the blog] What I Liked 1. The idea of hemocryption - what an interesting mechanic! And it was cool how it introduced physical constraints to a world where transferring information would normally just be done digitally, which would be pretty boring to read about. People who really want to keep their secrets safe go for hemocryption so the information can't be hacked while it travels digitally. 2. The wholesome relationships between characters - while this book is a thriller, it still has loads of really wholesome relationships that made me feel all warm and fuzzy. Here are some cute Emery and Rik quotes: 'My world narrows, until there's only room for me and Rik and each step we take. >>Tell me what it's like outside.>> In case I don't get another chance to ask. In case I don't get fully scrubbed in time.' '>> Haven't thrown up yet.>> < Her relationships with her handler and her friend Brita are super adorable as well. I guess I'm used to seeing everyone be completely treacherous in thrillers, so it was really nice to see this - that even when the world is dangerous, some people can stick by your side. 3(2b?). The romance is lovely. I don't usually care for romance in books, but this was so not insta-love. It was getting to know each other over a long time, growing to trust each other, trouble, hurting each other (but for important reasons, not just being angsty) and proving that they could depend on each other. I don't want to say too much because spoilers, but it was such a wholesome, gradual, compelling friendship-blossoming-into-romance and so I loved reading about it rather than mildly resenting it like I do with a lot of book romances. Also, it ran parallel to the plot rather than taking it over, which was good. Oh, and no love triangle. [Seriously, the relationships are so good!] 4. Representation! There were at least two gay couples very casually mentioned (like, 'her wife' or something) and it was cute. Also, Rik is a scientist like me! There was also what seemed like a lot of racial diversity going by the Hispanic-sounding surnames but I imagine that's quite common in Texas. 5. I was impressed by the approach Teffeau took when showing the technology. In a book whose first draft I wrote years ago, I had some similar things (for example, a main character was training to be a 'data curator', and so is Emery, which is probably because like me the author figured that'd be one of the main jobs remaining in an advanced technological society, and people communicate using implants except for some holdouts) so I felt a little scooped, but I have to give it to her - she did figure out how to make it work, how to make the technology powerful yet restrictive enough that it didn't swamp the plot. For example, you could only use your implant to synch chat with people who accepted your request, and if you wanted to be really really close to someone you could 'calibrate' with them, which seems to let people feel things through you and feel your emotions. Like having your partner in your head at all times to comfort you - way more intimacy than we can get now. 6. The action was really exciting and entertaining. One of the features is a bunch of protests as unrest spreads through the city, and just reading about the chaos and commotion was a lot of fun. It'd make a good movie I think, especially with the structure of the city. 'Rik pales at the agitated crowds, and Charon and Denita exchange a panicked look. But for the first time today, I relax. As a courier, navigating the inevitable New Worth crowds is my bread and butter. Time to go to work.' 7. Emery's backstory was great and I loved how much agency she took. And the role her handler later played in helping her deal with it [can't say much more because of spoilers!]. "What good's the word of a Canopy brat?" I try not to react to the dislike radiating off her frame. "I lived down here until I was eighteen." "Bet you couldn't wait to escape." "No, I couldn't. The only things we have to sustain ourselves are the implants and thoughts of Emergence. Don't judge me for taking one of the few avenues available to me, and I won't judge you for refusing it."' 8. Some cool writing: The writing style is an odd mix between utilitarian specfic style and the pretty prose of literary fiction, which felt strange at times, but mostly worked and gave us the story without too much interference but with some nice sentences like this one. ''Anticipation twines through me.' What I Didn't Like 1. For a thriller, the plot was a little unclear. We're pulled through the book by our concern for Emery's safety and her friends mainly, but there are definitely other, larger things unfolding throughout society and intertwined with her story. While those things were interesting to read about (class struggles mainly), the connection between them didn't seem particularly tight and so I wasn't really clear about what they wanted or what would count as 'success' on the large scale. Similarly, there was a hint of government corruption, but it never really became clear how much there was. I did feel quite nostalgic while reading it - it's the exact sort of genre I was into a few years ago, and it's a really good example of that genre. But I think now I would prefer a more expansive view of what happens to the world rather than just to the character, so I'd have preferred a bit more information on what was actually going on in the rest of the world. 2. The ending wrapped up very, very quickly and tidily. I'm very glad it's not a series (I love a good standalone), but I feel like Teffeau could have written a bit more to explain what happened and not have it end so suddenly. 3. I didn't get quite as into it as I have into my favourite books ever, like Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn and Way of Kings - so, for example, with Sanderson, I was completely crushed and couldn't read on for a while after a main character died, but with this I think I'd be OK - still sad, but able to keep things in proportion. Which is perhaps better(!) That said, the book still got to me to an extreme degree - one night after reading it I woke up from a nightmare in which I'd been in the world of Implanted and had a huge amount of trouble convincing myself it wasn't real and I was just in my house in the present day. So it can definitely sneak into your dreams! Overall This was a really fun read. There were definitely some things that left me a little confused, but the reading experience in general was pure fun and the characters were lovely and well-rounded. The more I think about the characters the more I love them, actually. I recommend it if you're into science fiction or futuristic YA. In short: Entertaining cyberpunk with new ideas and heartwarming character relationships. 4 stars. ★★★★☆ This book was provided to me for free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Netgalley for the eARC, and to Angry Robot Books for having me auto-approved to download and review your stuff!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brian's Book Blog

    Teffeau Creates A Brilliant World 4.25 out of 5 stars This is the second ARC I’ve gotten from Angry Robot and it’s another enjoyable read. Implanted tells the story of Emery. A typical college kid living in a dome near the city formerly known as Fort Worth. She’s been playing arcade games with a guy that she’s falling for and might even want to connect with him on a deeper level when everything in her life falls out of place. She’s thrown into a hidden and secretive world where her entire former l Teffeau Creates A Brilliant World 4.25 out of 5 stars This is the second ARC I’ve gotten from Angry Robot and it’s another enjoyable read. Implanted tells the story of Emery. A typical college kid living in a dome near the city formerly known as Fort Worth. She’s been playing arcade games with a guy that she’s falling for and might even want to connect with him on a deeper level when everything in her life falls out of place. She’s thrown into a hidden and secretive world where her entire former life is erased and she’s forced to start over. What she finds out would chill your blood and make you want to crawl in your bed and stay there forever. Looking at the synopsis of this book – I can tell that it’s okay to talk about the major part of the book without it being a spoiler. Emery is enlisted as a messenger- but not just any messenger – all of her messages will be encoded into her DNA and then decoded once she arrives at her destination. I’ve heard/watched/read other things related to this but Teffeau really took it to the next level. Speaking of next level – the world building inside of Implanted is amazing. There were a few parts that feel overdone (or just reused in stories like this) like everyone cannot be bothered to look up from their devices – now that the devices are in their heads. But it was a needed part of the story and I thought that Teffeau did a good job explaining the world of implants and what they have done for us in the near-future. Everyone is looking forward to Emergence – aka when the domed walls/glass comes down. And a lot of the story revolves around that. But Teffeau throws in some class struggles, along with non-conformity issues too. I think this book might be aimed at high school aged readers and the way that it was presented would do really well with that audience. Implanted definitely hooked me early and kept me interested. I wasn’t sure where it was going but I had some ideas. Some of the things I guessed early on and others surprised me. I’m happy to know that I couldn’t predict the entire book from beginning to end. Semi-spoiler (not really, just want to point it out for those Dystopian haters for this exact reason): I’m also pleased to say that there is NOT a love triangle in this (thank god). And the love/intimacy/trust part of this was earned not given. It was a long hall and I respect the heck out of Teffeau for writing it this way. I won’t mention how long a certain thing that’s teased early on takes – but it was atypical for this genre. Overall, a book that I can write this much about has to do something for me. Sure, there were some typical tropes used – but it was done in such a way that made it an enjoyable read. The tagline drew me in and I couldn’t let go. I enjoyed this near-future sci-fi thriller a good deal.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Belle

    As I am sure anyone reading this synopsis can tell, this book is set in such a cool future. Obviously, its a dystopia, but the best YA novels always are. The way the city is set up, though, feels all too real. Yes, its a domed city, and yes, the technology is futuristic – but the layers in the city and the separation of wealth and affluence from the grime of a dirt poor existence is literally represented by height. How cool is that?! The more affluent you are, the higher in the dome you live — b As I am sure anyone reading this synopsis can tell, this book is set in such a cool future. Obviously, its a dystopia, but the best YA novels always are. The way the city is set up, though, feels all too real. Yes, its a domed city, and yes, the technology is futuristic – but the layers in the city and the separation of wealth and affluence from the grime of a dirt poor existence is literally represented by height. How cool is that?! The more affluent you are, the higher in the dome you live — basically a commentary on the current societal expectations of wealth. And only the wealthy can afford implants, which are basically smart phone-like devices that are accessible through eye movement, etc. They connect you to other people instantly, so when synched you can basically secretly chat across any distance. It was hard to read the chat dialogues sometimes, but it added another layer of secrecy to an already secret organization. Reading about what it would be like to be constantly connected to everyone at all times made me realize how important it is to disconnect and just appreciate our surroundings and genuine, face-to-face human interaction. Not that I don’t love all of my followers! I also didn’t mind reading about the secret agent-like organization, Aventine, and their cool, out of this world way of storing data in their employees blood. I love this sort of sci-fi stuff, and I can actually see this happening, with the research that we have going on at uni, so I really enjoyed seeing where the author took it. Further, the fact that Emery is so empowered, and can totally kick butt of everyone she meets made me love her even more. She tries to protect everyone she loves, she carries data in her blood, and she can kick butt? COUNT ME IN! One other cool thing (since everyone knows how much I can harp on romances that are unreal) is the way that Emery’s and Randall’s relationship grows throughout the pages of the novel. Even for a regular, everyday type of love (you know, the kind that doesn’t let other people live inside your head) theirs would have satisfied my inner romantic skeptic. But the implications of a love that grows through an implant that connects your psyches together? Absolute must read!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Faith Jones

    You don’t need to imagine a science fiction future where information is such a valuable resource that it has to be encrypted to move it safely between A and B, as that’s what we have now. You also don’t need to imagine that corporate espionage and hackers might be after their rivals’ trade secrets and will go to any lengths to get them. However, in a world where all communications channels can be intercepted and there are infrastructure blackspots that cables won’t provide a service to, the scie You don’t need to imagine a science fiction future where information is such a valuable resource that it has to be encrypted to move it safely between A and B, as that’s what we have now. You also don’t need to imagine that corporate espionage and hackers might be after their rivals’ trade secrets and will go to any lengths to get them. However, in a world where all communications channels can be intercepted and there are infrastructure blackspots that cables won’t provide a service to, the science fiction next step is a city where a service exists to transport information encrypted and injected into people, athletic and smart couriers. To set a context, the city the author has based the action in is an urban dystopia. There’s a class system which builds a lot of resentment (reminds me of the film Demolition Man) and the people are all trapped for generations with their overcrowding, jealousies, tech-crime and self-interested governors because the outside world has a climate so poor that planet Earth itself is being terraformed to bring itself back to Earth-like habitation standards. The other area of separation is technological, with the majority of the population of the domed bio-refugium (one of several domed cities) having implanted upgrades and those who have not simply putting up with their lack of access to services, jobs and information. There’s a Logan’s Run feel to this story. Most people seem to be in their 20s and 30s, all feel trapped and look forward to the day they can get away and there’s a hint that something more is going on behind the scenes and that the authorities are keeping important facts from the public. Certainly it’s in the interests of the establishment to keep everyone inside the dome because the whole control system relies on the population not being able to walk away. Why would it be in the rulers’ interests to work toward making that possible, just because it’s what everyone expects? Having a job where people mess with your blood is a pretty disgusting idea, so there would have to be a pretty good reason why you would consent to do something like that. You’d think it would be money but a different reason is supplied in convincing style, then there’s a sort of induction phase followed by the meat of the adventure. Essentially, the characters go through a series of parkour chases through a large, commuter-filled city, switching routes, losing tails and trying to move fast but stay inconspicuous. The story covers this really well and provides some hair-raising chase sequences that are really enjoyable to read. Of course, inevitably, the protagonist gets involved in an assignment that nudges her out of her depth and then just about every interested party seems to be hunting her down as a renegade. Run rabbit, run rabbit, run run run. The science fiction angle is there but not too heavy, so this is more of an exciting hunt and chase adventure with a sinister plot that needs to be exposed or it’ll drive the reader cray trying to guess what it could be. The story-telling skill of this author is pretty good, so you become unaware of the narrator and fall into the scene, almost flexing your legs and tying up your running shoes in case it’s you next. There’s also the dream fantasy of leaving your whole life behind, going incognito and then being the heroine, fit, fast and the girl everyone wants to catch, deciding who she’s going to allow to catch her. It’s a smashing adventure, slightly squirmy with the blood encryption thing but even so I thought it was a wild ride, super fun, just crazy enough to be credible and an idea that could easily transfer to film someday. They say that when you do sports you get a rush of endorphins. Well, this book gives you that same feeling and you never even have to roll out from under the comfy pillow pile.

  13. 4 out of 5

    E.M. Tippetts

    Emery has her whole life ahead of her, until she gets a message that she has to die. Not actually, physically die, but she's been drafted to work for a company that will require her to give up everything and everyone she's ever known. They will fake her death, and she is not allowed to refuse the offer. The reason is in her blood; she's got a condition that allows encrypted information to be stored in her blood cells, for a limited time, at least. She is to be part of an elite class of couriers, Emery has her whole life ahead of her, until she gets a message that she has to die. Not actually, physically die, but she's been drafted to work for a company that will require her to give up everything and everyone she's ever known. They will fake her death, and she is not allowed to refuse the offer. The reason is in her blood; she's got a condition that allows encrypted information to be stored in her blood cells, for a limited time, at least. She is to be part of an elite class of couriers, carrying the city's most sensitive secrets, but if she doesn't deliver on time, her blood will sour and she could die. So when adversaries to her clients slow her down, or friends from her old life are hot on her trail, her very life is in danger and she's got few allies to help her finish her job, and survive. A strong start for an awesome new writer. (Yes, she is also in my writers group, but all that means is I got to see her process and can truly vouch for how talented she is!)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Cornell

    Full disclosure: I read and provided feedback on an earlier draft of this book. On receiving a shiny new ARC, I was pleased to discover it's only been improved upon since then. First and foremost, this is a rollicking adventure that entertains throughout. As with all good SF, however, it's also chock full of big ideas about our potential future--from environmentalism to the surveillance state to corporate governance. Come for the exhilarating ride, stay for a glimpse at one possible future. I'm gl Full disclosure: I read and provided feedback on an earlier draft of this book. On receiving a shiny new ARC, I was pleased to discover it's only been improved upon since then. First and foremost, this is a rollicking adventure that entertains throughout. As with all good SF, however, it's also chock full of big ideas about our potential future--from environmentalism to the surveillance state to corporate governance. Come for the exhilarating ride, stay for a glimpse at one possible future. I'm glad everyone now gets to explore this world and discover a new talent in spec fic.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I couldn't put this book down. I don't typically love sci-fi books. They sometimes contain interesting plots, but are often predictable and aren't always well-written. Implanted is an exception. I loved escaping in the pages of this adventure. It was a delight, and I can't wait to read what Lauren C Teffeau writes next!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mackenzie

    I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Pinky swear! Yesssssss. Implanted started off a little slow and weird. I was a tad confused by what was going on with Emery for the first chapter or so, although the backstory on what was going on did get explained later. You just get dropped into the story and it was a little jolting to begin with. Once it picks up, it picks up. The plot is really interesting, if slightly I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Pinky swear! Yesssssss. Implanted started off a little slow and weird. I was a tad confused by what was going on with Emery for the first chapter or so, although the backstory on what was going on did get explained later. You just get dropped into the story and it was a little jolting to begin with. Once it picks up, it picks up. The plot is really interesting, if slightly predictable at times. I enjoyed the scienc-y/techie aspects a lot, I think they added an intriguing layer to the plot over all. The idea that you can have someone in your head all the time, whether that person is chosen or forced upon you, I thought was really cool. The technology and the environment – domed cities in a dystopian future because of course humanity has killed Mother Earth – speaks to a likely future, which I always find interesting to read about. It makes it more realistic, which can also make it a little more scary. The side characters and relationships were also quite well done. Each relationship that Emery has is focused on in a different way, since she basically has to fake her death in order to become a courier and her new “friendships” aren’t exactly coming at a great time for her. Having to cut off her old friends and make new friends in a place she’s been blackmailed into becoming a part of was emotional to read about. Her relationship with Rik didn’t exactly work out how I thought it would, which was good. I appreciated that it wasn’t completely straight-forward. Through their rollercoaster, I think we saw the most growth with Emery, even if some of the stuff she did regarding him annoyed me. Her lack of communication was somewhat warranted but it still got on my nerves. He was quite a softie and wasn’t at all what I was expecting when we were first introduced to him. The best part for me was that Implanted read more like a movie than it did a book. I love books like that. I hope it gets optioned one day so I can see it on the big screen 🙂

  17. 5 out of 5

    lostinabookbrb

    Implanted is a post-apocalyptic novel with advance technology. The world building, especially around how the tech works, is pretty detailed. I think there was a lot put into this book and it could have, probably, been dolled out into two novels. However, I liked the plot and the characters. I have a more in depth review here: https://thereturncart.com/2018/09/10/...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karen Whittard

    I think that this is the future for dystopian fantasy books. I absolutely love things that make me stop and think and when I have finished reading the book. It stays with me. This is that kind of book for me. I throughly enjoyed reading it and look forward to more books from this author in the future.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Emery lives in New Worth, a domed city because the population can't survive outside of it with what they've done to the planet. They're working to reclaim it, though, and rumors are that Emergence, the day people can live outside again, is close. She's also got a decent life ahead of her, a college student on track to a career, and with an online romance that she's considering taking the next step with. But then her natural resourcefulness, as well as a rare genetic condition which allows her to Emery lives in New Worth, a domed city because the population can't survive outside of it with what they've done to the planet. They're working to reclaim it, though, and rumors are that Emergence, the day people can live outside again, is close. She's also got a decent life ahead of her, a college student on track to a career, and with an online romance that she's considering taking the next step with. But then her natural resourcefulness, as well as a rare genetic condition which allows her to carry coded data in her bloodstream, is noticed, and she's blackmailed into taking a job as a courier... a job that requires cutting ties with her old life. But one of her missions goes dangerously wrong and ignites tensions that might tear the city apart... and she might not even survive to worry about that if her employers get their hands on her. Full disclosure: I got this book for free from the publisher as part of a giveaway on Twitter. I don't think it affected my review. The book started off well, with some decent worldbuilding and, in particular, a nice portrayal of a future 'on-line romance' enabled by new technology. After that, while it never got outright bad, I started to lose some of my enthusiasm. I'm not sure I ever really bought into some of the core premises of the book (not the technological feasibility but the desirability) which may have been one factor, but it just didn't thrill me. It told a decent enough story, had some entertaining characters, and I mildly enjoyed myself reading it. I just don't expect I'll remember it much in a year. It's the kind of book where I don't think I'd read a sequel, but I'd check it out if the author did something else that seemed interesting. I'll give it three stars, though I think it's in the 2.5/2.75 range for me, but Goodreads doesn't allow half-stars.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Terry Mulcahy

    While the book is generally riveting, it starts out so slow I wasn't sure I wanted to finish. Most of Chapter One and Chapter Two work to establish the main character, and not much else. Sure there's violence imbedded in the main character, and a reason for it. There's a stranger in Chapter Two who wants to speak with her, and his insistence raises reasonable alarms, and she manages to get away. So, we know there's something coming, but in the meantime we are treated to emotions, and relationshi While the book is generally riveting, it starts out so slow I wasn't sure I wanted to finish. Most of Chapter One and Chapter Two work to establish the main character, and not much else. Sure there's violence imbedded in the main character, and a reason for it. There's a stranger in Chapter Two who wants to speak with her, and his insistence raises reasonable alarms, and she manages to get away. So, we know there's something coming, but in the meantime we are treated to emotions, and relationship angst, and setting up an unlikely character to become the protagonist. It's OK, and I've seen Stephen Donaldson do this in his Science Fiction also, as well as in his other works, but I never fail to enjoy the stories So after all that, the story finally got rolling, enough to keep me reading through to the end. The tech is reasonable, the gadgets believable, and we're not really far enough in the future to have to suspend disbelief; most of this stuff is recognizable in the tech we have now, and our relationship to it. There's enough action, menace, and mystery here to make this a worthwhile read. And Teffeau extrapolates our fascination with social media, phones, and networking to make this a good part of our near future, one we already see coming, with a mixture of apprehension and hope.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Schaff-Stump

    Look forward to Lauren Teffeau's near future SF thriller Implanted. I read this ARC as I prepared for a podcast with the author. Another caveat: the writer is someone I know who I have been in a workshop with, so perhaps the opinion is not entirely unbiased. :D Emery is a blood courier who works for Aventine. Information is transported in her blood in a high stakes game of espionage. Layers and plot twists compel the reader forward as Emery, Randall, and the reader try to figure out the real stak Look forward to Lauren Teffeau's near future SF thriller Implanted. I read this ARC as I prepared for a podcast with the author. Another caveat: the writer is someone I know who I have been in a workshop with, so perhaps the opinion is not entirely unbiased. :D Emery is a blood courier who works for Aventine. Information is transported in her blood in a high stakes game of espionage. Layers and plot twists compel the reader forward as Emery, Randall, and the reader try to figure out the real stakes of a mission where it appears Emery has been double-crossed. I loved the espionage, action and romantic tension in this book, and so will you. There's a lot of good characterization and solid plot. The ending wraps up a bit too tidily for my taste, but I think most readers are going to be quite satisfied. The book comes out first week in August. Go get it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Holly Mcentee

    Sigh. I wish first novels, and YA novels, came clearly marked as such, because it would make that much easier to avoid them. This is a YA novel that is the author’s first, and I understand and appreciate that everyone has to start somewhere. But being an experienced sci fi-fantasy-New Weird-etc. reader in her late forties who reads to immerse and escape, I have little patience for YA sci fi. I gave this 2 stars because it was OK, and I certainly wish the author well. But it really wasn’t for me.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Qasim Ali

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cat

  25. 5 out of 5

    Minx -The Genre Minx Book Reviews

    I received a complimentary copy of this novel courtesy of Author Lauren C. Teffeau in exchange for a honest and voluntary review. Will post full review when complete.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Ross

    This dystopic YA novel revolves around several nifty premises: the Earth has been so polluted that the majority humans survive only in domed cities, while efforts are underway to ameliorate the toxins and re-establish a viable ecology; the dome cities are stratified, with the rich elite living on the topmost levels, with access to greenery and sunlight, while the poor scrabble for a living in the “Terrestrial” slums; brain implants that permit direct mind-to-mind communication as well as social This dystopic YA novel revolves around several nifty premises: the Earth has been so polluted that the majority humans survive only in domed cities, while efforts are underway to ameliorate the toxins and re-establish a viable ecology; the dome cities are stratified, with the rich elite living on the topmost levels, with access to greenery and sunlight, while the poor scrabble for a living in the “Terrestrial” slums; brain implants that permit direct mind-to-mind communication as well as social media are near-universal and because of this, data is highly insecure, so... sensitive material gets encoded in the blood cells of specially trained couriers who physically transport it from sender to recipient. That’s only the setting. The plot itself draws together a variety of threads. The heroine, Emery, comes from a lower level and has worked her way to better prospects. She’s been on a crusade that’s pit her skills against the thieves who rip implants from the skulls of their victims. She’s also become romantically entangled with a fellow gamer, although they’ve never met in person and she doesn’t even know his real name. As for the agency that recruits her to carry encrypted data in her blood, she uncovers plots within plots as New Worth (the city built on the ruins of Ft. Worth, Texas) stumbles toward “Emergence” into the supposedly restored outer world. The setting, main character, and evolving action were absorbing enough to keep me reading for most of the book, but toward the end I had problems with the lack of focus. It seemed to me that the book couldn’t decide what it was about, and my attention kept being pulled in different directions: ecological disaster story? Romance? Techno-spy thriller? Victim seeking revenge? “Betrayal and reconciliation”? Other readers might feel differently. The book certainly stands out for creativity of conception and narrative voice. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the author’s next adventure.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

  28. 4 out of 5

    R.K. Syrus

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

  30. 4 out of 5

    Penny Reeve

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