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Escape the Street; Find the Sky

By Kyt Dotson, author of Black Hat Magick

Aug 4, 2008: I have read so-far up to chapter 16 and am still reading. I just wanted to get a review to date because I am really enjoying this story.

Street: Empathy is an elemental cyberpunk in the vein that Gibson has carved for it and others have followed. Expect both the wires and the characters stripped raw, action and fury collided together with a dystopian future where the poor are still gripped by a strange poverty and the ultra-rich exist in elite technological bliss.

The main character, Gina, throws a new wrench into the writing style due to her being a telepath—but with the introduction of Spice, a street drug that turns the mundane tepe into a powerhouse that dirty edge is returned. Drugs and oppressive regimes are mainstays of the cyberpunk genre and they’re both present here; all mixed together with enough action to keep the storyline going. Confederates and enemies filter in and out of Gina’s life, explanations brighten the path, and mysteries darken the shadows.

There isn’t a lot of suspense to be had, so instead the storytelling takes the reader down the dirty streets using Gina’s relationships to drive the plot. Her worldly friends—those people who get sucked into the plot along with her—act as foils to a mystery man, Gabriel, whom she is both on the run from and subtly interested in.

Cyberpunk fans will find all of the requisite essentials to enjoy this story.

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