Call the Bluff Aces High, Jokers Wild, Book 2 O. E. Tearmann LGBT, Cyberpunk, Science Fiction Amphibian Press August 5, 2019 289
It costs a lot to win. And even more to lose. Seven Corporations rule the former United States with seven codes of conduct based on their ideas of morality. Comply with the code of the Corporation that holds your Citizen Contract, or suffer the economic consequences. Or fight back. For sixty years the Democratic State Force has been fighting to return representative democracy to the country. Living in the no man’s lands between cities and hanging on by their fingernails, the thinly spread guerrilla force hasn’t gotten far. But they have a secret weapon: their finest unit, Base 1407. Handle: The Wildcards.Pulled together after disaster by Commander Aidan Headly, the Wildcards are on top of their game again. They’d better be. They’ve just been called to act as backup in a mission bigger than anything the Force has attempted before. The team that went in first is probably dead.If they pull their mission off, everything will change.If they don’t, they’ll be lucky to survive the year.Life’s a bitch. She’s got the game rigged. Keep the cards close to your chest.
Yes, this is book two in a series, but it is written well enough that I was able to read it as a stand alone.
I really like the world building in this story. The dystopian world presented is almost scarily easy to imagine. The characters are fully fleshed out and I found myself quickly invested in their well being and their adventures. And what adventures they have! I mean they are literally trying to save the world. In addition to the world they created, Tearmann also does a fantastic job with the characters and their personal interactions. The characters are so thorough, down to individual manners of speech.
A truly pleasant surprise is the romance between Aiden and Kevin. It was an oasis in the middle of the chaos and the difficulty of their lives. I appreciated that the fears and prejudices the characters faced were true to their world and easily translated into our own. I am truly looking forward to seeing what happens next in the Aces High, Jokers Wild series.