Review: The Subjugate by Amanda Bridgeman

40308730This one crossed my radar in a few different ways, but every way I looked at it, it looked right up my alley.

Cyberpunk! Mystery! Hooray!

So thanks to the author, as well as Angry Robot for the review copy!

In a small religious community rocked by a spree of shocking murders, Detectives Salvi Brentt and Mitch Grenville find themselves surrounded by suspects. The Children of Christ have a tight grip on their people, and the Solme Complex neurally edit violent criminals – Subjugates – into placid servants called Serenes. In a town where purity and sin, temptation and repression live side by side, everyone has a motive. But as the bodies mount up, the frustrated detectives begin to crack under the pressure: their demons are coming to light, and who knows where that blurred line between man and monster truly lies.

This is the story of Salvi Brentt, who is a detective with the San Francisco Police Department. She recently gotten a new partner, Mitch Grenville, after the previous partner retired, and they’re still getting to know each other.

Outside of the city are a few smaller towns that have pulled away from technology after an event known as The Crash happened in 2040, leaving brain-altering technology rather shunned. Bountiful, a very religious town whose residents shun most technology is suddenly rocked with the rape and murder of a young woman and Salvi and Mitch are put on the case. That murder is then followed by another, and then another.

Their first suspects are a number of the Subjugates from the complex next door. Convicted rapists and murderers are sent there and given years of ‘treatment’ along with (now a bit taboo) neural implants. The owner of the complex, Attis Solme, swears that all of his Subjugates and Serenes (the next level of Subjugate) would no longer be capable of murdering anyone.

And so, Salvi and Mitch must find out who is murdering innocent girls, and whether the Solme Complex’s ‘treatment’ really does what they swear it does.

This one was the sort of book that I started reading one night and then honestly could not put down until I figured out who did it. It’s also the sort of book wherein I suspected every single character even remotely capable of the crime at some point. Not even just the Subjugates, either. I suspected everyone from the Sheriff, to the preacher, to Salvi’s partner, Mitch. There were little hints left here and there, but even then, it could have been so many people that 3am me was like ‘I HAVE TO WORK TOMORROW WHO DID THIS MURDERRRR?’ – which might sound bad on the outside, but really, when it’s 3am and I’m still nose deep in a book because I must know how it ends, well that’s probably a pretty good book.

The cyberpunk aspects weren’t absolutely in your face, but they were present enough that I got immersed in this sort of futuristic world, with Bountiful, a very behind-the-times sort of town in the middle of it. It was an interesting mix. I really enjoyed The Subjugate, and I am 100% going to start on the next book in the series as soon as I can! 4.5/5 stars!~


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