On the cut-throat streets of Tarkis, orphaned teens like Rath end up jailed...or dead. So when the shadowy Janus Group offers Rath a chance to earn riches beyond his wildest dreams, he seizes it. But the Janus Group is as ruthless as the elite assassins it controls. Rath will have to survive their grueling, off-world training, and fulfill all 50 kills in his contract before a single cent comes his way. And ending so many lives comes with a price Rath can't anticipate. It'll certainly cost him what's left of his innocence. It may well cost him his life.
©2015 Piers Platt (P)2015 Piers Platt
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"Exciting and Suspensful Take on the Future"
This type of story isn't usually the type of Sci-Fi that I like to read/listen to. The books I normally buy are the space battle and future military-type novels. Somehow, this one stuck out to me. All in all, having finished the first 3 books, I'm, glad it did.
The story focuses around a now orphaned teenager (Rath) in the slums of a backwater world. Despite his upbringing and lack of emphasis on education, he has a keen intelligence and photographic memory. After nearly getting caught pick-pocketing a cop, he is recruited by an underground assassin's guild know as the Janus Group. After a grueling initiation and testing phase, the Group offers him the same deal that it offers everyone who passes the tests: Become an assassin for the group and agree to make 50 kills. After 50 kills, you will be given 50% of the money made from your kills (making you insanely wealthy). Refuse to become an assassin, you die. Refuse to take a job, you die. Fail to make the kill, and you die. However, assassins live a life of luxury with all expenses paid, have access to the best medical and military technology, and receive performance-enhancing implants. The deal, especially for Rath who grew up in bitter poverty, is too good to pass up.
The story follows Rath over years as he makes kills on gang lords, industrial spies, revolutionary leaders, and cheating spouses. Throughout the story, the main character struggles with the moral and ethical implications of his actions, and comes to wonder how much he can actually trust the Group.
Several simultaneous story lines include a reporter tracking the rumors of an underground assassin's guild, and a police detective tracking mysterious deaths and murders.
I really liked all of the different future tech that the book explored. It also had so really good characters and an excellent narration.
I would definitely recommend this one. Lots of suspense, great story, very good narration, and well worth the credit.
"Needed To Be Pinched To Keep Awake"
There were some tense, action filled moments, but there were also many slow, Sunday afternoon nap moments. The tech in the book was clever but became repetitive. All said, good ideas that ended in boredom and I kept nodding off.
"not much of a protagonist"
Hard to get too excited for the protagonist in this story, given he is almost totally amoral. It's interesting in this far future they still have mobile phones and URLs. Mixed with flying cars and FTL, of course.
"Standard story with thin characters & bad SF"
For a book with a space station on its cover, this is some of the thinnest science fiction I have read recently. If you call paper "data scrolls," airplanes "FTL travel," and drones "drones" you have the level of worldbuilding that Platt brings to the table. It is such halfhearted stuff that you wonder why the author didn't just write this as a mediocre present-day Mafia story, which is what it aspires to be.
Unfortunately, it fails there, too, because the characters are so thin and badly drawn that they barely exist. Our conflicted central character, who murders people on orders, is only conflicted because Platt makes sure to tell us he is, not because there is any sign of actual emotion or motivation in the character. There is also a grizzled cop and a beat reporter (sorry, "blogger," because we are obviously talking far, far future here), if you felt there weren't enough stock characters involved.
A few fun-ish action scenes work, but otherwise this is pretty terrible. I found myself hate-listening for awhile just to see if it would get better. It didn't.
May appeal to mystery buffs.
Not turned me off. But no more books by Piers Platt or narrated by James Fouhey.
A more professional narrator would have helped. I found Fouhey to be too monotone in his delivery.
Disappointment in time wasted by listening to the entire book.
Not a fan of author's writing style. Not a fan of the narrator. Story was not detailed nor interactive enough for this reader.
"This is an action packed and unique novel."
Rath’s Deception by Pier Platt is the first novel in a series called The Janus Group. After becoming an orphan at a young age and fending for himself on the streets of Tarkis, Rath is recruited by the Janus Group to become a sought after intergalactic assassin. The contract is for 50 kills. If the contract assassin survives 50 kills, then he or she is entitled to 50% of the money that the Janus group made on that contractor's kills. It’s an enticing prospect, but intense prospect for a destitute young man who has never killed anyone. As Rath progresses through the grueling training and his kills mount, he becomes aware that there is something not quite honest about the Janus group. Simultaneously, the police are constantly on the hunt for a way to bring down the Janus group, which is essentially a group of highly trained and efficient murderers. Meanwhile, Rath must figure out a way to complete his 50 kills and retrieve the money that he was promised.
This is an action packed and unique novel. I really enjoyed every part of it. Rath is trained by the Janus group to become a killer, but he is still a sympathetic character. Rath is a determined, but ultimately becoming a world weary man, focused on this one objective. However, knowing his back story makes it hard not to like him. Meanwhile, the Group only seems to become more vicious and ruthless as the novel progresses. The police detective and reporter that are trying to track down the contract killers are an excellent addition to the story, because then the reader doesn’t have to hear about each of Rath’s kills and the story moves forward. I also really liked the little insights into the Janus Group’s operations that are revealed during Rath’s missions and the use of 3D printer-like technology. The one thing that I didn’t like about the novel was that it was hard to tell how much time had passed from chapter to chapter. Overall, it was fast paced and action packed story.
The narration by James Fouhey was well done. Each of the characters was distinguishable and the voicing fit the characters. The production quality was good as well. I would recommend this story to anyone who likes action packed stories about rebel assassins mixed with a police mystery.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
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"Have assassin, will travel (FTL)"
Rath's Deception by Piers Platt is a futuristic hitman tale of an innocent young boy forced into a life of crime due to circumstances beyond his control. Rath is a bright boy with a photographic, quick mind born on the wrong side of the tracks. After his brother is killed by local thugs and his drugged out mother passes on, Rath is recruited by the shadowy Janus group that support contract hits. With the tagline 50 for 50, an assassin must achieve 50 kills and will then receive 50% of the profits. He is trained by the group and then dispatched. Concurrently, we follow a reporter and a police detective each on the trail of the mysterious killing cabal that is mostly regarded as a urban legend. Rath eventually suspects a double cross and acts accordingly.
The sci-fi elements are largely limited to FTL drives and flying cars with some exotic poisons and gadgety toys like micro-drones and 3D printers in the mix. This is a straight up crime / detective story with a reluctant hitman staying in the game only for enough of a payoff to afford a memory wipe so he can forget his past. While never considered an elite, he still manages to get the job done, even if less than elegant. While the tale is compelling and the sci-fi components don't overwhelm the plot, the writing is a bit crude and unpolished.
The narration is well done with a solid range of voices of both genders with good pacing and flow.
"amazing. great read."
captivating, loved the world, story, guild. all great. I would read the entire series. that good
"Interesting story and a good listen"
This was completely different than I thought it would be from the description. I like the pace of the book and find it to be engaging. I like that the main character struggles with being an assassin instead of being the hard cold guy who justifies his actions in one way or another. The end of book one left several threads loose that promise an interesting next book. I will probably pick up book 2 when I catch up on several other series I'm behind on.
"A fun listen"
some times a good shoot 'em up is just the ticket.
No extreme reactions.
"Hello to a future version of Jason Bourne. Cool."
Yes. And soon. This is fresh, inventive and absolutely captivating. Rath, orphaned, is sold the idea of joining a super-secret organization of highly-lethal assassins. His task? Get 50 confirmed kills and he gets 50% of the monetary rewards. The only thing is, he can't get caught and he can't fail, regardless of the assignment. Can he make it to 50, and can he trust his employers? Wow.
I love the technology and also the authors experience and military knowledge. I enjoyed the occasional glimpse into the control room where The Group was monitoring all of its contractors/assassins. There was something fun about getting that inside look, and I liked how those scenes also told us a little about what the other contractors were doing. I’m very excited to see how things play out with the other two contractors who have been introduced to the story, particularly Contractor 339.
Rath. A smart kid with a perfect memory. He doesn't like killing but it's his only way out. A great character. The worlds are well planned and Rath is a complex character. We feel sympathy for him even as he does terrible things because we see the price he pays for his actions.
Glorious cyberpunk and an assassin you can root for? Loved it from start to finish.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com.
Can't wait for book two and too see what's next for rath and his partner
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