Beta: Project Avatar
Hays's thought-provoking and relentless cyberthriller merges lucid prose and cutting social commentary on the technology people both covet and fear. Global conspiracies and the threat of violent death are lent authenticity by compulsive narrative drive and surprising human insight. Aboard a plane to a military conference, celebrated cryptographer Dee Lockwood helps thwart a terrorist attack. Becoming suspicious of her military hosts, Lockwood is pursued by deadly government agents determined to recover secret military software saved on her laptop. Aided by brilliant friend Abe and an ex-MI6 agent named John, Dee flees government assassins on foreign soil and unearths a labyrinthine plot featuring super technology and government conspiracy. Dee is the heart that pumps blood through this narrative. She is infused with realistic emotion and doubts as she struggles to understand the technology both threatening and preserving her. A welcome and timely addition to the genre, this stunning debut makes a statement about technology without sacrificing story.