cover image Automatic Reload

Automatic Reload

Ferrett Steinmetz. Tor, $16.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-16821-4

A cyborg mercenary works to protect a genetically enhanced woman from a powerful corporation in this consistently surprising, hyperkinetic action adventure from Steinmetz (The Sol Majestic). Former drone operator Mat, now more machine than man, is obsessed with preventing casualties on his oft-violent missions. Despite his reluctance to work for the shadowy International Access Corporation, Mat accepts a lucrative job protecting one of its packages in transit. But when he discovers the package is Silvia, a woman experimented on against her will and transformed into a monstrous killer, Mat turns on his employers to rescue her. As the two try to outwit IAC, they forge an unexpected bond, helping each other face their respective trauma. Steinmetz expertly fuses cyberpunk staples and romantic comedy elements to deliver an over-the-top, action-packed tale while also addressing mental illness and body issues. In tackling Silvia’s panic disorder and Mat’s PTSD, as well as their respective feelings of dysphoria, Steinmetz imbues this rip-roaring tale with a surprising amount of sensitivity and heart. This thoroughly satisfying story works as both thriller and romance. Agent: Evan Gregory, the Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency. (May)