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> Dark Resonance, Shadowrun Novel
Redjack
post Jan 1 2015, 07:54 PM
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QUOTE
Kazuma Tetsu is a technomancer—one of the rare people who can manipulate the Matrix without technology, using only the power of their mind. But he’s on a more personal mission—he’s searching for his missing sister, Hitori. Following her trail leads him into a tangled web of corp execs, mercenaries, and double-crossing rogues—usually just another day in the Sixth World.

But as Kazuma digs deeper, he uncovers a plot that could bring about the end of the world. Upon seeing a simulation of the Resonances Realms accessible to technomancers, an A.I. declares it will use the realms to ascend to a higher plane of consciousness. The intelligence’s goal seems impossible, until an imprisoned and manipulated group of technomancers accesses dissonance to open a gateway to a new realm—possibly the heaven the A.I. seeks. But opening this dissonant hole in the Matrix could trigger global disaster, and it’s up to a team of shadowrunners, including a couple of denizens of the fabled JackPoint, to free the trapped technomancers and stop the Dark Resonance before it destroys the entire Matrix—and worse …

Dark Resonance at DriveThru
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Jan 1 2015, 09:20 PM
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Sounds Interesting... Hopefully someone will give us a review of it. Sadly, I will have to wait a bit to purchase it.
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Jaid
post Jan 1 2015, 10:41 PM
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maybe it's because I haven't read the whole trilogy, but it sounds remarkably like how I remember hearing the secrets of power trilogy is supposed to go, except with resonance instead of magic (and all in one book).
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hermit
post Jan 1 2015, 11:37 PM
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Nothing like it, Jaid. I'll have a review up tomorrow. Posted one on Pegasus' site, but it's in German and I'm too tired right now to translate it.
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Sengir
post Jan 2 2015, 05:21 PM
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Well, the plot summary certainly was...interesting. If I ever need a text-based basilik hack for EP, I'll be using that as a handout (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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hermit
post Jan 2 2015, 09:46 PM
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Well, for politeness' porpose, I'll post areview of Hell on Water first. So the review will have to wait for a few days.
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SirFozzie
post Jan 3 2015, 05:09 AM
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Nice to see an old PI Runner still at it.. a fitting tribute to a Shadowrun author no longer with us.
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Isath
post Jan 3 2015, 07:27 PM
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Admittedly I only read a review (yes, looking at you hermit), still, by that, it does not sound like it would be a fitting tribute.
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hermit
post Jan 4 2015, 12:48 AM
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See, and that's why I'll read hell on water first. Don't want to seem too much like a hater for hatin's sake.
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Ryu
post Jan 6 2015, 09:46 AM
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Thats a ton of plot elements for a single book for sure. I have to admit I almost want to read it. Is it fun if you leave any world-building expectations aside?
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hermit
post Jan 6 2015, 01:08 PM
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Not sure. You can try. Expect something along the lines of fan fiction of moderate to low quality. Especially sudden and drastic and wholly unexplained shits in character abilities and such.
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Sendaz
post Jan 6 2015, 08:26 PM
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QUOTE (hermit @ Jan 6 2015, 08:08 AM) *
Especially sudden and drastic and wholly unexplained shits in character abilities and such.


if you are experiencing sudden, drastic and unexplained shits, you may need something from the pharmacy or quit eating at your favourite dive. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rotfl.gif)

Teasing aside, the novel is one with quite a few irons in the fire.

The 'hero, a TM, is raiding a supposedly inactive host set to be decommissioned the next day to retrieve some data that may help him with his search for missing family.

In the course of the hack he basically runs over another decker who is also hacking into the system, who it seems is double dipping as the decker has been hired twice for the same job, once by one Johnson to do the job solo as well as being the decker muscle for a runner team hired by yet another Johnson to retrieve the same data.
Who doesn't love being paid twice for the same job?

Or rather WOULD have been paid twice, if a certain TM had not absconded with the data first and leaving him in the digital dust.

That's the start and from there it gets freaky fast, with AI's and Dragons and Technowolves, oh my.

Netcat, sans the Toaster sadly, shows up so you know Slamm-O! and Clockwork won't be far behind.

Speaking of Slamm-O! and Clockwork, I have a small comment on Runner Ethics HERE

Edit: one small point of query. in this novel Slamm-O! is described as wiry, but didn't all the art to date (Street Legends Supplemental & Run Faster Chapter Pic) has him a bit more.... chunky. Just curious.
Maybe as the cub is getting older he is getting more exercise chasing the wee scamp around, but still odd.

Yeah , the abilities are handled a bit choppily at points, but Drain/Fading is a thing here even for small jobs

Some of the logic on how the players operate is odd, but then how often has a group of players thrown the GM a total left curve?
It does sort of read like an adventure in a way, so whether that is a plus or minus will depend on your personal taste.

The sequence of chapters/events is more straightforward than Hell on Water, so it is a bit easier to follow.

If TMs intrigue you there are some tasty ideas sprinkled through.
The TMs have really been taken a beating lately and this book reinforces this idea as well as adding whole new ways to mess them over.

I am curious how canon this book is in the larger scheme as there are a few events here that can have repercussions down the road.
We ask as just because the book is under Catalyst blessings, does this automatically mean it is canon or has the author been allowed some liberties for dramatic purposes?
Given there is a Dragon in play this is sort of important as the possibility of a new alliance among certain parties does raise interesting options.

I would give this a 3.5 out of 5. It's an interesting read, but maybe just a few to many irons in the fire and I question some of the actions/choices made along the way.
Maybe this can just be due to being a product of a shared universe, we are looking at you CW, so this may be forgiven if they may not entirely make sense.

Plus do not forget to check out the excerpt for the forthcoming 'Crimson' in the back.
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hermit
post Jan 7 2015, 12:44 AM
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QUOTE
and I question some of the actions/choices made along the way.

Like the conclusion that, because "this seems to be a virtual company without physical assets", "we're dealing with an AI"?

I guess I'll just translate the thing I wrote for Pegasus' Forum tomorrow.
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Sendaz
post Jan 7 2015, 01:06 AM
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QUOTE (hermit @ Jan 6 2015, 07:44 PM) *
I guess I'll just translate the thing I wrote for Pegasus' Forum tomorrow.

Yes, please (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Vegetaman
post Jan 7 2015, 06:51 AM
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Just got Fire & Frost for Christmas. Will put this on my birthday wishlist.
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Critias
post Jan 7 2015, 07:24 AM
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QUOTE (Sendaz @ Jan 6 2015, 02:26 PM) *
Edit: one small point of query. in this novel Slamm-O! is described as wiry, but didn't all the art to date (Street Legends Supplemental & Run Faster Chapter Pic) has him a bit more.... chunky. Just curious.
Maybe as the cub is getting older he is getting more exercise chasing the wee scamp around, but still odd.

In earlier fiction, he was described as being very fit (Netcat was surprised at what good shape he was in, in fact). A couple years later, he was chubby (maybe "daddy weight," sympathetic eating from Slamm-0! while she was pregg-0!). A couple years later, he's in good shape again.

*shrugs* Makes sense to me.
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Bull
post Jan 7 2015, 09:03 AM
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Also keep in mind the novel was originally largely written back during early SR4 era, as it was one of the novels announced by CGL way, way back when. I'm not certain of the dates presented in the book (I haven't had the chance to read it yet), but if they're any later than 2072 or so (I believe they were officially announced as part of the 25th anniversary) than they've likely been tweaked and retconned a bit, so some of the details may still reflect the earlier descriptions and information. if they don't, assume they take place before "Daddy Weight" became an issue. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Sengir
post Jan 7 2015, 12:56 PM
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QUOTE (Critias @ Jan 7 2015, 08:24 AM) *
In earlier fiction, he was described as being very fit (Netcat was surprised at what good shape he was in, in fact). A couple years later, he was chubby (maybe "daddy weight," sympathetic eating from Slamm-0! while she was pregg-0!). A couple years later, he's in good shape again.

Didn't get a look at Run Faster yet? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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Sendaz
post Jan 7 2015, 01:37 PM
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Thanks Critias and Bull, those are good points about his early form and timeline.


I would also have accepted he sweated off the pounds during the Netcat/Toaster fiasco. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)
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Bull
post Jan 7 2015, 02:45 PM
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I've also had a couple friends who tend to zigzag weight drastically every couple of years. Got one buddy whose weight seems to be +/- 50 lbs at any given point. He gets frustrated at being overweight and goes on a strict diet and exercise regime for a year and drops like 50 pounds... then spends the following year slowly packing it back on. The difference is fairly dramatic.
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hermit
post Jan 7 2015, 11:59 PM
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Review - Dark Resonance

No, I cannot call this book so-so. It's really not good. In fact, it's a lemon.

The story (caution, it's long and confusing):
[ Spoiler ]


Where to begin.

The book is a bad read. It's totally overburdened with plot, plot twists, metaplot, abrupt changes in location and of characters. The pieces just never come together. Characters are hardly ever given room to express themselves, but always overburdened. Powell, the Blood Mage Hacker/Otaku Dwarf Bounty Hunter, used to be a Deus White, also is a mage, simultaneously founded Contagion Games in Los Angeles, studied Blood Magic in Aztlan, and was interned in a Renraku jail, and wants to become a technomancer using an AI he apparently loves like a child to build a hell gate icon that opens a path to the resonance realms. this, he thinks, will make him either a god or a technomancer, which apparently are synonyms. Other characters (the troll PCC detective who also used to be a Deus White, the runner team leader who used to be one of Hestaby's Otaku) are similarly overburdened.

The plot takes directions to the weird a lot. Not just once or twice, but near constantly. "This company has no physical holdings - it's an AI pretending to be a company!" Hestaby shows up without any real purpose but to cheer Kazuma, the same with Dirk Montgomery.

The book reads like really, really badly structured fan fiction. I'm afraid the book was rewritten, changed, and had stuff that "would be cool to have" added so often it turned out a messy thing that wants to be way too much at once, and ends up being far too little. There's no clear narrative here, there are enough time paradoxes to destroy the universe twice, and it seems in the end nobody really had any idea what happened here anymore. There apparently was no editor to guide the author - and she really would have needed that guidance. Cut all the unnecessary crap from the book, focus on the core narrative, stick to two or three main characters, and don't have everyone constantly tell the main character how great he is/be saved by him, and this could have been a decent book that gives technomancers some much-needed detail. Too bad this wasn't done here.

More notes:

Positive:
* In the first few chapters, Technomancers work well along SR4 rules guidelines
* There are attempts to include official metaplot events.

Neutral:
* While at least in the beginning Technomancers were treated 'realistically', following the rules, Karma certainly never was. What kind of world is this where all technomancers are submerged several times and have several Echos?
* A lot about the novel shows how it was rewritten at least two times. It seems more SR4 than SR5 throughout the book, inserted words like "new decking units" notwithstanding.
* Characters have weird names. Like Anime weird.

Negative:
* Using Guantanamo Bay as a tongue-in-cheek name for a technomancer forum in the Matrix is tasteless at best.
* Aside from an entirely incoherent plot, the usual CGL editing issues - missing words, bad grammar, and mixed up homophones (sites, when referring to sights) abound.
* Kazuma runs up 89 points in the Writer's Mary Sue Test. I'll let that speak for itself.
* Massive problems with world descriptions and coherence, as well as the Shadowrun timeline. Slamm-O's name (which is Slamm-0, or Slamm-Zero) and looks have already been discussed at length; LA doesn't seem like SR4's flooded LA, what with people driving cars along Arcology Mile, and the story cannot decide whether it is 2071, 2074, or 2076 - it refers to all years as recent past at some point. Let alone the weirdness in the end that the CFO was his sister. And UV nodes running MMO games. And a game node supposedly all about Resonance Realms being about Shadowrunning in Denver with technomancers as a selectable character class. And BMH/OD - what the fuck?!
* Established canon characters are really badly characterized throughout the book. Netcat is your average damsel in distress who cannot disarm a heavily distracted hacker if her life depends on it, even with Kazuma's help; Slamm-0 has just about everything about himself wrong ; Dirk Montgomery and Hestaby appear weird and seem to only exist to drop plot-relevant information from somewhere and tell Kazuma how awesome he is.

All in all, I can only say this book is really bad and definitly a waste of money. I read through it because of my Shadowrun trivia lists and my sometimes obsessive mindset - if it hadn't been for those lists, I'd have tossed the file into the garbage bin halfway through.

0,5/10
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Sendaz
post Jan 8 2015, 12:25 AM
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Is it wrong to admit I enjoyed reading the spoiler Hermit put in more than the book itself?

The little comments along the way really made it work. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)

If you have done a spoiler on Hell on Water would love to see that one. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

Just a small correction or two below.
[ Spoiler ]
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Jaid
post Jan 8 2015, 09:09 AM
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minor side note: all the technomancers having multiple submersions and echoes doesn't sound that improbable.

SR4 was pretty generous with reducing submersion costs. if you know a free sprite (best contact you can possibly invest in for a technomancer), you got a hefty discount. if you could competently perform a data search test and therefore find a temporary submersion group, you got another hefty discount.

if you actually had a long-term connection with either of those two things including a resonance link, you could also borrow various powers on top of that (because getting something close to 50% off of submerging isn't cheap enough, amirite?), which meant that you could potentially swap out powers as needed.

so, yeah, 5 submersion grades and a ton of echoes sounds pretty accurate for any technomancer that is paying remotely close attention under 4th edition rules.

(if they made any observations about how the character started off with maxed-out complex forms and has neither increased resonance nor complex forms since their powers developed, that would also be a somewhat humorous poke at the BP chargen rules as well (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif) )
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hermit
post Jan 8 2015, 01:25 PM
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There was an observation that technomancers usually are "really weak physically", meaning they have to dump physical attributes. However, you're right, submersionw as very cheap in SR4. And Kazuma kinda has a ree sprite (the relationship between the sprite and Kazuma is ... open to debate).
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Jan 8 2015, 03:13 PM
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QUOTE (Jaid @ Jan 8 2015, 02:09 AM) *
minor side note: all the technomancers having multiple submersions and echoes doesn't sound that improbable.

SR4 was pretty generous with reducing submersion costs. if you know a free sprite (best contact you can possibly invest in for a technomancer), you got a hefty discount. if you could competently perform a data search test and therefore find a temporary submersion group, you got another hefty discount.

if you actually had a long-term connection with either of those two things including a resonance link, you could also borrow various powers on top of that (because getting something close to 50% off of submerging isn't cheap enough, amirite?), which meant that you could potentially swap out powers as needed.

so, yeah, 5 submersion grades and a ton of echoes sounds pretty accurate for any technomancer that is paying remotely close attention under 4th edition rules.

(if they made any observations about how the character started off with maxed-out complex forms and has neither increased resonance nor complex forms since their powers developed, that would also be a somewhat humorous poke at the BP chargen rules as well (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif) )


I believe that our 4th Edition Technomancer (Ghost) managed to accumulate 6 Submersions and had a Resonance of 8 or 9 by his semi-retirement. Of course, he was a 450+ Karma Character, so...
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