Tuesday, 13 August 2019

D.E.M. - Deus Ex Machina by Lee Ness

D.E.M. - Deus Ex Machina by Lee Ness
Self published in the UK in February 2015.

Featured in Cover Characteristics: Eyes

How I got this book:
I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The email pinged again. The attachment was a picture of the door to her flat. She reeled. Clasping her hand to her mouth as she retched again.
“It was never about the money, Rachel. It was always about you. I could use someone with your skills. I’ll be in touch. I know where you live. D.E.M.”

No good turn goes unpunished!

When Rachel is spurred to use her computing skills to find an abducted boy, she has no idea that it will bring her to the attention of an anonymous vigilante. Is the vigilante what he seems and what does he want with Rachel? 

Rachel is coerced by the mysterious D.E.M. to carry out hacking on seemingly innocuous companies, helped by her friends Deborah, Cam and Cam’s ill-tempered boss, Dave. 

As she gets drawn deeper into their world, she tries to find out more, only to put herself and her friends in grave danger. 

When she finally realises that the mysterious D.E.M. isn’t a vigilante at all, Rachel is in a race against time to save her friends and prevent an escalation in the war between Israel and Palestine.

I first published this book review on my Stephanie Jane blog.

The first thing that struck me about Deus Ex Machina is its eyecatching cover which, I learned, is also the work of Lee Ness. It's a great image.

This novel doesn't waste any time with scene setting in its early pages, instead leaping straight into the action as we meet our heroine, Rachel, working her cybermagic to entrap a child abductor. I liked Rachel very much. She is witty and skilled at her occupation, doesn't play the docile female, and also has realistic flaws. Her relationship with Cam was always believable, although I did think their banter was overdone. Practically every remark contained an innuendo making it more Carry On than 24. (A lot of films and tv series' get namechecked which is fun to spot.) I feel that this is just as much a book for female readers as male, primarily due to the well-drawn female characters.

I don't have much idea how accurately the actual hacking was portrayed so just happily took everything at face value and went along with the thrilling ride. Deus Ex Machina has great pace throughout, only slowed a little by the political arguments and this was vital to the plot so excusable. Supporting character Dave adds a nice edge, particularly in the second half.

There were quite a few typos etc. which distracted my attention and I think I would have liked to have more time to 'meet' Rachel initially. Light descriptions meant my impressions of locations were always generic, rather than specific to this tale, and the concluding scenes felt rushed. However, I enjoyed the book and would read more books by Ness.

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  1. This one sounds like it was very plot-centric and there is nothing wrong with that as well. I love how it delves straight in and gets right down to business. I would want to get to know the main character more as well.

    Olivia-S @ Olivia's Catastrophe

    1. I'm more used to novels which focus on character, but sometimes it's fun to just go with the action especially in this style of thriller

  2. I like books with this kind of storyline so I could see myself reading this even though it's not the genre I usually read.