Half Life by S.L. Huang. ★★★1/2
Half Life is the second installment in a science fiction thriller series I’ve been really enjoying, Russell’s Attic. While I’d recommend reading the first book, Zero Sum Game, before Half Life, you could probably read the two independently, since the plots are separate.
Cas Russell is a mercenary with mathematical based superpowers. After the events of the last book, she’s decided to try and be a bit more ethical in the jobs she takes on. So she takes a job from a father who’s claiming that his daughter has been kidnapped by a corporation. At the same time, one of her new friends has run into some trouble with the local mafia.
“So I can do math,” I said. “Just because I can do it really fast doesn’t mean I’m some sort of superhero.”
“I didn’t say superhero,” Checker argued. “You’d have to be heroic for that.”
Cas is fast becoming one of my favorite SFF anti-heroines. I really loved her character development in the last book, and I’m so glad that it continued in Half Life. She’s actively trying not to kill people! I don’t know how much of her new found morality is internal versus external, her thinking about what Arthur would approve of. She is trying to have friends, but she’s still not very good at interpersonal relationships in general.
Something I’m also really glad about is that Half Life added more female characters, since last time the only ones besides Cas were all villains. This time around, Cas has female allies as well as female villains. And it looks like at least one of them will be returning in the next book!
Overall, this series is proving to be so much fun, and I just can’t wait to read the next one.