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Digital Divide (Rachel Peng Book 1) by [Spangler, K.B.]
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Digital Divide (Rachel Peng Book 1) Kindle Edition

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Length: 352 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product description

Product Description

Rachel Peng misses the Army. Her old life in Criminal Investigation Command hadn’t been easy, but she had enjoyed it. Now, as the first cyborg liaison to the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police, Rachel is usually either bored senseless or is fighting off harassment from her coworkers. When she and her partner, Detective Raul Santino, stumble into a murder investigation with ties to Rachel and the other cyborgs, she realizes their many enemies will not allow them to quietly pick up the pieces of their lives.
Reviews for the Rachel Peng novels:

“after spending the length of the novel with her, I'm eager to pick up the next one to see what's next for Rachel Peng” (io9)

“If I have any regrets about Rachel Peng, it's that we're unlikely to ever see her front and center on a multiplex screen, cracking wise before she shoots somebody's kneecaps off. And we should. Rachel Peng is a bad-ass for the digital age.” (New York Times bestselling author, Seanan McGuire)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3466 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: A Girl and Her Fed Books (2 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C5QP5V6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #76,673 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.7 out of 5 stars 126 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect blend of science fiction and police procedural 13 April 2013
By jerry anning - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
i don't remember the last time i read a work of fiction that was so well balanced. the author uses the classic present day sf formula of 'the real world with one change' and sticks to it. the procedural part and rachel peng's backstory are clearly carefully researched and ring completely true. none of the characters are stock figures; spangler has a calligrapher's gift for presenting them clearly with only a few strokes. the characters aren't frozen either they are changed by the events. character growth doesn't come out of nowhere. it develops over time and in ways that make perfect sense.

this is a fair mystery. the reader gets the same evidence the hero does and, while the answer to the mystery is deducible, at no point do the characters suffer the common mystery curse of artificial stupidity. the characters are intelligent people and they act like it. the reader doesn't have to wait impatiently for the characters to catch on.

this is not exactly hard science fiction. the technological advance does play fast and loose with some physical laws, but the uses and the societal implications are realistic given the premise and are carefully and consistently worked out as the story calls for, but at no point does the book devolve into a philosophical treatise. the cyborg's powers are not the usual superhuman strength or speed. the edge they have is more subtle; more suited to the modern era.

in my book, this story is well worth more than the very reasonable price.
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprises abound in this brilliant world 24 March 2017
By Allison N Hurd - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a very fun book. It had some ups and downs for me, but this roller coaster was much more about ups than downs.

First of all, I love this world. It's been five years since every cyborg in the world - all 350 of them - came out and said they were here, they were made by an act of Congress, no other country has people with computer chip brains, they came in peace but oh, by the way, no information is beyond their grasp.

How great is that?

It carries through, too. We get lots of delicious moments in which the cyborgs just accidentally stop acting like people: laughing at jokes no one else can hear (because they're basically on the phone constantly with 349 best friends) or staring too long at nothing, because they're looking through walls at something happening two rooms over. I loved the unintended creepiness of existing beyond human capability. I also love the constant fight against doing illegal things. If you could look through walls just by thinking about it, how hard would it be not to do that without being asked first? But if you're a cop, that'd be illegal search unless you came with a valid warrant, and even then, you'd have to limit your scope to the things mere humans would consider when agreeing to the warrant. Spangler did a lot of research on 4th Amendment law, and it shows.

The main character is both non-white and gay, which is very refreshing to see, and to see handled (what seemed to me at least!) honestly and openly.

And the story. There were so many little twists and turns and details that I never quite saw what was coming next. Definitely a fun read, and parts were quite riveting.

I do wish it had been a little heavier, though. Thinking about the implications for society, the law, interpersonal relationships, including romantic ones...those were the things that had me re-reading bits that wow-ed me. Spangler really thought things out, and I wanted more of that. Also, I am a little sensitive to how the law and police procedures work, as well as mental health considerations. As with most procedurals, this one wasn't entirely accurate, but it was better than most! And there was a throwaway bit about OCD and cleanliness which just happens to hit my own obsessive buttons. It is possible that this is something the author experiences and this is how she experiences it, but it read in a way that played into a narrative I find a little frustrating.

These were minor moments, however, and did not detract overmuch from my enjoyment of this book. I will absolutely be reading the next one, and have already recommended Digital Divide to several people for the wonderful atmosphere it builds and maintains.
4.0 out of 5 stars Her backstory is a bit silly, but Rachel Peng is a kickass cyborg who shouldn't be ignored 28 November 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Don't miss this marvelous series! Rachel "Penguin" Peng is only a supporting character in K.B. Spangler's online graphic novel "A Girl and Her Fed" (look it up), but she really shines as a kick-ass cyborg cop in this ongoing series, which will reach 4 books in length with the release of "Brute Force". While some elements of the backstory are silly and absurd, the general background works just fine: Rachel Peng is a combat veteran who volunteered to participate in an experimental program supposedly designed to make military and law enforcement personnel more effective through neural enhancements. This was essentially true, but the program's aims were both larger and more sinister; the designers aimed to turn talented young soldiers and cops into a corps of mind-controlled super-agents with no volition of their own. This plan was thwarted prior to "Digital Divide", but the cyborgs that survived the program are still struggling to learn the full truth behind the experimental program, to define who they are, and find a place in the world. Through her work with the Washington DC Metropolitan PD, Rachel Peng is determined to show regular folks that scary cyborgs are good people with something special to contribute, and, what's more, that she has the skills and toughness to solve difficult mysteries and overcome prejudice. While far from perfect, the Rachel Peng novels are suspenseful, fast-moving, and hard to put down. Highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wish for hope in the darkness of today's D.C. 22 August 2016
By Ian Fechner - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying this, I don't read novels nearly as much as I used to; in point of fact, most barely can hold my attention anymore. That being said, last Christmas i purchased this, its two direct sequels, and the spin-off novel Greek Key; I read them all before the new year, and have since done so four times more. I could Gush about the Plot, I could Rave about how well the themes are handled, and I could Fanboy about the setting.
Instead I shall simply say this; It is my considered opinion that the mark of The Great Fiction Writer is not their popularity, not how much money their books make them, nor is it even whether or not their work is considered Important Enough to alter the path of culture (though that one certainly helps). No, the mark of The Great Fiction Writer is that their characters, plot, and backdrop are well developed enough that, for that period of time while one experiences their story, you might truly believe that, somewhere out there in space and time, what you are reading is not in fact fiction,
but someone's reality. Every last thing of this author's that I have read meets this criteria, I cannot WAIT for Rachel Peng book 4 and would readily recommend this series to anyone who asks "what's the best book you've read in the past year?"


If you like Dan Browns stuff but get a little tweaked with all the symbolism he throws in, or if you like The Dresden Files but wish there was something similar just on the tech end of the spectrum, Read This; You Will Be Glad You Did.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable 15 December 2016
By JSK - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So the Kindle app has managed to add a feature that basically lets you chainsmoke a series - when you get to the end of a sample, there's a "buy now" link for the book, and then at the end of the first book there's a "buy now" link for the second one. I have my complaints about the user interface of the app, but that particular bit of design is brilliant.

On a related note, I just read straight through all four books in this series.

The series isn't exactly High Quality Literature, but that wasn't what I was looking for. It's framed as a police procedural, with a bunch of related mysteries to be solved: the crimes being investigated (who's doing it, how, and why), the history of the cyborg program (what happened and what the end goal was, and how it was thwarted), who is an enemy and who can be considered an ally, and of course how everything is related.

It has an interesting premise - cybernetically enhanced brains - with an interesting twist - the goal of the program was not what the cyborgs were told it was - and it's framed in a way that reminds me of the saying that "the personal is political". The technical details of the chips were glossed over in favor of examining the legal, social, and psychological impacts, which I appreciated. For one thing, I find that aspect more interesting; and for another it's really hard to get the right amount of technobabble without devolving into infodumps and bulls***.

The two big characteristics that can spoil an otherwise good book for me are grimdarkness and romance, and I am happy to say that this book has just the right amount of both. There is just enough tragedy to make the characters and the plot well rounded, and the romantic aspects are much more about relationships than about pantsfeels. The main character is a woman with a mysterious tragic backstory, and that backstory does not involve rape or even sexual assault. I am SO HAPPY to have found an author I can be sure will never include rape in her books.

If there were any flaws in this book - clunky phrasing, improbable reactions, cardboard characters, or whatever - they were subtle enough that I never noticed them. I can't think of anything that broke my suspension of disbelief or pulled me out of the story. That's not to say this book was perfect and will go on my list of Top 10 Best Books Ever, but it was just what I needed it to be. It was... nice. It made me happy. And that's exactly what I needed.

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