Zero Sum Game

I like reading debut novels from new authors, it’s a chance to try something new, and then to recommend it to people once the book comes out. It’s cool to see how sales can change based on one person recommending it. The latest one I snagged was Zero Sum Game, by S.L. Huang.

Cas Russel is a known retriever, making a living getting things back for people. But everything goes sideways when she rescues a young woman from a drug cartel, and suddenly finds herself embroiled in a conspiracy way above her pay grade.

But Cas has one Ace up her sleeve: she’s a math protege, able to calculate complex equations in her head, and also able to calculate probability, vectors, angles and more within seconds. Her ability is what makes Cas so successful in her business, but this time it could put her in more jeopardy.

It was an interesting read, though the emphasis on Cas’ mathematical genius felt a little overplayed sometimes. The characters we’re introduced to are various shades of gray, dancing back and forth across moral and ethical lines. Huang does a good job of keeping readers guessing about what’s going on and who holds the moral high ground.

Huang clearly intends for this book to be the first in a series, as we end with more questions than answers about Cas and her history. I wish she’d given us a little more of a taste though. The suspense is going to bug me.

Huang’s book hits shelves in October. If you’re a fan of strong female characters and and science fiction undertones, you’ve only got to wait a little bit longer.

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