REVIEW and EXCERPT
eMOTION: Forced Pair
(Fifth and Dent Book 1)
by C. Ryan Bymaster
eMOTION: Forced Pair is the first book in C. Ryan Bymaster's Fifth and Dent series. You can read my review below. Also available: Hard Wired and False Positive. Coming soon: Surge Protector.
Marion Dent is a high-functioning sociopath, trained by the U.S. military to become the perfect soldier to combat the newest form of illegal emotional-tampering technology known as eTech. Relieved of his duty, he has become a contractor for the highest bidder - his mental handicap making him the perfect weapon in a world where illegally controlling emotions means controlling absolute economic power.
Dent contracts out to steal a package - a young Japanese girl with a very unique talent which has the potential to render current eTech obsolete and usher in a new form of undetectable emotion-tampering.
After seemingly being betrayed by the person who hired him, Dent and the girl find themselves in a tentative partnership as they struggle to survive - and understand each other. Dent must figure out why he was betrayed, find the true players behind the young girl’s past as well as his own, and understand why, for the first time in his life, fulfilling the contract may not be the correct course of action.
If Dent can figure out why this young girl makes him act irrationally he may have a chance to save her from the same fate he suffered at a young age - being studied and manipulated into becoming an unwitting pawn as countries and corporations fight for economic dominion, with no remorse for those they harm or kill in order to obtain this ultimate power.
Sometimes a sociopath is the only hope for ensuring the emotional freedom of the world.
A small metallic click and the grey metal door came loose. He pulled it all the way open and stopped short at what he saw.
According to the terms of his employment, a dark-brown leather satchel with a quarter of his payment was to be deposited here for his pick up. As a rule, he did not accept any electronic forms of payment. Bits and data could be as easily erased as transferred and he did not wish to find his agreed-upon payment had disappeared from the digital ether on the ride home.
No satchel, no cash. The payment was a paltry sum for his employer and even had Dent not gone through with the mission and absconded with the money, his employer would not have even thought twice. The fact that it was not here meant that his employer simply did not bother with fulfilling his side of the contract. And if Dent was not to be paid, he would have to assume that his employer had expected him to be incapable of collecting said payment. Which meant Dent was now a loose end and deemed warranted for death.
He closed locker #45 and gathered his thoughts. If he were on the other side of the equation, hired to complete a job to kill a hired killer, he would have eyes on this very location, this very locker. He looked around as an announcement for a departing flight came on overhead. Too many eyes and ears in the terminal to complete a successful tap-and-drop, no matter if the gun were silenced or not. Also, with the way airport security was nowadays, it was a risk to have a firearm on one’s person. The metal detectors and other expected forms of detection were easy to get around. It was the random stopping and, according to recent U.S. law, completely legal searching of any individual within the airport by any paid employee of that airport. A custodian was a deputized member of law enforcement under this new law. Even the young teenage girl who served espressos and overpriced Madeleine cakes had the authority to search visitors and travelers.
His original egress was out of the question - it would no doubt be covered. Therefore his means of transportation in the long-term parking lot was as well - it would no doubt be marked. New exit, new vehicle. The exit he already had in mind, the vehicle would have to be the best opportunity that presented itself.
He began to walk briskly around the locker bank and was forced to stop as the package did not follow. He looked back at her, expecting her to join him, but the girl remained rooted to where she stood. Dent walked back, grabbed her left hand with his right and tugged her along in his wake.
She let out a few grumbling noises and then her voice raised in cadence as she proclaimed, “I’m not going with you!” She tried pulling her hand away, but Dent held on tight.
More eyes looked their way. Some for the second time now. He could not afford any more glitches in the plan. If any one of these people stopped him, he would be hard-pressed to come up with an answer as to why he, a thirty-three-year-old Caucasian, was dragging a thirteen-year-old Japanese girl behind him. It was hard to lie convincingly when one had no idea what platitude was needed in what situation.
He knelt, bringing his hazel eyes on a level with her own, and said, “If you don’t move, it will make it easier for them.”
“Easier for them to do what?”
“To kill us.”
An instantaneous change fell over the girl’s face at Dent’s even-toned words. The insides of her eyebrows lifted, her naturally narrow eyes widened and watered. A flush tinted her cheeks as her mouth slowly opened, jaw going slack. If that had not been enough to clue Dent in to what the girl felt, then the wailing noise that issued up from her throat was plenty.
Praise for the Book
"An absolutely great read! From the first paragraph on I did not want to put it down. Immediately it draws you in and keeps you reading. [...] I cannot wait for another story from him. Absolutely I would, and will, recommend this story to friends and family." ~ Alexander Clark
"This book was extremely suspenseful. I appreciated the many psychological explanations and insight. It was very imaginative and intellectually stimulating as well as packed with great action and violence." ~ Keith Fischer
"A very fast paced story, the action gets very intense at times. [...] Well written and expertly executed, I fairly enjoyed this novel and it's rendition of the future. [...] Definitely worth a read!" ~ Michael Loring
By Lynda Dickson
Since 2016, major companies have implemented the science of mind control, known as "emotion tampering", to increase sales. Unfortunately, there have been some unexpected results, both social and economic, and the practice has now been banned. Enter Marion Dent, a sociopath incapable of emotion, the perfect man to combat this illegal practice. Once employed by the military, he is now a freelancer; his latest mission to retrieve a "package" for Charon on behalf of a rich businessman. The package turns out to be Kasumi, a thirteen-year-old girl called "Fifth" by the employees at the Takeda International facility where she is being studied by her own mother. What is so special about this girl, and why is everyone willing to kill to possess her?
This is an entertaining, fast-paced, action-packed adventure. Dent's lack of emotions and social graces lead to some humorous encounters. The title also has a clever double meaning. There are some problems with sentence construction and punctuation, and at times there is a bit too much detail. A glossary of the techie devices would also be helpful. While this story is complete, I hope later installments reveal more about the main characters' backgrounds.
All in all, this is a very enjoyable read.
From the Author
The best stories of life are never black or white, right or wrong. It's not so much the actions the characters take, but more the reasons behind those actions.
Southern California resident who grew up on fantasy and sci-fi movies, comic books, and classic RPGs - And I never grew out of them.
I've always loved writing as much as reading and in 2012 decided to take my writing into the professional realm. I began working on Echoes of Power, an epic fantasy series, that has since grown and evolved into much more than I could ever have dreamed. The first installment, Echoes of Power: Book I is slated for release 2015.
The Fifth and Dent series deliver thrillers with a sci-fi twist, introducing eTech and the possibility of living in a world where emotions can be controlled by technology.
In the thriller/urban fantasy genre, Forsaken: Ev and Ell takes a twist on Heaven vs. Hell and the consequences of choices.
My taste in reading and writing varies widely but fantasy will always be my go-to genre.
A picture may paint a thousand words, but a few choice words can paint a thousand pictures.