Zero Sum Game, by S.L. Huang

When
people need a job done, they call Cass Russell.  In Los Angeles, she’s know for doing the impossible, which
is why Dawna Polk begs Cass to rescue her sister Courtney from a drug cartel
compound, where Courtney had inexplicably gotten herself imprisoned.  And then Cass’s day got even weirder.

Up
and down the parking-lot-freeways of L.A., Cass and her tentative allies chase
one shadowy group of people after another, trying to solve the mystery of
Courtney Polk.  Zero Sum Game is near non-stop action,
fueled by Cass’s uncanny abilities with complex mathematics, the kind that
makes her look like Spiderman, Batman, and Ironman all rolled into one, with a
little Joker thrown in around the edges. 
Because Cass Russell is not afraid to kill.  Life is a zero sum game, and when someone has a gun pointed
at you, the only way to win is to kill first and ask questions later.

Huang’s
writing is dialog-driven, full of action and complicated mathematical
calculations.  Cass is a mystery,
the story told from her point of view, pulling the reader along one plot twist
after another until the final reveal. 
With rumors of a group of people who not only can read but control
minds, Cass and her allies never know who to trust, and Huang is skilled at
setting up plots that continue to unravel unexpectedly and give the reader
plenty to chew over.  

Readers
who enjoy stories full of moral ambiguity, with no clear heroes, will breath a
sigh of relief at the brash, matter-of-fact way Cass approaches the world, and
the people she comes up against. 
Those who enjoy science fiction that relies heavily on higher
mathematical or scientific principles will find themselves joy-riding with Cass
as she leaps tall buildings and effortlessly defies the laws of L.A.
traffic.  Anyone looking for their
next superhero should definitely check out Zero
Sum Game
and the rest of the Russell’s Attic series.

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