Zero Sum Game, by S. L. Huang

Review copy provided by Tor Books.

Math is nearly everything to Cas. It’s her solace when her mind is too loud, her means of making a living (albeit somewhat unconventionally), her identity, her core. The closer she can come to articulating axioms for individual people, the more comfortable she is dealing with them.

Which is good, because comfortable is in pretty short supply in this book otherwise.

Cas’s life is violently efficient retrieval services. She associates with people who have even more violence in their worlds–most notably Rio, a psychopath kept on the rails with a strong moral code external to his sense of self. But the situation she falls into at the beginning of Zero Sum Game is an even more dangerous one than she’s used to–not just in its violence but in its dangers to her own brain.

This is a fast-paced thriller with some clever twists and an uneasy resolution and a few math jokes along the way.

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