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Cyber Mage

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Welcome to Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2089. A city notorious for its extreme population density has found an unexpected way to not just survive a global climate apocalypse, but thrive: pump enough biological nanotech into the neighborhood and all of the bodies together form a self-sustaining, and even temperate, microclimate. Of course, this means that millions of humans have to Welcome to Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2089. A city notorious for its extreme population density has found an unexpected way to not just survive a global climate apocalypse, but thrive: pump enough biological nanotech into the neighborhood and all of the bodies together form a self-sustaining, and even temperate, microclimate. Of course, this means that millions of humans have to stay put in order to maintain a livable temperature, and people are getting restless. All of the nanotech has also led to some surprises: certain people no longer need food or water while others can live without functioning organs. So the mercenary Djibrel has to carry a machete wherever he goes. Only a swift beheading can ensure the job gets done anymore. Djibrel navigates the crowded streets, humans teeming with genetic mutations, looking for answers about what happened to the Djinn, a magical super race of genies who seem to have disappeared, or merged, with humans for survival. What Djibrel doesn't know is that his every move is being tracked by the infamous Cyber Mage—better known to his parents as Murzak, a privileged snarky teenager who regularly works for a Russian crime syndicate with a band of elite hackers, like his best friend ReGi, who resides in North Africa's FEZ (Free Economic Zone). Respected and feared online, Murzak is about to embark on one of his biggest challenges: attending high school IRL. But when he discovers a brand new type of AI, operating on a dark web from the abandoned Kingdom of Bahrain that he thought was just an urban myth, Murzak and Djibrel will have to face the unimaginable in an already inconceivable world. In this laugh-out-loud-funny and totally original new novel, Saad Z. Hossain continues his signature genre mashup of SF and fantasy, challenging and subverting everything previously imagined about our future and climate change. A scathing critique of corporate greed, Hossain shows us how to think beyond the naïve ideas of preening moguls like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.


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Welcome to Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2089. A city notorious for its extreme population density has found an unexpected way to not just survive a global climate apocalypse, but thrive: pump enough biological nanotech into the neighborhood and all of the bodies together form a self-sustaining, and even temperate, microclimate. Of course, this means that millions of humans have to Welcome to Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2089. A city notorious for its extreme population density has found an unexpected way to not just survive a global climate apocalypse, but thrive: pump enough biological nanotech into the neighborhood and all of the bodies together form a self-sustaining, and even temperate, microclimate. Of course, this means that millions of humans have to stay put in order to maintain a livable temperature, and people are getting restless. All of the nanotech has also led to some surprises: certain people no longer need food or water while others can live without functioning organs. So the mercenary Djibrel has to carry a machete wherever he goes. Only a swift beheading can ensure the job gets done anymore. Djibrel navigates the crowded streets, humans teeming with genetic mutations, looking for answers about what happened to the Djinn, a magical super race of genies who seem to have disappeared, or merged, with humans for survival. What Djibrel doesn't know is that his every move is being tracked by the infamous Cyber Mage—better known to his parents as Murzak, a privileged snarky teenager who regularly works for a Russian crime syndicate with a band of elite hackers, like his best friend ReGi, who resides in North Africa's FEZ (Free Economic Zone). Respected and feared online, Murzak is about to embark on one of his biggest challenges: attending high school IRL. But when he discovers a brand new type of AI, operating on a dark web from the abandoned Kingdom of Bahrain that he thought was just an urban myth, Murzak and Djibrel will have to face the unimaginable in an already inconceivable world. In this laugh-out-loud-funny and totally original new novel, Saad Z. Hossain continues his signature genre mashup of SF and fantasy, challenging and subverting everything previously imagined about our future and climate change. A scathing critique of corporate greed, Hossain shows us how to think beyond the naïve ideas of preening moguls like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.

30 review for Cyber Mage

  1. 5 out of 5

    K.J. Charles

    This book took my Omicron reading slump and hurled it into the sun. I recommend it. I adore this author's world of djinn and nanobots, magic and tech and dystopia. This is the link between Djinn City and The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday, both of which you should read because they're hugely entertaining, but neither of which is necessary for this, they're standalone. Here we meet a supreme tech master/real-life 16yo dweeb, a djinn-nanobotted golem sipahi who collects heads, a brand new godlike This book took my Omicron reading slump and hurled it into the sun. I recommend it. I adore this author's world of djinn and nanobots, magic and tech and dystopia. This is the link between Djinn City and The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday, both of which you should read because they're hugely entertaining, but neither of which is necessary for this, they're standalone. Here we meet a supreme tech master/real-life 16yo dweeb, a djinn-nanobotted golem sipahi who collects heads, a brand new godlike AI addicted to Final Fantasy, an airport AI with depression, and much more as strange things happen in Dhaka. It's a completely bonkers ride, with the plot careering round unexpected corners, and absolutely nobody living up to their own hype. I will never tire of the all-powerful, eternal, yet bickering and kinda pathetic djinn. Absolutely massive fun, intermittently violent, entirely absorbing. Now I have to reread Djinn City while I wait for Kundo Wakes Up

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lukasz

    Cyber Mage is hilarious*, fast-paced, and thoroughly entertaining. It mixes sci-fi and fantasy with mythology, bio-engineering, and climate fiction to create a fresh vision of the future. Nations around the world have adopted corporate structure and identity. Automated industrial and food production combined with the widespread use of AI have made the traditional working-class obsolete. All useful (wealthy) citizens have shares (voting stock) in the corporations they inhabit. Non-shareholders ha Cyber Mage is hilarious*, fast-paced, and thoroughly entertaining. It mixes sci-fi and fantasy with mythology, bio-engineering, and climate fiction to create a fresh vision of the future. Nations around the world have adopted corporate structure and identity. Automated industrial and food production combined with the widespread use of AI have made the traditional working-class obsolete. All useful (wealthy) citizens have shares (voting stock) in the corporations they inhabit. Non-shareholders had to leave the premises and perish or live in ghettos. Only cities survived this change. Countries did not. Nanotech fills human bodies and keeps them healthy and free of disease. Virtuality became more important than reality; data affects everything - controlling 99% of the world, including climate control systems, food production, and more. Murzak - a snarky teenager emancipated from his parents - is a brilliant hacker known as Cyber Mage. Online, he is a legend and second to none. Working for the Russian crime syndicate made him wealthy, but did not prepare him for the biggest challenge yet - going to school in real life to get the girl. Things get even more complicated when he discovers a feral AI operating on the Dark Web. Everything shows he’ll need the help of Djibril - a madman (and a golem forged in dragon fire) who walks the streets of Dhaka chopping off the heads of his enemies. Yep. Djibril does not take prisoners, but he does take their heads (and carries them with him). Hossain is a skilled storyteller with an excellent imagination and a knack for characterization. We learn a lot about the richly imagined Djinn Universe, but none of it detracts from the main story; it makes it better and gives context to events. Sure, the sheer amount of cool concepts (AIs suffering from insecurities, djinn-human hybrids, pocket universes closed in a jar) packed into a medium-length novel may overwhelm, but Hossain makes them easy to digest. The story has plenty of action and adventure, but also darkly comic moments that stay in tune with the story. He lets the characters have some fun; dialogues feel as if the author let the conversation off the leash to see what would happen. Since the main protagonist is a sixteen-year-old boy, expect foul language and geeky jokes. The darker sense of humor will not appeal to everyone, but it’s never offensive or mean, rather strongly worded, biting, and sharp. Here is one of the lighter examples, appearing after one of Murzak’s conversations with his parents. “Oldies always pretended there was useful shit they knew, but did they? What was it then? How to fuck up the ecosphere? How to create rampant nanotech and ruin a perfectly good planet?” Cyber Mage ties with Hossain’s other books and short stories. It happens in the same world and features some characters known from his other works (like Karma, Indelber, or Matteras) but isn’t a direct sequel to any of them. I had a blast reading this madcap story and I appreciate both the plot and sharp satire it delivers. I found the humor well-played and the characters interesting. Highly recommended! * as long as you’re ok with inappropriate humor, that is. ARC through Edelweiss

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lata

    Set in the same world as Hossain’s "Djinn City", this book has a similar wild, violent, incredibly detailed, grim, horrible, hilarious feel of the other book. The world building is great, and I loved the author's chaos-ridden, post-climate disaster world of inequality, greed, corporatized areas instead of countries and failed public services, rampant nanotechnology infecting everything and everybody, and the population comprised of humans and djinn. Main character Marzuk, known online as the Cybe Set in the same world as Hossain’s "Djinn City", this book has a similar wild, violent, incredibly detailed, grim, horrible, hilarious feel of the other book. The world building is great, and I loved the author's chaos-ridden, post-climate disaster world of inequality, greed, corporatized areas instead of countries and failed public services, rampant nanotechnology infecting everything and everybody, and the population comprised of humans and djinn. Main character Marzuk, known online as the Cyber Mage, is part of the wealthy Khan Rahman family, but his family is sort of on the lower end of the economic scale compared to the individuals seen in "Djinn City". Marzuk is beyond talented at cracking systems, and spends much of his time online in a massive game where his Cyber Mage/Goblin King persona have dominated most other players. Marzuk also works for Russian criminals. He's also fifteen years old, and has a long running, snark-filled friendship with another game player and hacker, ReGi. Things change when Marzuk decides to go to grade nine in a in-person school because he wants to get close to a pretty girl, Amina, whom he's been watching/stalking online. Meanwhile, there's a terrifying individual killing people in Dhaka, cutting off their heads and keeping them in jars. And there's a new, unknown and powerful AI showing up online. Throw all these elements together, and we have a complex, violent, frequently funny story of hormones, violence, humour, bullying, enormously powerful djinn and AI contending for dominance, and a story, at its centre, of a friendship. I enjoyed this book a lot and found myself laughing out loud frequently as I read. Is it necessary to read "Djinn City"? It introduces some of the djinn conflicts, relationships and power struggles, but reading the previous book is not absolutely necessary to enjoy this fast-paced, frenetic story. Thank you to Edelweiss and to The Unnamed Press for this ARC in exchange for my review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ed Erwin

    Set in the same world as The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday, but at an earlier time. A similar mix of fantasy, cyberpunk sci-fi, comedy and action, but with more of a focus on action. I didn't enjoy it as much as "... Lord of Tuesday" but I'll be looking for more from this author. Set in the same world as The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday, but at an earlier time. A similar mix of fantasy, cyberpunk sci-fi, comedy and action, but with more of a focus on action. I didn't enjoy it as much as "... Lord of Tuesday" but I'll be looking for more from this author.

  5. 4 out of 5

    2TReads

    ..."It's OUR STUPID PLANET, you cretin! It's the only one we've got you blubbering [email protected]%kwit. Do you think if we blow it up, we're just going to skip over to another one?" –Matteras Cyber Mage drives home for me why I will keep coming back to Hossain's works. He melds the fantastical, computer science, philosophy, even economic studies and trends within his stories that make them more than your average fiction read. I mean there are footnotes! His dedication to using the rich and vast histories, pre ..."It's OUR STUPID PLANET, you cretin! It's the only one we've got you blubbering [email protected]%kwit. Do you think if we blow it up, we're just going to skip over to another one?" –Matteras Cyber Mage drives home for me why I will keep coming back to Hossain's works. He melds the fantastical, computer science, philosophy, even economic studies and trends within his stories that make them more than your average fiction read. I mean there are footnotes! His dedication to using the rich and vast histories, present, and social information to extrapolate a possible future warped by human action and inaction excites even as you dread what results. The dry wit and dark humour that runs throughout is on point and enjoyable, as long as you are willing to laugh at the shitshow that has become our interaction with our planet. Hossain explores bullying, friendships, first infatuation, and identity with characters who are relatably compelling and intriguing. He melds futuristic elements and the supernatural, making it so realistic and unsettling. Even in the midst of recovering from our greed and hubris, capitalism still undercuts this new world. Lore and technological advancements such as sentient AI, become one in this story and the blend is seamless. **Nobody melds science fiction and fantasy quite like Hossain, using dark humour and wit to comment on the impending climate disaster and societal leanings towards AI that is fast approaching.**

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kab

    I don't recommend it unless you already found this world immersive. This one is more violent (the action scenes are skimmable). Male is default, women and girls are still introduced by their bodies and/or sexist insults. The title character is practically an incel, and a Mary Sue, (view spoiler)[and all his crushes plant a kiss on him by the end of the book. (hide spoiler)] Detracting, representative lines: The Cyber Mage only played games he could win. She had that vaguely tearful voice sig I don't recommend it unless you already found this world immersive. This one is more violent (the action scenes are skimmable). Male is default, women and girls are still introduced by their bodies and/or sexist insults. The title character is practically an incel, and a Mary Sue, (view spoiler)[and all his crushes plant a kiss on him by the end of the book. (hide spoiler)] Detracting, representative lines: The Cyber Mage only played games he could win. She had that vaguely tearful voice signaling the hormonal imbalance that triggered the urge to nurture. Frustrating but not DNFable.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Israa

    Thank you Edelweiss for an advanced copy. This is by far the weirdest book I have ever read. A few times I was lost and tempted to abandon the book, but I’m glad I finished. The author accomplished combining futuristic sci fi, fantasy, AI, gaming and so much more into one action packed novel. There is a lot to discuss with governments, wealth, and social status. Gamers would LOVE this novel (if they could put down gaming devices long enough to read this book). I enjoyed the book being set in Ban Thank you Edelweiss for an advanced copy. This is by far the weirdest book I have ever read. A few times I was lost and tempted to abandon the book, but I’m glad I finished. The author accomplished combining futuristic sci fi, fantasy, AI, gaming and so much more into one action packed novel. There is a lot to discuss with governments, wealth, and social status. Gamers would LOVE this novel (if they could put down gaming devices long enough to read this book). I enjoyed the book being set in Bangladesh, and the characters were vaguely Muslim. Some Southeast Asian cultural influences are present. Sadly, due to the profanity I cannot recommend this for our school library. However, I will recommend this to students who I think will enjoy the genre.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality I wanted to read this book because I absolutely loved The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday and hoped there would be more like that. Which, as it turns out, there are – and more than I originally thought. Which is definitely good news! In fact, having read Gurkha, this and Kundo Wakes Up (to be reviewed closer to its March pub. date), after looking at the blurbs for the author’s other work, I’m starting to think that they are all set in the same dystopian, post Originally published at Reading Reality I wanted to read this book because I absolutely loved The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday and hoped there would be more like that. Which, as it turns out, there are – and more than I originally thought. Which is definitely good news! In fact, having read Gurkha, this and Kundo Wakes Up (to be reviewed closer to its March pub. date), after looking at the blurbs for the author’s other work, I’m starting to think that they are all set in the same dystopian, post-apocalyptic future. And what a fascinating world it is. This is a future where the world has descended into dystopia as a result of an ecological rather than an economic catastrophe. This particular view of this future is also a bit of a twist on Ready Player One – but it’s a twist where Wade Watts is one of the privileged few instead of the disadvantaged many, pursuing a quest fueled by artificial intelligence and unearned privilege instead of desperation. In a world where the Virtuality is run on greed instead of nostalgia. And this is also a coming of age story, because the Cyber Mage who is both admired and feared as one of the greatest hackers ever in the Virtuality is a spoiled, overprivileged, lovesick teenage boy who has decided to leave his ergonomically designed and engineered chair in his parents’ apartment in order to chase after the girl of his dreams. The girl he’s been cyberstalking like, well, a lovesick teenage boy. He’s going to enroll himself in high school – even though he’s a genius who has already passed all the classes – in order to meet his dreamgirl in person and impress her. Even if he honestly doesn’t know what to do after that. It turns out that what he’s going to do after that is defend the entire school from an invasion. And grow up. Escape Rating A: There are a couple of things about this story, and the other books I’ve read by this author, that have absolutely made me fall in love with his work. One is the extremely high snark quotient. It seems like most of his characters are possessed of a very smart mouth. In Cyber Mage, the only ones who don’t are the parents of Murzak, the Cyber Mage himself. I’m not entirely sure that their refusal to acknowledge so many of his ultimatums isn’t actually a form of passive-aggressive snark. The other thing, and the bigger one over the course of this story and his other work so far, are the constant and continuing reversals of both expectation and fortune. Murzak himself is a prime example. He is, probably, as smart as he thinks he is. But it’s all book-smart. His ability to apply all those smarts to real life is a bit lacking. Putting it another way, he’s simply naïve, not a surprise as he’s still of an age to attend high school. Fitting in is another matter entirely. But he doesn’t have the knowledge of the way the world – and the people in it – really work to keep his mouth from writing checks that the rest of him can’t really cash because he doesn’t yet understand what he’s working towards. He only thinks he does. If Murzak were an adult with his attitude, he’d be insufferable. As a teenager, he’s a bit of an accident and an attitude waiting to happen. That he’s lying all around – to himself, to his fellow students, to the extremely dangerous people who employ him – that accident is definitely barreling towards him at breakneck speed. So a huge part of this story is him stepping up to the plate, getting involved in how the world really works, and discovering that adulting is no fun at all but that it’s a job that has to be done. And that he’s the best man to do at least some of it. But the other part of this story that runs counter to expectations – at least unless one has read some of the author’s previous work – is the way that the effects of the ecological disaster have been handled. A lot of post-apocalyptic stories show desolate, deadly landscapes where the remaining human population ekes out a marginal existence on a world that is killing them, whether slowly or quickly. This post-apocalypse, utilizing a still heavily populated Southeast Asian setting, turns the large population into a climate-recovery asset, implanted with nanobots that monitor their every move and inject life-giving climate repair and pollution cleanup with every breath. All controlled by huge, advanced artificial intelligences which keep the cities mostly balanced while still privileging the wealthy and keeping the majority of the population on a universal basic income that keeps them alive, disaffected, and bored. Which doesn’t matter, as long as their nanobots help clean the air and keep them entertained enough to go on living. But the balance is so complex that the A.I.s are the ones really running everything. And they have minds of their own. Literally. Which puts an entirely new player on the board who has more oversight and control than even the most paranoid doomsayers ever imagined. And in the midst of all this technology, there really are djinn, and they really do have an agenda of their own. An agenda – and agents to carry it out – that neither the privileged humans or the pampering A.I.s ever put into their calculations of who – or what – is truly in control.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarmat Chowdhury

    This has become one of my favorite books of all time. Perfect for fans of G. Willow Wilson "Alif: The Unseen" and for those who are fans of literature from the Subcontinent and Desi authors, Saad Hossain knocks it out of the park with his latest release, "Cyber Mage". This is my first book from the author, and I am putting him in my automatic buy corner because as a Bangladeshi author, he beautifuly melded his brand of dark comedy, fantasy, mythology, science fiction and technology to continue h This has become one of my favorite books of all time. Perfect for fans of G. Willow Wilson "Alif: The Unseen" and for those who are fans of literature from the Subcontinent and Desi authors, Saad Hossain knocks it out of the park with his latest release, "Cyber Mage". This is my first book from the author, and I am putting him in my automatic buy corner because as a Bangladeshi author, he beautifuly melded his brand of dark comedy, fantasy, mythology, science fiction and technology to continue his world building with his latest release. The story takes part in a future Dhaka, one that has changed and become the center of many things, in part because of the individuals that now operate in the bifurcated city. On one hand we have the Cyber Mage, a fifteen year old hacking prodigy who is counted among the very best of the netizens in the virtual and gaming sphere - and also indicative of the trends and cultural jargon that any affluent fifteen year old Bangladeshi kid would be. On the other front is Djibrel, a golem created by djinn on Earth to serve as their champion as he goes around parts of Old Town (a district in Dhaka) providng vigilante justice as he attempts to fulfill the mission that he was brought back to life for. The book is filled with comedic moments, gaming and technology references that showcase not only the very best of the science fiction genre, but also contains moments that reflect the very Bangladeshi nature of the book - as an #OwnVoices author writing about his home city of Dhaka, I appreciated how he was able to straddle the various religious, social, economic, and political spheres that control the city and put them in the background of his novel. Indeed, what makes the book even better is veiled political commentary on state of Dhaka (and Bangladesh as a whole) in what the government is (and is not) doing for her citizens. I won't give too much of the plot away (because I really encoruage anyone who either wants to diversify their shelf, read more from BIPOC, Desi authors) to check out this book. It remids of the work of Samit Basu, but also G. Willow Wilson on the merging of myth, magic and tech. I can't wait to read the rest of his backlist.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    A sort-of prequel to The Gurkha and The Lord of Tuesday, and my GR friend Ernest Lilley says "If you liked Saad Z. Hossain’s science fiction/fantasy mashup novella The Gurkha and The Lord of Tuesday (08/2019) as much as I did, you’re going to enjoy his new novel Cyber Mage." So I'm in at line 1 here. Nevertheless, here's the link to the Locus review, which is what alerted me that it's been published, earlier this month (Dec 7, 2021): https://locusmag.com/2021/11/t-g-shen... Their reviewer liked A sort-of prequel to The Gurkha and The Lord of Tuesday, and my GR friend Ernest Lilley says "If you liked Saad Z. Hossain’s science fiction/fantasy mashup novella The Gurkha and The Lord of Tuesday (08/2019) as much as I did, you’re going to enjoy his new novel Cyber Mage." So I'm in at line 1 here. Nevertheless, here's the link to the Locus review, which is what alerted me that it's been published, earlier this month (Dec 7, 2021): https://locusmag.com/2021/11/t-g-shen... Their reviewer liked it too: "Cyber Mage hits the sweet spot of being engaging and making you laugh and think in equal measure." Can't wait!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ahmed

    I would tell you to read Djinn city by Saad Hossain before you venture into this book as it will help you see the world he built in a better way. Now coming to Cyber mage, I would say it is an awesome read and I really loved the way it's paced and I feel this can become a full fledged Hollywood blockbuster if treated in the right manner. This is my first fiction read of 2022 and I enjoyed it to the core. God Speed I would tell you to read Djinn city by Saad Hossain before you venture into this book as it will help you see the world he built in a better way. Now coming to Cyber mage, I would say it is an awesome read and I really loved the way it's paced and I feel this can become a full fledged Hollywood blockbuster if treated in the right manner. This is my first fiction read of 2022 and I enjoyed it to the core. God Speed

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    a better more savvy Ready Player One

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ernest

    If you liked Saad Z. Hossain’s science fiction/fantasy mashup novella The Gurkha and The Lord of Tuesday (08/2019) as much as I did, you’re going to enjoy his new novel Cyber Mage. Set in Dhaka, the Bangladesh of 2089, Murzak, a brilliant fifteen-year-old hacker who goes by the handle Cyber Mage, has everything he could ask for: emancipated from his parents, cutting deals with Russian mobsters, globally respected for his cyber exploits, and renowned for his dominance in the world’s most popular If you liked Saad Z. Hossain’s science fiction/fantasy mashup novella The Gurkha and The Lord of Tuesday (08/2019) as much as I did, you’re going to enjoy his new novel Cyber Mage. Set in Dhaka, the Bangladesh of 2089, Murzak, a brilliant fifteen-year-old hacker who goes by the handle Cyber Mage, has everything he could ask for: emancipated from his parents, cutting deals with Russian mobsters, globally respected for his cyber exploits, and renowned for his dominance in the world’s most popular virtual gamespace, FF9000. He’s got it made, at least until he falls for the most perfect girl in the world and decides to do whatever it takes to win her affections. Even enrolling in high school and enduring the inevitable slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that await all super-intelligent, socially-inept, physically-pathetic nerds have suffered since the beginning of time. Add to that a war between emergent AIs, magical beings hiding out in low earth orbit, and an economy based on nanomachines harvesting the masses, and you’ve got a brilliant bit of cyberpunk worthy of a Gibson or Stephanson, if only they had a sense of humor, or at least of the ironic. The book’s promo sells it as a “laugh-out-loud-funny and totally original new novel,” and while I agree with the latter, I think they’re overselling it as a comedy. In reality, it’s a solid piece of international cyberpunk with plenty of good ideas tossed around for the reader to mull over. Sure, there are Djinns in the mix, but even they are constrained by real limits and working through technological means. All in all, an enjoyable read from an author who makes my three wishes come true; that stories should be enjoyable, interesting, and full of memorable characters. Highly Recommended. (Originally posted at: https://amazingstories.com/2021/12/sc...)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rawle

    Saad Hossain has edged out a slew of authors to sit at the top of my To Read pile. His ability to mash-up science fiction and fantasy elements while keeping the story fresh and compelling is very impressive. His interest in the Djinn is what brought me in, because there were so many interpretations, I wanted to see how he handled them. But the wide expanse of his imagination and the clever use of humor made me a believer. This is my third book by Mr. Hossain (up next is The Escape of Baghdad!). Saad Hossain has edged out a slew of authors to sit at the top of my To Read pile. His ability to mash-up science fiction and fantasy elements while keeping the story fresh and compelling is very impressive. His interest in the Djinn is what brought me in, because there were so many interpretations, I wanted to see how he handled them. But the wide expanse of his imagination and the clever use of humor made me a believer. This is my third book by Mr. Hossain (up next is The Escape of Baghdad!). I'm looking forward to reading his next book 'Kundo Wakes Up'. When it's released, all the other books will need to take a back seat - sorry guys! If you like fables and the fantastic, mixed with humor and a dose of romance, I recommend this book to you.

  15. 4 out of 5

    half2 happy

    Would absolutely recommend anything by Hossain at this point, phenomenal concept exploration about what our future could be. Incredible composition, fantastic characters, and probably the most fun I have had reading in a long time. Knocked a star off because some of the hacker speak was overwhelming and I did not 100% love the teenage protagonist, but I guess that would be pretty accurate for a teenager.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Karin Walters

    When I started reading this, I didn’t know if this was a book I wanted to commit to, but the positive reviews made me stick it out. I think if I were in a different frame of mind or mental mood I would have enjoyed this book more, but mainly I was just overwhelmed by the large cast of characters and only slightly amused by the Marzuk storyline. It also felt overly complicated but then resulted in a fairly simple ending.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bina

    My second read by this author and definitely not my last. This is set in the same world as The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday and something of a prequel I think. Cyber Mage is just as much of a wild romp dealing with nanotechnology, AIs, High school problems, Djinn, Final Fantasy, climate apocalypse and I'm sure I forgot some. Loved the setting, the bonkers characters and the dark humor. My second read by this author and definitely not my last. This is set in the same world as The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday and something of a prequel I think. Cyber Mage is just as much of a wild romp dealing with nanotechnology, AIs, High school problems, Djinn, Final Fantasy, climate apocalypse and I'm sure I forgot some. Loved the setting, the bonkers characters and the dark humor.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Scribal

    I gave it a 5 for genre-blurring. I found it a bit too blithe about all the collateral damage in its pages so I might have downgraded it for that, but it is solidly in the tradition of "we are so f***d" future dystopias--which I love. Remember people, these are warnings! Not guidebooks! I gave it a 5 for genre-blurring. I found it a bit too blithe about all the collateral damage in its pages so I might have downgraded it for that, but it is solidly in the tradition of "we are so f***d" future dystopias--which I love. Remember people, these are warnings! Not guidebooks!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jack

    That was… a lot. Still, and can’t help but feel the ultra-minute world building this book has would be exactly the style I would write a book in. You can also tell how Passionate Hossain is about the programming here.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lando

    That was so much fun.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tony Fecteau

    It was a mishmash of technology and magic.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Matt Simpson

  23. 5 out of 5

    Louise Little

  24. 4 out of 5

    Aishwarya

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gautam Bhatia

  26. 4 out of 5

    Zaman

  27. 4 out of 5

    Filar

  28. 4 out of 5

    Oliver

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lar Burstein

  30. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

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