The world is not what it seems.
Michael Bishop is an Asset of the Facility- a job that comes with many strange perks. He is a man who never gets ill, who never pays taxes. He is effortlessly fit, and has a different woman every night of the week.
That is, when he is not on assignment.
When activated, Michael becomes Asset 108, an enhanced human who stands against the strange darkness that lurks at the edge of our world.
Armed with equipment that most would find impossible to comprehend, he is sent on missions both strange and deadly. Each dossier pits him against irrational creatures and beings- most with the power to unravel his sanity, or reality itself. It’s never a simple job.
This job, however, is more complex than most. Mysterious unknown targets are fracturing reality, somewhere in the middle of the Mojave desert.
The Facility has no other Assets in the area, and their telemetry is spotty at best. Without knowing what to expect, Bishop is activated, assigned to a cadre, and sent to the middle of nowhere.
What he finds there is both the beginning and the end. – Goodreads Synopsis
Rationality Zero Review
I was asked to review this book in its audiobook format, by the narrator. That will affect how this review is written.
Rationality Zero, written by JM Guillen, was an interesting listen. Joel Richards has a voice that is definitely easy on the ears (think he could read me the dictionary and I’d be happy), and he was able to give each of the characters distinct voices so I never lost track of who was saying what. The downside to this, though, was that even though his male voices were pleasing to listen to, the pitch he gave his voice for the female voices set my teeth on edge. Since the females really were not the most likable of characters, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it adds to the base dislike of the characters. Narration-wise, this is a solid 4 out of 5.
As for the story itself, Rationality Zero was an interesting introduction to the multiverse its set in. (That it is a multiverse is made clear within the first few minutes of the audiobook introduction.) It is set sometime in the future, so the surroundings are identifiable when Asset 108 is at Rationality Zero (which means things are just as they should be, with no freaky stuff happening.) When Asset 108 ends up in a different area, we are given just enough information to know what is going on, without being deluged with unnecessary detail. (I can see people thinking there’s not enough, but it was just the right amount to fire up my imagination.)
The tech of this multiverse is fascinating, as is the twist Guillen gives to ‘sleeper agents’. The bad guys are definitely a bit Lovecraftian in nature. There was this tentacle scene that was just…ewww. The pace is perfect, and at 166 pages (if you choose ebook or paperback), it is the perfect length for a quick action-packed afternoon read. If you choose the audiobook version, it’ll definitely please you for several work commutes, as it comes in at just under 6 hours long in length.
Overall, the story and narration were well-done, and the series is interesting enough I wouldn’t mind revisiting it. It definitely kept my stress-levels down on some stress-inducing drives to work. I’d recommend it to people who liked Peter Clines’ 14 or The Fold.