Blackquest 40 by Jeff Bond
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Her company’s top engineer at just twenty-seven, Deb has blocked off her day for the one project she truly cares about: the launch of Carebnb, an app that finds spare beds for the homeless. When she’s told all employees must drop everything for some busywork exercise called Blackquest 40, it’s an easy no.
Trouble is, her bosses aren’t really asking.
Blackquest 40 is the mother of all corporate trainings. A near-impossible project to be completed in forty straight hours. No phones. No internet. Sleeping on cots. Nobody in, nobody out. Deb finds the whole setup creepy and authoritarian. When a Carebnb issue necessitates her leaving the office, she heads for the door. What’s the worst that could happen?
Armed commandos, HVAC-duct chases, a catastrophic master plan that gets darker by the hour Blackquest 40 is a fresh take on the Die Hard formula, layering smart-drones and a modern heroine onto the classic action tale.
Stand down, Bruce. Deb’s got this.”
I enjoyed this fast-paced thriller.
I took a little while to get into this one and had a hard time suspending my disbelief about many things, but once I let go, I found myself engrossed in the nightmarish scene Deb has found herself.
I thought the pacing was excellent, the tech talk unpretentious and interesting, and the story, while a bit far-fetched at time, engrossing.
Throughout this novel, there were many twists and turns and Bond managed to keep the turns tight. I never felt bogged down in details or the slow middle that can often happen in thrillers. Each chapter offered a new danger.
There was a bit of tech talk. I am not a tech-y person in general, but I found the jargon interesting. And, of course, I liked Deb’s side projects and found the things she could make fascinating.
The storyline felt fresh. Sure there may be a little 80s Cold War vibe happening, but for the most part, I didn’t feel like I had read this story before.
It appears this is Mr. Bond’s second novel; I will be seeking out his earlier work, as well as watching for new titles.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my free ebook ARC.