Daisy's Run

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Member Reviews

Being a fan of the "stranded in space with a broken AI" concept, I was excited to dig into this book and was not disappointed. I really enjoyed the story and was captivated from beginning to end.
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As someone who is a very big science fiction fan, when I was offered a chance to read Daisy’s Run, I jumped at the opportunity. It isn’t often that you come across a sci-fi book where the lead character is a female. And especially one who is as strong and snarky as Daisy.

Daisy’s Run is one of those books that hits the proverbial ground running. Right from the first page we are thrust in to a dangerous, and possibly deadly, situation. The space ship has been damaged by debris and if repairs are not done it could spell catastrophe.

At first everything seems to be running smoothly, but when one of the crew is inexplicably sucked out in to space, what was supposed to be a quiet trip back to Earth takes on a more dangerous tone. It doesn’t help that aside from Daisy, almost every other crew member is augmented in some way, and it seems that every one of them has a secret they’re hiding.

As the story continues and Daisy tries to figure out what is happening, it becomes harder and harder for her to know who to trust. She becomes incredibly paranoid and the reader is left to wonder if all these dangers she is seeing are all in her head.

As Daisy becomes more and more paranoid, the story itself begins to feel frenetic. The pace almost becomes as frantic as Daisy’s mind is, only slowing down towards the end when things begin to be explained.

Baron does a very good job of making us wonder just who is telling the truth. Small clues are dropped through words and actions that hint at bigger plots behind the scenes.

While the story itself is a bit slow to start, I encourage readers to hang in there and keep going. When the story picks up, it picks up fast and pulls you along with it. And personally, I cannot wait to see what happens next.
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Science fiction and fantasy are great. I totally empathize with any author wanting to take this genre on.

You need to write what you know; I think we've all learned that early on, probably from some hippy English teacher. It’s such a simple truth. So if you're an idiot like me, picking a genre where you can invent the rules is an easy choice to make.

Really, if you think about it, all we learn as science advances is how stupid we are.

That’s why science fiction appeals to me personally. I can imagine a world where starships are powered by laughing children and believe it, as long as there is an explanation. If you're curious, my explanation is: 

On a level that goes past quantum physics, we discover our subconscious gives off an energy that we are able to manipulate and harness. Laughing children are found to produce an enormous amount of this energy compared to post puberty humans, enough that we can translate said energy into a engine that can open a wormhole. It’s called the “Giddy Gate." (Note: It is found that this subconscious energy makes up 30% of all dark energy.)

Stupid and ridiculous? I’m not sure. like I said above, I’m an idiot. 200 years Before Faraday though, if someone described an energy ripping through your brain, giving signals to nerves and causing your arm to move, it may have been ridiculed a bit too.

My point is, I can make up whatever I feel like as long as I can make you make sense of it. A reader needs at least one tool to pretend with you.

Look at Asimov's Foundation, just throw the word atomic around every once and a while and mix it with psychology plus time.
 
Frank Herbert...umm spice? Yea, Spice.

This is off topic, sorry. I just like sci-fi is all.

Even though you can make up whatever your heart can imagine it still has to be believed by the reader.

You need to do a little guessing as to what hurdle you may have set up that a reader could trip on, just as you would for any other genre. In other words, you need X energy to get Y mass out of earth's gravitational influence. You are NASA. You are in charge of both X and Y.

So let me tell you about the story of a small crew of sex bots on a mission to retake earth from some aliens that seem to resemble large versions of the Minions from Despicable Me (coveralls included).

The spaceship, Vali, is on its way back to earth. Now, this sci-fi is the type that uses cryo-sleep so, of course, we will be introduced to the crew through a cliché ship malfunction. Mal, the ship's AI, sends Bishop, the ship cyborg, to help wake the crew.

Wait...Oh my. How embarrassing, not Bishop. His name is Barry. My bad. Not sure how I mixed those names. Now, before I am scolded for gender assigning a robot as a 'he,' I should say that his genitals are referred to several times. Barry is a he.

Daisy, our heroine, is the tech guru on board. She seems to be a new addition but has a good general knowledge of her crewmates via a type of neural uplink during cryo-sleep. A tidy idea where crew members download relevant knowledge while sleeping for greater efficiency. This is one of those tools I mentioned, simple, and it gives the author some foundation for his plot that he uses effectively later on.

Turns out the Vali has had a rough go. The crew fixes her up and decides it’s best to stay awake the next several months rather than go back to sleep. Destination is the moon then the earth. Daisy becomes best friends with another tech, Sarah, and they spend the day talking mostly about sex. Daisy, within the first few hours after waking, grabbed the first available man she was alone with and now enjoys bragging to her new friend about how they spend that alone time. Well, when they're not discussing the possibilities of Barry the cyborgs genitals.

I don’t like our main character too much. Like, I personally do not like her. If I met this woman in real life I would think she’s rude, not very thoughtful, and the too big for her britches type. Turns out she’s largely prejudice against those who have made modifications to their bodies. Half the crew has mechanical legs or arms, or even half a face and a brain in the navigator's case. Even the ship cyborg and AI hold a dark place in Daisy's soul.

Actually, the only thing Daisy has going for her is her looks and brain. Though, I don’t trust the ‘looks’ part because she's conceited so of course she thinks she looks good.

Her boy, Vince? 

Nope, cant trust him; he's a guy, of course he will say nice things. Especially since there’s not too many options on a spaceship with only 8 people, 3 female, 1 female AI, and one cyborg that is presumed to have male parts, but I have not seen them myself.

As for her brain. Well I don't trust that either. Daisy has tampered with the neural uplink (turning off safeties) and is dangerously pumping knowledge into her head while she sleeps. Instead of getting drip fed, she is getting fire-hosed.

Well, Sarah dies.  

Don’t worry about spoilers there are 4 more books in this series, so I will only spoil 20% of it overall.

Daisy suspects Hal had something to do with it. Jeez, I did it again, sorry...Mal. We start to go down a little rabbit hole with Daisy as she slowly and covertly begins to convince herself the computers are out to get them, this evolves into her crewmates trying to get her. By this point she has so much knowledge in her head she's unstoppable. Side effect being she is also starting to go insane.

Sarah, her dead friend, now lives in her head (not literally, but she is nuts remember)—a good narrative tool since Daisy is on her own, and the author puts Sarah to good use in rationalizing Daisy's irrational behaviour that makes me dislike her more and more.

After some fancy engineering, Daisy discovers Vince is not human, but rather an advance cyborg. He pleads his love to her to no avail.

She cuts off his arm and makes a run for it.

God damn! Daisy, I hate you. Vince if you had a mother she would have told you to stay away from girls like this.

The crew is in a panic. They need her alive. She is special they say. Their attempts to capture her peacefully are met with Daisy trying to kill them—blasting one out an airlock. I decide at this point that I wish for her crew to kill her. They plead for her to stop and listen—that she doesn’t understand—and this causes her to just double down on stupidity.

Daisy manages to sabotage the ship and take a shuttle to earth. Intending to tattle on the crew for letting the AI kill her friend. When she gets there, she finds earth in ruins and abandoned. Well, no humans anyway. She finds packs of rusting robots that have gone slightly nuts and while avoiding them runs into some cartoonish sounding aliens.

Bipedal, 4 eyes, 4 arms...wearing sleeveless coveralls.

Sleeveless coveralls. Let that sink in. Coveralls...farmer...Dennis the Menace. Minions.

I get it; aliens can be tough. I’ll tell you a secret though.

You can describe anything that conjures in the bottomless pit of your imagination, and a reader will make up an image to fit your narrative. If you decide to add in something from our world though—an aspect that leaves only a tiny space for the imagination of the reader, than it better be in parallel to the tone you want to set. The result being, now I will forever have a mutated Despicable Me Minion stuck in my head.

I mean, you may as well have given them a red nose, multi-coloured wig, and a bright jumpsuit.

So aliens in coveralls on earth aside, the crew catches up to her and brings Daisy back to the moon and finally reveals the truth.

(I’m rushing now, realizing how much I’ve written and want to conclude with some constructive criticism that might seem like common sense but maybe only in hindsight.)

As the facts are revealed to Daisy, we learn that the Minion aliens attacked earth and eventually won out, eradicating all human life with a virus. The AI the humans left behind mounted a counterattack years later.

Okay, cool…sincerely.

The thought of the AI we leave behind, in their way, seeking vengeance for the death of their creators is very original. Their method to retake earth is to clone/manufacture cyborgs that are very human in capacity, thus they all pretty much die. So the machines try again and again until they create Daisy and Sarah, the most advance cybernetic human clones ever created. Created for the sole purpose to retake earth, basically.

Problem with swallowing this concept is that when Daisy is on earth she witnesses the surviving cyborgs, that are thousands of years old at this point, putting up a good fight against a group of Minions. Mind you, these cyborgs past lives were that of servants, by no means designed to fight.

Even though Daisy is the strongest and smartest human-like thing ever made she is still human-like. If these robots were serious about retaking earth make some goddamn terminators and make a million of them.

Now going back to the spaceship metaphor.

This book actually did get me to orbit. Scott Baron in Houston managed to provide both X and Y. I don’t need to like the main character on a personal level, that doesn’t need to be a rule (but it should be a policy).

Unfortunately, I burned up to a crisp on re-entry.

Cosmonaut Alex got up there, enjoyed the view, messed around with liquids in zero G. Even played a bit. Smiling, I buckled in, aimed the ship around, and headed home. Alarms started to squawk, I tapped on the meter that was in the red, labeled stolen popular sci-fi personas. I glanced at the gender appropriation meters, and the one labeled “females always gossip about sex and boys” explodes, blinding one eye. Flames engulf the outside, and my view is nothing but orange and red as I finally get something my dad said to me when I was 14. The second matrix movie, big battle, killer robots versus the humans in these dangerously open ‘walker' suits shooting guns extravagantly. I said to my dad “hey this is dumb, why wouldn’t they just use like tanks or AA guns". My dad responded “cause that’s not cool."

So ya, they could just make terminators and big tank machines to kill the aliens but that wouldn’t be cool. Plus all the needles sex in the book would have been super weird.

4 out 10 minions ( I did make it into orbit after all).

Thank you very much.
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Daisy's Run (The Clockwork Chimera #1) 
by Scott Baron 

What a twist on the whole idea of AI and space travel? I am blown away by the twist and turns of this book. I sit here struggling like the main character to absorb the monumental revelations in the book. The idea of space travel and the ease of returning to earth from decades of years away is hard enough to absorb. But the twist and turns the author goes through with the character is amazing. The reader is on their toes like Daisy, trying to survive one thing only to find that the real story is beyond their scope. I can't wait for the next book and I am biting at the bit to see the conclusion for the cliff hanger the author left me on.  Great Job Scott Baron, I think you have a series that will excite the reading public.
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I don't generally use the term "soft sci-fi", since I find the hard/soft science fiction divide to be kind of silly and arbitrary, but if anything is "soft sci-fi", it's this. This is a fast-paced, light science fiction thriller, full of twists and surprises. The titular character is a rough around the edges tech wiz with a lot of attitude that readers will either find fun and spunky or irritating (I personally alternated between the two). There's some themes of man vs machine, but they aren't well fleshed out, and the main characters humanity-first prejudice reads a bit is not well examined in this volume (although it may be more fleshed out later in the series). The book takes a bit to get going; the opening quarter of the book is frankly a slog. There are sex scenes as well, written with all the skill of a 14 year old (seriously, men who write sci-fi, if you want to have sex scenes in your book, crack open a romance novel, see how to do it well). The characterization is a bit flat at the start, but once the plot picks up, it serves a purpose. Overall, a good, if flawed book, with a strongly drawn main character and a quick pace.

Copy provided by NetGalley.
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"Daisy's Run" eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Scott Baron (https://scottbaron.blog). Mr. Baron has published six novels. This is the first novel in his "Clockwork Chimera" series. 

I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Situations, and Mature Language. The story is set in the future. The primary character is Daisy Swarthmore, a twenty-five-year-old redheaded communications and electronics expert aboard the spacecraft Váli. 

Swarthmore is part of the small crew that is taking the vessel back to Earth. They are all awoken prematurely from cryo-sleep when their ship is struck by debris. Swarthmore is relatively new to the crew but gets along well with most of them. The ship is controlled by Mal, an advanced AI. 

Swarthmore begins to have doubts about the AI, fearing that it is attempting a take-over. As the story progresses, one crew member 'accidentally' dies making Swarthmore even more paranoid. She soon finds herself on the run aboard the small ship. She hopes she can make it to the Moon's Dark Side base or to Earth in time to counter what she sees as a threat from the AI. While she is pursued by the crew, she ultimately discovers that things are far from what she had expected.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 361-page science fiction novel. I like the character of Swarthmore as well as the plot. Having unexpected plot twists make the novel feel fresh. I like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/. 

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).
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Daisy's Run is a space drama. It's not quite what I expected it to be. Granted, there is action and mystery, but it's lacking depth and development of the story and the characters. It's an interesting read but not remarkable.
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Daisy's Run by Scott Baron from Curiouser Publishing is the first book in a five part science fiction series.  This book is a cliffhanger, not my favorite type ending for a book. A good series needs stand alone books.  So, that lead me to having an unfavorable opinion of this book. Without rehashing the publishers description or giving you a plot summary I will try to be open minded in my review.  
The character of Daisy a snarky techy was well written.  It's very easy to dislike this main character but I believe this is what the author intended.  The writing was slow at times and the sex scenes where a big deterrent to the story.  Way to long and very unnecessary to the story line. The premise of the story is interesting but for me personally I just wasn't hooked.  I doubt I will continue with the series.  
I'm giving this 3 stars, but the cliffhanger ending contributed to this rating. I think younger Sci fi fans would enjoy this book.  Less sex and an ending and it would be a 4.5 - 5 star book for me.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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What a scary concept being stuck in space with a malfunctioning AI, this book really interested me from the beginning and kept me invested until the end.
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2 stars

A ship heading back to earth from deep space is hit by debris and damaged. The AI supercomputer running the ship is woke early to make repairs and ensure that the ship stays on course. While the crew members didn't know each other before the journey, they were fed information about each other and their skills were updated so that they would be prepared for duty once they woke up. The crew immediately starts repairing the ship, but strange things start happening. 

The book started out fine and I really wanted to like it more, but I just couldn't. The main character was really annoying. The writing style is not something that appealed to me. There was too much dialogue and not enough storytelling. The story moved really slowly and was repetitive. I don't think I'll read any more books in this series. 

 I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Daisy’s Run is the first in a five-part science fiction series focused on artificial intelligence, cyborgs, spaceships, and what it means to be human. After an accident in space, the crew of a massive spaceship, the Vali, is woken from their cryo sleep in order to repair the ship. One of these characters is Daisy, one of the two technicians/engineers on the ship. She and Sarah work together to try to repair a ship that seems to be constantly malfunctioning, until one day a tragic event occurs and Sarah is jettisoned into space. As time goes on, Daisy starts to realise that the ship and everyone on it may not be what they seem, and she goes on a mission to uncover the truth.

This is my first time reading a book by Scott Baron and he does a great job with setting and landscape. While following the characters on the ship, I could easily picture everything in my head. The pacing could have been better and the characters do have their flaws which may or may not work for everyone. Good for ardent Sci-fi lovers.
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I dnf'ed this book. It reads like a Hollywood film treatment. It was too dramatic and the use of technical jargon was a bit confusing.
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Overall I really enjoyed the idea of the plot, setting, and mix of characters. I do not know if what caused my dislike was more the writing style or the annoying main character.
A major part of this book could be summarized like this:
"Let me explain ..."
"No" 
"Let me explain ..."
"No" 
"Let me explain ..."
"No" 
"Let me explain ..."
"No" 
---
"Why didn't you explain sooner?"

It annoyed me so much! If at any point in the book, we would have been given a proper explanation of the main character going insane and being tremendously paranoid. If her irrational acting were explained and adressed. If her racist tendencies against machines were properly explored and adressed more than saying "you are racist". If you paint a character with such strong flaws, this needs to be properly developed and adressed to be positive influence on the reader.
Because the main character was acting so paranoid and did never listen to anybody giving her hints as to what was going on, none of the "plot twists" were actually a twist. The reader can see them coming for miles because, well, it was explained if you cared to listen. The character development just got more annoying and worse by the page and at one point, where she just throws all her morals over board and harms her enemies in rather drastic ways and does not even show remorse, I am really stunned - because it is not properly adressed and dealt with.
Oh, and did I mention the cringeworthy sex scenes? "Something really tragic happened. I bet that means you want sex" summarizes how sex is utilized in this book best.

It is so incredibly sad because as I said in the beginning - this world is fantastic and I would love to read a good story with great writing and amazing characters in this world, even with this basic plot line.

I was provided with an eARC by the publisher through netgalle in exchange for an honest review.
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An author's skill is sometimes to start a 'simple' book along the lines of an existing, well developed literary formula, such as a science fiction soap opera, then deliver something else entirely by the end of the book, when all the characters are flipped around, some of the dead are dead, some of the dead are less dead, and some of the living may be less living than they think. Well formed characters appear that you won't find outside of a major science fiction author's work; in other words, this isn't your typical dime a dozen boilerplate Amazon ground out sci-fi series; this is a good stand alone effort that is contained in one book and is sufficient to the reader in one volume. Enjoyed this as a long read as an ebook; thanks #Netgalley
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I really enjoyed this book. It was nice to see a strong female lead and the writing was good. The mystery that unravels surprised me, which is good. I will definitely read the rest of this series!
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DNF

The character's manner was egotistic, stubborn and annoying. Many of the characters used the same vocabulary, for e.g. 'Ya' instead of 'you'. Too many sex scenes. An abundance of descriptions and explanations: too much tell, not enough show. Insta-romance is not my cup of tea and in this case, it's even more instant than usual insta-romances. The plot was long-winded as well. Many of the other reviewers pointed out other negatives about this book and I, for one, agree with them. And that's coming from someone who loves sci-fi.
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Daisy wakes up from cryo-sleep early to help her ship's crew fight an unexpected hazard from external impact.  With all she has to deal with,  not being to remember her past properly gets put on the shelf until one of the crew gets sucked out an airlock while tracking an oxygen leak--  and ends up inside Daisy's head!  

It turns out that there is more going on than she understands, and this run to Darkside lunar base for repairs is not at all routine. What's more, she has simply got to get over her prejudice against the cyborgs on board before she dooms what's left of the human race.  

This tale is a great way to examine the nature of what it means to be human, when humans are not the species in charge of the universe and have to use every trick in the book to persist in any way at all.  Also, it's often really funny.
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Didn't finish. This isn't a science fiction novel, it's a treatment for a scifi movie or TV show. Not a particularly up-to-date one, either: all the characters seem to be white (e.g. distinguished by hair color) with similarly Anglo names. These days, that's a kind of future uniformity that needs to be explained, not assumed as "normal": it made me feel as though this was a Retro Hugo candidate.

Further, the space ship is run by an AI (as per current SF standard), but there don't seem to be the usual assortment of bots or drones, just a disconcertingly handsome robot. I also gather it's supposed to be creepy & disconcerting that most of the crew (except our Plucky Heroine) have some obvious replacement parts or enhancements. And that's not getting into the scenes that might be exciting but make no sense (you don't repair spaceships that way), or the way late-20th-C pop culture is shoehorned in so the characters can make references the audience will think are funny. But when I realized that they're heading for a base on the "dark side" of Earth's moon, I bailed. 

I received a free e-ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I really wanted to like this book. It has a strong female lid. Had echoes of Aliens and a little bit of Pitch Black two of my favorite’s movies. The only reason I finished it is because It was given by Net Galley for an honest review otherwise, I would not have bothered. Id od not think this is being advertised as YA but the main heroine felt very young. She kept on making stupid mistake after stupid mistake and no she did not become endearing in any way. Also, she had a prejudice from the get go about mechanical replacement parts on humans. They never explained why, just natural hate on her part for something different? In Aliens Sigourney Weaver as Ripely was cautions against the AI/Cyborg because in the first movie it went nuts (or programmed to go a little nuts) so we could understand why. Here they did not even bother. There are some good points. The writing and editing are good. There is a mystery and you might want to read to get to it. This is not a stand-alone book although there is a closure of sorts at the end.
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Even as a kid growing up in the 80's with all the "firsts" of space exploration, I never dreamed about being an astronaut. Oh, sure, I'm a TNG Star Trek fan but beyond that, I can't say there's anything about space or science fiction that I really geek about. (And I'm not so sure that I'm not just a Patrick Stewart fan, because, c'mon, it's Patrick Stewart.) Ya'll are probably tired of hearing me say "I'm not that big of a sci-fi fan", yet I still keep reading it, don't I? Well, here are some reasons I couldn't say no to Daisy's Run.

First and foremost, Daisy is a strong, yet flawed, female protagonist and boy, is she snarky, which I love. You get this sense of her somehow being the underdog from the start and I always like to root for the underdog. Occasionally her internal dialogue and prejudices against AI and her more mechanically enhanced shipmates got a bit dreary, but overall, she was a lot of fun. The rest of the characters are equally delightful, even the ones that are a bit more stoic and aloof. While there wasn't necessarily a lot of time spent on character growth, I enjoyed the characters' interactions. The exception to that was the inelegantly phrased "romance" scenes. Egad, those were painfully awkward.  Ahem. Moving on... 

There's an impressive amount of world-building, which sounds strange since they are on a spacecraft for the vast majority of the book. I didn't feel like I got bogged down with any of the atmospheric constructs, which I tend to find quite boring in a lot of sci-fi. There's a big distinction between being shown something and being told what something looks like. A good author excels at being descriptive without becoming tedious, and Scott Baron has this concept firmly in his grasp. I also was intrigued by cybernetic parts that many of the characters are sporting. Even with all the advanced (theoretical) technology, I never felt that it was killing brain cells just trying to understand it. Indeed, some of the technology probably isn't very far off! 

There's a lot of intrigue surrounding Daisy and her shipmates and a slow build of drama in the first half. While not a lot really happens other than Daisy's paranoia, you just know that there is a big twist coming. From there, it's a rocketship of a ride to the end. 

I read the last page only a few hours after beginning, which is always a tell of a good book, and I was sad to see it go, which is the sign of an exceptional book. Maybe I'm fooling myself that I'm not a huge fan of science fiction. Or maybe kick-ass sci-fi like Daisy's Run is steadily 
converting me.

4.5/5
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