The Sensation

The Salvation Series, Book II

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Pub Date Oct 13 2020 | Archive Date Sep 01 2020

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Last time she investigated the saints of the Solme Complex. This time it's the sinners of the Sensation... Presenting the second Salvi Brentt novel from award-winning author, Amanda Bridgeman.

A series of brutal murders has the homicide division of San Francisco's Hub 9 working overtime. But as the bodies mount, they begin to question whether the attacks are random or somehow connected.

When one of their own falls victim, Detective Salvi Brentt and the Hub 9 homicide team join forces with the narcotics and cyber divisions to track down those responsible. They soon discover a volatile new drug-tech experience, involving black market neural implants, has hit the streets, causing the epidemic of violence and missing persons.

With the clock ticking and the bodies piling up, Salvi must go deep undercover in the seedy Sensation club scene to find out who is behind it. But in the secretive playgrounds of the rich and powerful, some will stop at nothing to protect their empire...

File Under: Science Fiction [ Electrical High | Rich vs All | Deathly Addiction | If You Go Down to the Woods… ]
Last time she investigated the saints of the Solme Complex. This time it's the sinners of the Sensation... Presenting the second Salvi Brentt novel from award-winning author, Amanda Bridgeman.


Advance Praise

“The Subjugate is a compelling seat-of-the-pants murder mystery and a fascinating inquiry into good and evil and the possibility of redemption.”

– The Guardian

“The Subjugate is a compelling seat-of-the-pants murder mystery and a fascinating inquiry into good and evil and the possibility of redemption.”

– The Guardian

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780857668561
PRICE $14.99 (USD)

Average rating from 12 members

Featured Reviews

The Sensation, The Salvation Series, Book II, by Amanda Bridgeman
Publisher: Angry Robot
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers | Sci Fi & Fantasy
Release Date: October 13, 2020
This is a fast paced crime drama set in a tech-rich future and I loved it!

The characters were engaging and the story line was intriguing. I love a good murder mystery and this was a great one!

Since this is book 2 of The Salvation Series, I will definetly be reading book 1 and any future books in the series

I'm so grateful to Amanda Bridgeman, Angry Robot Publishing, and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this ARC ebook in exchange for my honest review.

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Another very cool murder mystery and exploration of the technology introduced in book one. Whodunnits have been around forever and have been done a million different ways so its cool to periodically come across a fresh and inventive take on the genre. In the original Karate Kid movie Mr Miyagi says, "Different, but same." That is how I feel about this book, everything I loved about book one is still here with the cool characters, original tech, and genuinely intriguing mystery but the author sort of takes things in a totally different direction, and it is awesome. The Sensation is also a little bit darker than book one and shows further exploitation of what was something that was supposed to be used for good. Enough about that for to say more would be to give away integral plot points. Amanda Bridgeman knows how to plot and the pace of this book is relentless because there are honestly like thirty different story lines going on and they all converge pretty spectacularly. Like I said, the author does a great job juggling multiple threads and keeping everything interesting and leaves enough unanswered questions to set up a definite book three.

I love Netgalley and Angry Robot and thank them for the arc while my thoughts and opinions remain my own.

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Has it really been two years since the first book? I absolutely loved that one, and my opinion hasn't changed about the series with this one. From the second I started it, I knew I wasn't going to be able to put it down until it was finished, and that's exactly what happened. I really had trouble reading other things while my phone was charging, and that's exactly what I love about this series. It worms its way into your head, and once you're in, you're not getting back out. Kind of like the subject matter in this novel specifically.

Salvi Brentt is back, and even though she's been put on a desk job for the time being, she's sick of it, and all the therapy she's been having to go through since the events of the last book. But that's about to change, because her therapist is just clearing her to go back on the street, and start the job that she loves all over again. Only with a new partner. This time, however, it's not about The Subjugates. It's about people going missing, and occasionally, turning up with their bodies horrifically carved into. It's about the club scene, and the drug scene. And most of all, it's about control, and in some cases, the lack of control.

At around four hundred pages, this solid novel never even gives you a chance to breathe once you're in it. It's a rollercoaster that just keeps going up. And then at the end, it finally goes down. Just not in the way you'd expect. It's one of those that I'm just hoping and praying I'm not going to have to wait another two years for the next one. I love Salvi so much, she's so strong and she has such a rich backstory that we're just beginning to learn about. She's everything you could ever want to be in a person, and she knows it. And I just think she's the perfect character to tell stories like these.

The thing that I love the most about these books, is how much it reminds me of one of those crime scene investigation shows, not only in the way the events are laid out in front of you, but also in the way that the characters interact with it, and each other. I really feel like I'm watching a tv show when I'm reading these books, and I think that's a very hard thing to do. I can't get enough. And I love the little scifi twist that's put in. The author writes an intricate web, until you have no way of knowing where to look, who's to blame, and can't possibly guess what's going to happen next, and then it's all destroyed in the last ten percent of the book, and you're left thinking, how did all of that happen so fast and I didn't get lost? And what's going to happen next?

If you're into scifi, and you're into mysterious detective books, than I highly suggest you give this series a chance. At only two books, I have a feeling that this is just the beginning, and I'm really stoked to see what Salvi gets herself into next time, while she's just trying to make the world around her act right, and save lives.


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Good story, well written. Fast paced. The story really picked-up in the end. I think it's necessary to read the first book in the series, the Subjugate to get some background of the main characters. Solid world building. I liked Ms. Bridgeman's writing and would buy the next book in the series as well as take a look at any other book she wrote.

Thanks Netgalley and Angry Robot for the ARC.

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Set in a near-future San Francisco where immersive technology and drugs result in a deadly cocktail for thrill-seekers, “The Sensation” is the second novel in The Salvation Series and the follow-up to the excellent neo-noir crime thriller, “The Subjugate”, which I reviewed back in October 2018 on this very blog. Written by Australian author Amanda Bridgeman, one key theme of the novels has been the dangers of technological implants and how it can be used to control and influence people for both good and bad reasons. The suppression of free will has been a recurring element in the novels and whereas “The Subjugate” asked questions about using technology to control psychotics and criminals, “The Sensation” looks at how technology can be used to increase pleasure.

While both novels share the same characters and themes, I found “The Sensation” to be a lot darker and ‘cyberpunk’ than its predecessor due to the focus on the focus on the illegal tech, neon lights and drugs ‘n’ clubs; which is a bit of a contrast to the plain living folks of Bountiful seen in “The Subjugate”. I really enjoyed how Bridgeman developed Salvi Brentt’s team into fully-realised characters, giving the book an ensemble vibe compared to the buddy-cop feel of the first novel. What initially begins as a series of unrelated murders eventually culminates into a spider’s web of a conspiracy with a deadly new drug at the heart of it, and with the nightclub district of The Sensation as the main setting, Bridgeman gets to do a futuristic version of the 80’s excess with ‘neo-yuppies’ indulging in all sorts of drug-fuelled perversions.

While Salvi Brentt has moved onto a new case, elements from her last case involving the Subjugates and the Solme Complex continue to lurk in the background. There are some surprising developments that end up creating stronger connections between Salvi and her curious nemesis: Subjugate-52. Formerly known as the sadistic serial killer Edward Moses, Subjugate-52 is the morally ambiguous character from “The Subjugate” and acts as a Hannibal Lecter-esque foil to Salvi Brentt’s Clarice. Their odd relationship is extremely compelling and while it doesn’t get much ‘screen-time’ in this particular book, it is clear that Bridgeman has an endgame in mind with these characters. The final chapters offer some interesting hints are what the third book might revolve around, as Bridgeman leaves enough unanswered questions from the first two books to tantalise fans.

As much as I enjoyed the undercover cop aspect of the novel, the book hit its stride in the final act as some shocking twists changed the direction of the series permanently. I devoured that last third of the novel in one sitting and was unable to sleep until I finished the book – and even then, needed a half hour to ‘decompress’. The ending is so bleak and downbeat that it reminded me of The Empire Strikes Back – a deliciously nihilistic ending that leaves the reader in anticipation for the next part of the series. Bridgeman puts her characters through some serious trauma, and because she does such a brilliant job at establishing them as likeable protagonists, it felt like an actual punch to the gut when the full extent of the changes were made clear. It was a pitch-perfect execution of a plot twist and just validates the accolades that Bridgeman has received for her writing.

“The Sensation” is a simply incredible sequel that does what all good sequels should do and improves upon the original in almost every way. After establishing the characters and world in the first book, the stakes are raised and the safety is off is in the second, and who knows what awaits us in the third. “The Subjugate” worked as a stunning stand-alone novel, but with this sophomore effort, Bridgeman has created a brilliant and immensely engaging series. I enjoyed this novel so much that I have to bestow the highest compliment I can think of for a writer: she inspires me to want to write myself. And with that, all that is left is to award the inevitable perfect ‘five-star’ score and implore you to check out both books, if you haven’t already.

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I feel like Steve Martin in <em>The Jerk</em> ... I want to hold this up and run around saying, "The new Amanda Bridgeman book is out! The new Amanda Bridgeman book is here!" I have very much been looking forward to the release of this next volume in the Salvi Brentt series.

Detective Salvi Brentt is one tough detective. She's still recovering from her ordeal in the previous book (<em>The Subjugate</em>), and as we meet up with her, we learn that she has asked for a new partner because she's developed a personal relationship with Mitch Grenville. She's also avoiding the Solme Complex where one of the Subjugates that Salvi used to get herself out of a life-threatening situation is asking for her. But Brentt has a more urgent situation to attend to.

A body recently discovered in an old warehouse was an undercover cop and Brentt and her fellow homicide detectives learn about a highly secret series of nightclubs where people move up a level (literally) by invitation only until they get to the ceiling. There are drugs involved, called Flyte and Fyte, but their connection to the nightclubs is unknown. And as if a dead cop wasn't enough motivation, the Chief of Police's daughter is missing, last seen entering the nightclub.

There isn't time to set someone up to get inside, the way the now-dead copy had been vetted, so the homicide department will try to get someone inside the old-fashioned way ... with a beautiful woman, bored with the ordinary and dropping money as if it didn't mean anything. Salvi Brentt. But it won't be easy, and this is an organization that's already killed one undercover cop. And what Brentt learns as she moves up in the club scares her more than she ever expected.

One of the things I really love about this book is how author Amanda Bridgeman gives us a (now) familiar character but gives us a new story and manages to tie the two books together with some important plot points.

I really love Bridgeman's characters. Everyone we meet feels so real and, as I mentioned in my review of <em>The Subjugate</em>, these characters have human flaws, and their flaws as as interesting (or more so) as their strengths.

The setting of slightly futuristic, with high tech drugs and sex being traded and sold, is absolutely where we're headed as a culture, and the grittiness of our setting oozes naturally - Bridgeman doesn't have to emphasize anything because we see it.

I would have liked to have seen more of the Brentt/Grenville relationship, but it didn't make sense in the context of this story, so I'm glad Bridgeman didn't force it.

The ending sets up a dark future for Brentt. It's not a cliff-hanger but it will have you anxious to read on.

This is a sci-fi mystery series that I am very excited about and Salvi Brentt will be a much talked about character in the years to come.

Looking for a good book? Amanda Bridgeman's <em>The Sensation</em> is here! Amanda Bridgeman's <em>The Sensation</em> is here! Read it now!

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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I always appreciate when, in a sequel, an author is able to pull enough from the first novel to keep the returning readers interested, but not require so much as to isolate and scare off new readers. I haven't read the first in this series, but I plan on doing so, having enjoyed The Sensation's cyber noir vibe and the characters that Amanda Bridgeman has successfully carried forward. You can tell that Bridgeman has an eye for detail and worldbuilding, as her characters subtly reference events in the world's past that shape their existence without forcing the reader to endure exposition after exposition. Her action scenes unfold both carefully and chaotically, giving life and credence to the events taking place. All in all, this is a great read for that crime enthusiast who wants to lean harder into the SFF world, or vice versa - I could see a Robert Parker or Michael Connelly fan discovering Salvi Brentt and being happy with that outcome.

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