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Mainline

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Bystanders, beware: Reva the assassin always gets her man, and anyone caught in the crossfire won't live to tell about it. Reva has the unique ability to see different lines of causality spread out before her. When she chooses any one of them, the other possibilities fade into nothingness and the new reality becomes her Mainline. Bystanders, beware: Reva the assassin always gets her man, and anyone caught in the crossfire won't live to tell about it. Reva has the unique ability to see different lines of causality spread out before her. When she chooses any one of them, the other possibilities fade into nothingness and the new reality becomes her Mainline.


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Bystanders, beware: Reva the assassin always gets her man, and anyone caught in the crossfire won't live to tell about it. Reva has the unique ability to see different lines of causality spread out before her. When she chooses any one of them, the other possibilities fade into nothingness and the new reality becomes her Mainline. Bystanders, beware: Reva the assassin always gets her man, and anyone caught in the crossfire won't live to tell about it. Reva has the unique ability to see different lines of causality spread out before her. When she chooses any one of them, the other possibilities fade into nothingness and the new reality becomes her Mainline.

30 review for Mainline

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nichole

    I absolutely loved this book. Start to finish, every page was great. I remember, many years ago, when I was very young, I tried to read this book. I bought it, having at least had the sense to recognize the potential for greatness even then, and tried to read it but I think it was too much for me to process at the time. However, reading it now, years later, I am thoroughly delighted. The writing is fluid and graceful and precise. The characters are super clear in their development. I have never r I absolutely loved this book. Start to finish, every page was great. I remember, many years ago, when I was very young, I tried to read this book. I bought it, having at least had the sense to recognize the potential for greatness even then, and tried to read it but I think it was too much for me to process at the time. However, reading it now, years later, I am thoroughly delighted. The writing is fluid and graceful and precise. The characters are super clear in their development. I have never read such vivid and encompassing world building in the many, many years I have been reading. It was a sincere pleasure to read, and a joy to know I own this book and can read it any time I like, in tattered, beloved paperback (my preferred format). If you are on the edge trying to decide if you're going to read this, I have this to say: There is an adventure that awaits you unlike any you've gone on before - a meticulously detailed, flawlessly executed, awe-inspiring and mesmerizing and enthralling in ways that other books have never even teased at - and all you have to do is open to the first page. What on earth are you waiting for?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    What attracted me to 'Mainline' was the protagonist Reva's special talent, which is the superpower I've always wanted most. It is the ability to see divergent timelines and choose the one she finds preferable. Surely the ultimate control freak superpower! In 'Mainline', Reva uses this ability to build a successful career as an interplanetary assassin. Personally, I think she could have had a safer life in strategy consulting, but that may not have been an option in this particular cyberpunk futu What attracted me to 'Mainline' was the protagonist Reva's special talent, which is the superpower I've always wanted most. It is the ability to see divergent timelines and choose the one she finds preferable. Surely the ultimate control freak superpower! In 'Mainline', Reva uses this ability to build a successful career as an interplanetary assassin. Personally, I think she could have had a safer life in strategy consulting, but that may not have been an option in this particular cyberpunk future. 'Mainline' is largely a straightforward sci-fi thriller, slightly dated in the ironic manner of 90s cyberpunk. It definitely succeeds in engaging the reader and the world-building is fun, albeit not especially deep or complex. The plot is fast-moving and the action sequences enjoyable. Notable features of the novel, though, include a female, casually bisexual protagonist with no romance sub-plot. In fact, female characters are relatively abundant, which is great. Moreover, they get no less character development than the male characters - although neither get very much amid the tumultuous action. The details I liked best were Reva's cautions about skipping timelines - changes in traffic laws, fashionable colours, and available foods. The whole timeline-skipping concept was used nicely, although there were many more questions about it that I'd have liked to ask. All in all, a diverting sci-fi thriller with an unusual heroine. It isn't radically original or exquisitely written, but is well worth reading on a long train journey.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Dennis

    What a jagged reading experience. I got Mainline because I am very interested in Deborah Teramis Christian's new book, Splintegrate. That one is set in the same universe, and there are some crossover characters, so I thought this one would be a good place to start. I liked the main premise -- a mutant assassin named Reva that's able to slip through different timestreams is stalked by an alien bounty hunter. That's a great premise. Unfortunately, the story is really overstuffed with distracting s What a jagged reading experience. I got Mainline because I am very interested in Deborah Teramis Christian's new book, Splintegrate. That one is set in the same universe, and there are some crossover characters, so I thought this one would be a good place to start. I liked the main premise -- a mutant assassin named Reva that's able to slip through different timestreams is stalked by an alien bounty hunter. That's a great premise. Unfortunately, the story is really overstuffed with distracting side-plot. There's a whole ecoterrorist subplot that involves sentient whales. And then there's the subplot about the undercover law enforcement that is trying to arrest Reva. Christian approached a lot of the chapters a flash-fiction approach. They're super short, typically a page at most. It honestly feels like the story is slipping gears. It just never gets moving properly, and it was hard to stay engrossed in the plot. If I had edited the book, I would have had her restructure so that there's less time on the subplots and more on the main plot, and less flash-fiction chapters. That would've required a lot more rewriting, but I think the final product would've been much stronger. Finally, the e-book I read was just released. I think Christian self-edited it, because it's riddled with typographical errors. There's hard breaks in the middle of sentences, punctuation that's in the wrong place, and random letters in different fonts from the majority of the text. If I had to guess, Christian probably digitized an old dead tree version of the book and then cleaned it up by hand. What I noticed were issues that slipped by her. With so many technical issues in a book that has a lot of issues with the story itself, it really was annoying. I'm not put off of Deborah Teramis Christian's work. Mainline was her first novel, and it was written in 1996. I'm sure she's grown a lot as a writer in the meantime. I think Splintegrate will be an interesting story and I can't wait to get into it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    John Loyd

    R'debh, which I think is Selmun III, is a water world. It's where Reva was born. She is hired by a crime lord to kill a couple of politicians. The first one fears a hit has been ordered and gets the alien bounty hunter, Yavobo, as protection. Reva gets him anyway, but Yavobo survives and now feels a sense of honor to protect the man's family, i.e. the other politician. Although Reva made the hit look like an accident, Yavobo wasn't convinced. The crucial piece of tech from the holdout, Lish, not R'debh, which I think is Selmun III, is a water world. It's where Reva was born. She is hired by a crime lord to kill a couple of politicians. The first one fears a hit has been ordered and gets the alien bounty hunter, Yavobo, as protection. Reva gets him anyway, but Yavobo survives and now feels a sense of honor to protect the man's family, i.e. the other politician. Although Reva made the hit look like an accident, Yavobo wasn't convinced. The crucial piece of tech from the holdout, Lish, not her usual dealer. She saw some security holes in her operation and wants to let her know about it, but first they celebrate by going kria hunting. Reva has never had friends she can keep, because her power is to move between different timelines where that is a different person. If she slides off the Mainline now she loses this Lish. We keep getting introduced to characters with their own skill set. Yavobo, the almost indestructible alien. Vask, the undercover "bug" (law enforcement), who can sidestep. Flashman who is a skilled netrunner. The part with Reva wanting to have a friend, becoming and staying a friend with Lish was really well done. The rest, as I'm just past the half-way point, hasn't quite seemed real to me. I'll see what happens. If the water-breathers on R'debh get justice, if the crime lord gets a comeuppance, or if there is anything that can save Lish so that she and Reva can continue to be friends. Exciting, action packed conclusion. Three of five stars, maybe three and a half.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Oh boy. I started this book with some high expectations. I forget where I first heard of it, but it seems like an interesting idea - a woman who can jump nearby timelines and pick her own "Mainline". Pretty good skill for an assassin I would say. But the first job she takes in the book is for someone back on her home world. So she takes the job and carries it out. Problem I have with it? In order to take this person out, she sinks an entire ship full of people. And hardly gives a shrug when she h Oh boy. I started this book with some high expectations. I forget where I first heard of it, but it seems like an interesting idea - a woman who can jump nearby timelines and pick her own "Mainline". Pretty good skill for an assassin I would say. But the first job she takes in the book is for someone back on her home world. So she takes the job and carries it out. Problem I have with it? In order to take this person out, she sinks an entire ship full of people. And hardly gives a shrug when she hears the "accident" reported on the media that evening. So I stopped reading about 20 pages in and thought to myself - what could possibly redeem a book about such a psychopath? And, according to the book blurb, that job pisses off one of the guards of the guy, who is going to take revenge. So nothing sounds all that intriguing about this any more. So I quit.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Poltz

    A very convoluted, complex, action cyberpunk thriller. Not exactly my cup of tea. I read this book because it is on my LGBTQ+ list on Worlds Without End, and I am trying to read all the books I put on that list to verify if I should keep it on. The main character is a bisexual assassin who has the ability to see a myriad of timelines emanating from the present. The premise is great, but the author has so many subplots to support the ending that it was too complicated for me. And I’m not one for A very convoluted, complex, action cyberpunk thriller. Not exactly my cup of tea. I read this book because it is on my LGBTQ+ list on Worlds Without End, and I am trying to read all the books I put on that list to verify if I should keep it on. The main character is a bisexual assassin who has the ability to see a myriad of timelines emanating from the present. The premise is great, but the author has so many subplots to support the ending that it was too complicated for me. And I’m not one for cyberpunk. I like it as a film genre, but as a book genre, I tend to get lost very quickly. Come visit my blog for the full review… https://itstartedwiththehugos.blogspo...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Reuben

    Fast-paced, would make a good movie when it's good but suffers from pacing issues in the middle. Fast-paced, would make a good movie when it's good but suffers from pacing issues in the middle.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marco

    Interesting conceptualization of timelines and continuity

  9. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    Read this a few years ago, really intriguing novel.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rin Watson

    I couldn't finish it. It got way too convoluted way too fast and relied upon the reader to have an obscenely heavy suspension of disbelief when random and alien technology was brought out. I couldn't finish it. It got way too convoluted way too fast and relied upon the reader to have an obscenely heavy suspension of disbelief when random and alien technology was brought out.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    An interestingly complicated novel. Definitely fun. =)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie

    I’m not usually one for the sci-fi thriller genre, but the combination of 1) written by a woman, 2) in the 90s, 3) with a bisexual female protagonist, made me pull this one off the used bookstore shelf. And it’s wild and weird and maybe a little aimless in the storyline, but ultimately enjoyable and unique nonetheless. Maybe I’d even give it a 3.5. Reva, our protagonist, has the coolest ability ever: she can shift between different possible timelines. Of course this is not so cool because you hav I’m not usually one for the sci-fi thriller genre, but the combination of 1) written by a woman, 2) in the 90s, 3) with a bisexual female protagonist, made me pull this one off the used bookstore shelf. And it’s wild and weird and maybe a little aimless in the storyline, but ultimately enjoyable and unique nonetheless. Maybe I’d even give it a 3.5. Reva, our protagonist, has the coolest ability ever: she can shift between different possible timelines. Of course this is not so cool because you have a tendency to lose people - ok, that’s a bummer. Perhaps this is why Reva has ended up as an assassin? Anyway, that’s where she’s at when the story begins, completing a job while running afoul of a very warlike alien called Yavobo and getting distracted by Lish, a local smuggler who doesn’t seem to know what she’s doing. This bugs Reva for some reason, and she decides to break a personal rule and stick around in this particular timeline to help Lish out. There’s a bunch else going on in the background about the local smuggling and crime network, which tbh didn’t do much for me, but seemed like pretty standard thriller stuff handled reasonably well. Sometimes crime happens in “the Net” in a super concretely visualized, very cyberpunk-esque kinda way, which was amusing. My favorite bits were parts of the world-building: like, for example the world this story takes place on is a water-world and people (some of them) have developed gills and an underwater sign language. One of the characters, Karuu, is a kind of walrus creature. Lish and her friend Devin come from a culture that has a very distinct caste system and ceremony around partnership. And another character, Vask Kastlin, can do a version of stepping out of time that’s close but not the same as Reva’s power. You can tell there’s a lot going on, right?? And I haven’t even named half of it. This book is funny in that there are a bunch of plot lines that start and sort of peter out...while others begin, are dropped for a while, and come back in toward the end. The central challenge is whether or not Reva will stay in her current timeline, the “Mainline”, and you know, have friends and care about people. So that stays true but there’s a BUNCH else all around it. I found it to be an interesting reading experience though sometimes hard to remember what was at stake. Still, I really haven’t read anything else like it, so high marks for that. The book brings everything to a reasonably satisfactory end, though does tag a little epilogue on as if the story was going to continue. I checked if it did which is how I found out that supposedly, over 20 years later, another book in this world is coming? I’ll admit, my interest is piqued.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Jeannette

    I discovered this book last summer when I borrowed it from a co-worker of mine. While I enjoy science fiction, I find it harder at times to read books that have a lot of aliens in them. It's just harder at times for my mind to grasp. Yet I had no trouble with falling into this book headfirst. Instead of being told everything about the world first off, a device that can often times come off as extremely heavy and boring, from the very first page the reader is thrown in the action. Information and I discovered this book last summer when I borrowed it from a co-worker of mine. While I enjoy science fiction, I find it harder at times to read books that have a lot of aliens in them. It's just harder at times for my mind to grasp. Yet I had no trouble with falling into this book headfirst. Instead of being told everything about the world first off, a device that can often times come off as extremely heavy and boring, from the very first page the reader is thrown in the action. Information and past events that create Reva and form her actions are teased out as the pages turn. I found myself absolutely captivated, a singular experience. This books reminds me of no other book I've ever read. A truly unique and rare find. I would recommend this book to everyone, not merely hardcore science fiction fans.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    This is a great beach or airplane read. The story is clever and complex, with complications that seem like just too much, but each time, Christian pulls it off. It's not great literature, but if you just want to kick back and enjoy yourself, and you like science-fiction, this is well worth the time. This is a great beach or airplane read. The story is clever and complex, with complications that seem like just too much, but each time, Christian pulls it off. It's not great literature, but if you just want to kick back and enjoy yourself, and you like science-fiction, this is well worth the time.

  15. 5 out of 5

    K. Axel

    I can highly recommend this book to fans of sci-fi; it has a dark protagonist who is searching for herself, and who have learned to use the powers of the world in a rather strange ways. She knows how to travels through the various versions of the world...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    Fast fun read this authur again

  17. 4 out of 5

    Raphael Clayette

    Love the feminine (not feminist) character. Love her power. Great book. Waiting for following book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Janin

    An assassin that walks between the lines of alternate realities, trying to connect with a world that can be lost at any moment (: I enjoy watching cold/distant people warm up.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    I enjoyed the ending. Felt disjointed the whole way though. Great plot idea. Poor follow through

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sara Emard

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amy Ovall

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tamara Munzner

  23. 4 out of 5

    Christophe

  24. 4 out of 5

    Buttercup

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jean-Michel Smith

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michellesnyder

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bjørnar Tuftin

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andy Yother

  29. 5 out of 5

    P

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey

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