Grydscaen

Dark

Young Adult - Fantasy - Urban
266 Pages
Reviewed on 07/10/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite

Grydscaen: Dark by Natsuya Uesugi is a cutting-edge, sci-fi cyberpunk adventure novel for the YA reader. If you like stories of internet intrigue and cyber hacking at the highest levels, don't miss this book. The story is wrapped in politics, corporate greed, stock market manipulation, high tech, and dueling hackers. You may not be sure of what's happening at first, but Uesugi deftly guides you through with an authoritative but entertaining style. As you read, you begin to get the feeling that this author knows what he's writing about--from an insider's point of view. With this story, you get mystery and excitement around every corner, and it would make a great anime series, movie, or game.

The author's attention to tech details in the book is mind-boggling. Even if you are unfamiliar with the terms and methods, you are sucked into the vortex of the story and want to keep reading to find out what happens to the two main characters, Jester and Zoon, but also others like Jazz, Rom, and Mage. So, even though this story is steeped in tech and finance, the common struggles of good versus bad, right versus wrong, and compelling conflicts between the characters are at the heart of it. This could easily have turned out to be a throwaway book, but the author's writing is so rich and authentic, you find yourself involved in a way that you have to know how things play out. The descriptions are punchy and pointed, which gives the characters and settings an immediate, tactile feel. Plus you get the added bonus of understanding how vulnerable cybersecurity really is, and how easy it would be to manipulate the entire globe with just a few keystrokes. Even though this book is part of a series, it is also a standalone. If you like your dystopian fiction with characters who reflect diversity and social issues, Grydscaen: Dark by Natsuya Uesugi is one you should invest in.

Gobi Jane

Grydscaen: Dark by Natsuya Uesugi is a cyberpunk novel with fascinating characters. Under strict secrecy, intel on the stock market changes hands in the Echelons, which leads gothic hacker Jester to set off a dangerous tech game. While the parliament votes on new regulations for the stock market, Jester orders teenage hacker, Rom, to infiltrate the largest brokerage house. This disrupts the trade in ways no one expected. But Jester is just about to crash the stock market and the repercussions will be far from pleasant. Can government hacker Raven stop the crash, and how will this play out with Zoon who runs the Triumvirate?

This is a well-written story that has a strong appeal to fans of cyberpunk. The author plunges readers into the dark world run by hackers and cybercriminals. The characters are creations of the virtual environment and they feel so real that readers will want to see what they are up to next. Natsuya Uesugi’s work is very relevant and while it is filled with imagination, it translates in a powerful way the realities of the cyber world and illustrates the disruption that hackers can cause to systems. Grydscaen: Dark is filled with action and the author does a great job of weaving numerous twists into the plot. I loved the great writing, the fluid prose, the well-written dialogues, and the strong use of imagery. I am not a fan of cyberpunk, but this novel was so satisfying that I found myself lost in its world. It is a work of great imagination from an author who clearly understands the hacking game.

K.C. Finn

Grydscaen: Dark is a work of fiction in the cyberpunk, thriller and adventure sub genres, and was penned by author Natsuya Uesugi. Following the other sharp, slick urban dramas in the Grydscaen series, this standalone read takes us into the world of hacking, cyber crime and high stakes thrills that threaten the entire city and beyond. Teen hacker Rom is ordered to infiltrate and interfere with trading, and this sparks a battle with many different sides as the stock markets teeter on the verge of crashing. What follows is a sophisticated cyber crime novel where the side of ‘right’ is just as morally ambiguous as the so-called ‘criminals’.

Author Natsuya Uesugi has crafted a manga-style novel that anime and manga fans are sure to embrace. With lavish descriptions of the slick, dark world and the social and political oppression all around them, our central protagonists are high-tech outcasts with plenty of skills and nothing to lose as they bring about chaos. With an ideal audience of mature teens and upwards, the complex conceptual ideas of the world are slowly eased in as we meet different characters and begin to understand the impact of their infiltration. The work spans many genres including crime, espionage, interpersonal drama and cyberpunk, offering plenty of twists and turns as the plot and people intermix, and there’s a host of well penned dialogue to characterize and move the plot forward. Overall, I would definitely recommend Grydscaen: Dark for fans of stylish and dramatic thriller novels where the protagonists are very far from the goody-goody stereotype.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

We’ve all heard of hackers and the damage they can cause, both in the government and in financial institutions. But, has anyone really considered how much control these hackers can exert? Add to the equation a new sense of reality. It’s far above and beyond the all-destructive power of nuclear weapons. The government, with its scientists, has created a new type of energy, kedek energy, somehow created from atomic fusion. Harnessed into bombs and released over the population, the power shift was astronomical. Not only did this new world war change the power-hungry game, but it also created new powers like teleportation, telekinesis, mind control and so much more. And this all morphed into a new form of religion, one that was frighteningly so much like the mumbo-jumbo sects of the 1960s and 1970s. The world may have changed, but people haven’t. One thing about humanity that will never change is the simple power-hungry driving force of greed.

Natsuya Uesugi’s science fiction/dystopian novel, Grydscaen: Dark, charters new territory in its revelation of some of the scary things possible if humanity really succeeds in its current downward trend. The cast of characters, with interesting and unusual names, reads like a cast from a Charles Dickens’ novel, only with a futuristic leaning. There’s the similar backstreet, hidden hovels where devious plans are plotted and clandestine actions are carried out and the not-to-be-seen cast of runners to do the dirty work. The plot is woven around the ability of a group of hackers to take full control by tampering with the stock market. Using enough descriptive narrative to allow the reader to follow the progression of technological activities, the author keeps the story flowing with a considerable amount of dialogue. The scary part of this novel is how close to current reality it is: the ability of hackers to take control. A deeply thought-provoking plot, which will challenge the reader to test their position and question which side they are really supporting.

Rabia Tanveer

Grydscaen: Dark – A Cyberpunk Novel by Natsuya Uesugi is the epic battle between rich and poor. Set in a dystopian world where breathing in clean air is a luxury, the rich are getting richer and the poor are just left to survive as best as they can. Life is difficult, with drugs, desolation, and absolutely horrible living conditions. In the midst of it all, a group of hackers rises from the ashes as a modern-day Robin Hood to close the gap and bring the oppressors to their knees. It isn’t easy, especially because the government is ready to do whatever it takes to stop these hackers from getting any farther into their systems. There are hackers on both sides, but who is going to win?

This is an intriguing dystopian story for young adults and teenagers who want to read something deeper. Although this is the first novel in the series, I had no issues connecting with the characters and becoming invested in the story. I will admit, I was a little intimidated by the sheer number of characters, but having the character list in the beginning helped a lot. Rom is a powerful character; he is complex and he is a mystery that I would like to solve. Another character that caught my eye was Gryphon, who is equally mysterious and a little dark. Xander and Jaiden were also two characters that I liked, but I loved to hate them as well. The pace of the story is fast, the descriptions of the pristine city and the place where the poor lived were incredibly vivid. I enjoyed the flow of the prose. It left little to the imagination and gave me a lot to think about. This is brilliant, a little dark, a little twisted but very entertaining. Fast-paced and action-packed. I really enjoyed it!