Coding Isis, the first novel written by David Roys, is a techno-thriller set in present day Washington, D.C. Chris Sanders, framed for murdering his student, also finds himself the target of murder when this frame job doesn’t stick. Quickly sinking in over his head in his quest to answer the questions of who killed his student, and why they want him out of the way as well, we follow the age old question of: how far should we be allowed to take those things that are created out of fear?

A relaxing read, Coding Isis follows the classic murder/thriller/who-done-it style that is always worth some entertainment value. Unfortunately, there were some details of the writing that left this novel from being above average. Occasional hiccups in the pacing by the use of unnecessary common details kept me asking why they were there, distracting me from what was going on. For example: does it matter what was ordered for dinner when it has no context to the story or character development? Also, the development of the main character fell a bit short, though not so much that it really impacted the plot, only left a lingering curiosity in occasional remarks or mannerisms that were easily ignored when continuing on. A great blend between James Bond and super tech-geek was how this character is explained, but came out cumbersome on paper. Eluded to that he was once some British Intelligence officer sniper guy, it’s often hard to transition between this and the techno-super-geek he’s portrayed as at the onset of the book. Possibly just my own inability to think outside of social stereotypes, though I’d like to think this is not the case.

I definitely enjoyed the technological side to this book. As the plot is based around the use of face recognition software to hunt and neutralize terrorists, the technology was almost a main character in and of itself. The interactive glasses had me both nervous, and pausing to write Santa Clause an earlier Christmas letter. Very cool indeed. I actually found myself hoping there would be more description of these technologies.

Overall, I would say David Roys’ book was worth the few dollars I spent on it. Get it on Kindle here, for only $3.99.

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