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The Devil's Dictionary

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New York Times bestselling author Steven Kotler's follow up to Last Tango, a near-future thriller about the evolution of empathy in the tradition of William Gibson and Neal Stephenson. Hard to say when the human species fractured exactly. Harder to say when this new talent arrived. But Lion Zorn, protagonist of Last Tango, is the first of his kind--an empathy tracker, an e New York Times bestselling author Steven Kotler's follow up to Last Tango, a near-future thriller about the evolution of empathy in the tradition of William Gibson and Neal Stephenson. Hard to say when the human species fractured exactly. Harder to say when this new talent arrived. But Lion Zorn, protagonist of Last Tango, is the first of his kind--an empathy tracker, an emotional soothsayer, with a felt sense for the future of the we. In simpler terms, he can spot cultural shifts and trends before they happen. The Devil's Dictionary finds Lion Zorn enmeshed with a strange subculture: polyamorous crypto-currency fiends with a tendency toward eco-terrorism. These crypto-eco-punks have executed the largest land grab in U.S. history, buying up huge swatches of the American west to establish the world's first mega-linkage. This unbroken tract of wild lands stretching from Yellowstone to Yukon is meant to protect biodiversity and stave off the Sixth Great Extinction, but something's rotten in Eden. Instead of saving existing species, exotic creatures unlike anything seen on Earth keep turning up. Called in to track down the origin of these exotics, Lion quickly finds himself entangled in a battle for the survival of our species.


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New York Times bestselling author Steven Kotler's follow up to Last Tango, a near-future thriller about the evolution of empathy in the tradition of William Gibson and Neal Stephenson. Hard to say when the human species fractured exactly. Harder to say when this new talent arrived. But Lion Zorn, protagonist of Last Tango, is the first of his kind--an empathy tracker, an e New York Times bestselling author Steven Kotler's follow up to Last Tango, a near-future thriller about the evolution of empathy in the tradition of William Gibson and Neal Stephenson. Hard to say when the human species fractured exactly. Harder to say when this new talent arrived. But Lion Zorn, protagonist of Last Tango, is the first of his kind--an empathy tracker, an emotional soothsayer, with a felt sense for the future of the we. In simpler terms, he can spot cultural shifts and trends before they happen. The Devil's Dictionary finds Lion Zorn enmeshed with a strange subculture: polyamorous crypto-currency fiends with a tendency toward eco-terrorism. These crypto-eco-punks have executed the largest land grab in U.S. history, buying up huge swatches of the American west to establish the world's first mega-linkage. This unbroken tract of wild lands stretching from Yellowstone to Yukon is meant to protect biodiversity and stave off the Sixth Great Extinction, but something's rotten in Eden. Instead of saving existing species, exotic creatures unlike anything seen on Earth keep turning up. Called in to track down the origin of these exotics, Lion quickly finds himself entangled in a battle for the survival of our species.

30 review for The Devil's Dictionary

  1. 5 out of 5

    Montzalee Wittmann

    The Devil's Dictionary by Steven Kotler I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for letting me read this book. I really wanted to love this book. It sounded like something I could just eat up! This is a world where there people that are empaths. But not exactly what you expect. Some bond with animals. If one was near a dog then that empath and the dog would share a bond. Some empathy share with fish, birds, ect. Some can track using their empathy skills. Some empathy have gone missing and the The Devil's Dictionary by Steven Kotler I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for letting me read this book. I really wanted to love this book. It sounded like something I could just eat up! This is a world where there people that are empaths. But not exactly what you expect. Some bond with animals. If one was near a dog then that empath and the dog would share a bond. Some empathy share with fish, birds, ect. Some can track using their empathy skills. Some empathy have gone missing and the main character, Lion Zorn,(not kidding) tries to find out why. There are the Humans First group, (probably Republicans), that hate the empathy because they love animals. There is the main thing going on in this book I should have said earlier and that is lots and lots of drugs! Marijuana helps empaths abilities so they have to keep it up. There is a new drug out too called EVO that could hamper the empathy abilities. Lion is investigating this. If the book would have stayed there, it wouldn't have been so bad but it went way over the top! Like way over the top and I read lots of fantasy but it needs to be in context to the story! Here comes the robots, snow snakes, killer animals into a book that is already as meaty as chewing gum! It took everything I had to finish this book. The last third of the book was rough! I characters were flat, plot was what? I liked the idea of empaths and bonding with animals! I sure wish he would redo this, flesh it out and try again. It could be great.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    I admit I feel quite connected with this book, as with the previous one, because it's rife with all the cool SF nostalgia things that I loved while growing up. Dune references, or specifically the massive empathy drug named Sietch Tabr that got released into the wild, messing up humanity in the previous book, is just one of many cool little references. Devil's Dictionary, not only the Ambrose Bierce kind, but a nifty embedded story in this novel, in its own right, became a different kind of aweso I admit I feel quite connected with this book, as with the previous one, because it's rife with all the cool SF nostalgia things that I loved while growing up. Dune references, or specifically the massive empathy drug named Sietch Tabr that got released into the wild, messing up humanity in the previous book, is just one of many cool little references. Devil's Dictionary, not only the Ambrose Bierce kind, but a nifty embedded story in this novel, in its own right, became a different kind of awesome for me. Psychology, genetic engineering, hacking, and mystery. All of it is in here in a rather different kind of worldbuilding setup than I usually see in any modern SF. It's similar enough to entice the mainstream but honestly, I love how off the beaten path it gets, or how wild the really wild stuff is. In this case, it's the habitat. :) I really enjoyed this and I'll be totally into reading more like this.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    I'm going with two stars instead of one because I didn't read the first book in this series. Maybe I missed a lot of vital information about this world... Overall this story just wasn't for me. Thanks to NetGalley for the free book in exchange for my honest review. I'm going with two stars instead of one because I didn't read the first book in this series. Maybe I missed a lot of vital information about this world... Overall this story just wasn't for me. Thanks to NetGalley for the free book in exchange for my honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    The SciFi Book Guy

    So yeah, our main man is this empathy tracker Lion Zorn. As an em-tracker his brain is essentially rewired with his sense of empathy totally cranked up. It also helps him predict future trends and be a human lie-detector. Best part is that weed helps his hone his abilities, so dude smokes a ton of weed in this book. But like, he’s totally right in doing so. Weed helps me write book reviews. I’m smoking a huge fatty right now and this review is fucking great. I’m smoking a huge fatty right now an So yeah, our main man is this empathy tracker Lion Zorn. As an em-tracker his brain is essentially rewired with his sense of empathy totally cranked up. It also helps him predict future trends and be a human lie-detector. Best part is that weed helps his hone his abilities, so dude smokes a ton of weed in this book. But like, he’s totally right in doing so. Weed helps me write book reviews. I’m smoking a huge fatty right now and this review is fucking great. I’m smoking a huge fatty right now and this review is fucking great… Wait, did I write that twice? Are my subconscious thoughts streaming directly onto the screen? Oh man… This is getting weird… I need to take a break. **A bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and two ice cream sandwiches later** Ok, I’m back, sorry about that. Lion Zorn is full of shit. Anyways, so this world is fractured due to this drug called Sietch Tabr which cranks up the user’s empathy but also creates a sort of cross-species hive mind. So you’re tripping balls and you can feel what your dog is feeling and your dog feels what you feel. After that experience you’re bonded with this group of animals. Pretty kumbaya shit here, but this “empathy for all” divided the world into groups of those who bond with birds, dogs, fish, and the human first movement. This drug would be so rad though. I’d go find a grizzly bear and trip with it and then I’d be best bros with all the grizzlies. Although, I’d probably stumble on a root trying to get close to the bear and end up bonding with an earthworm or something lame. Dry out on the sidewalk after a big rain, dude, that would suck. Grizzlies! Then there’s this new drug on the market called Evo which makes you trip the evolution of the life. It’s a huge draw to em-trackers due to their connection with the planet and whatnot. A couple of Lion’s em-tracker buddies go missing after finding Evo, so Lion’s like fuck this laying low shit, I’m going to go track down and save my friends. The game is on feet, dudes! Lion’s hopping around the world chasing clues, getting Clockwork Orange tortured, and pretty much getting his ass kicked. He eventually connects with his old Moldovan hacker buddy and they end up at the Pacific-Rim Mega-Linkage. With this increased “Empathy for all” huge swathes of land are being turned into nature preserves to preserve the ecology and save vulnerable species. But that’s where shit gets crazy as there’s these people dying at this ski resort there from snake bites. Now, I’m no Jenn Goodall, but even I know that there aren’t killer snakes up in the snowy mountains. I most definitely wouldn’t be shredding the gnar if there were killer snakes up there bro. But yeah, his search for his friends becomes this wild dive into genetic engineering, ecology, neuroscience, and some pretty deep philosophical questions if you want to go there. Do we as humans come first or should we strive for balance in our ecosystem? Should we be playing god with genetics with ourselves and animals? Should I smoke another joint after my last episode? Maybe? Anyways, this techno-thriller was a blast though. The tech seems just ahead of what we currently have so it’s entirely plausible that we could see some of this in our near future. The characters may be a little over the top, but whatever, it’s drugs, killer animals, future guns, and robots. Fuck yeah, sign me up! Anyways, that’s about all I got. Adios amigos! Oh wait, check out my rad site for more content like this: The SciFi Book Guy

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ana Horne

    Steven Kotler put a lot of wild information into this book. You should read it twice to get the full effect of the storylines. The author weaves a spiderweb of tales intricately intermingling as they lead you through Lion Zorn’s mission to rescue his missing friends, Kendra and Ibrahim. It truly does take reading it twice to fully appreciate everything he masterfully writes. The foundation of these storylines begins with a drug named Sietch Tabr that entered the Pharma market as a cure for Autis Steven Kotler put a lot of wild information into this book. You should read it twice to get the full effect of the storylines. The author weaves a spiderweb of tales intricately intermingling as they lead you through Lion Zorn’s mission to rescue his missing friends, Kendra and Ibrahim. It truly does take reading it twice to fully appreciate everything he masterfully writes. The foundation of these storylines begins with a drug named Sietch Tabr that entered the Pharma market as a cure for Autism. It had a psychedelic effect on anyone who used the drug. People who used the drug developed an extremely acute sense of empathy for life, all life, on planet earth. There were many that formed heightened empathic abilities allowing them to emotionally connect with various other species and use that connection to communicate with those animals. Poly tribes were formed by people who shared empathic abilities with the same species. There were some among them, like Lion, that could use their empathy as a talent to track cultural shifts before they happen. As with any cultural change, animosity arose between the different types of humans, superior ideologies drove the founding of anti-empathy activist groups, and the division of humanity. Those who did not have heightened empathy wanted to oppress or destroy those who did. Even within the empathy enhanced humans, there was division in terms of 'we can connect to this animal’ versus ‘yes well we can connect to this animal’ egos that just undermined the concept of ‘empathy for all’ that Lion Zorn coined when he outed Sietch Tabr publicly for its incredible side effect. This break in humanity was labelled “The Splinter” and many blame Lion for it. The cultural war between groups like Humans First and the poly tribes is another encaptivating storyline in this book. The main storyline in this book is the rising disappearances of em-trackers like Lion’s friends Kendra and Ibrahim. They all appear to be tied to this new drug that makes you trip evolution. Aptly named EVO, this drug has a bad effect on em-trackers sense of empathy. Inhibiting their em-tracking talents for a time. The deeper Lion goes into the depths of the underworld to track down EVO dealers in hopes of finding his friends, the more daunting the conspiracy behind the drug becomes. Enemies have become allies and nothing is what they appear to be. In the end what he unveils has the potential to turn the world upside down all over again.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Fraser Simons

    Lion Zorn is an empathy tracker. Think Will Graham from Hannibal, only more focused on moods and macro, cultural patterns. We come off the last book, in which Zorn has leaked details of a drug that more-or-less unearths or allows for more people like him to bond with animals, heighten their empathy, generally. I didn’t actually expect the continuation of that book, because that’s quite an order. Happily, this book maintains the things that worked about the first book and adds a healthy dose of i Lion Zorn is an empathy tracker. Think Will Graham from Hannibal, only more focused on moods and macro, cultural patterns. We come off the last book, in which Zorn has leaked details of a drug that more-or-less unearths or allows for more people like him to bond with animals, heighten their empathy, generally. I didn’t actually expect the continuation of that book, because that’s quite an order. Happily, this book maintains the things that worked about the first book and adds a healthy dose of interesting speculative science into a fast-paced cyberpunk thriller model. It’s still fairly gonzo and steeped in pop culture references, and it’s again a mystery formulated in such a way as the reader would never figure it out on their own, I think. But I like those things about it. It’s chaotic, Zorn is masculine but not alpha male or archetypical. He makes mistakes. His core is literally about being empathic. He’s played more often than he’s the mover and shaker. He isn’t always trying to get laid. Conflicts are resolved usually in atypical ways. And there’s a diverse cast that’s pretty well fleshed out, fairly diverse in terms of representation, and often are at odds with Zorn. Sometimes for reasons he’s completely unaware of. Really, I think the holdup readers will have is the core conceit around empathy and the play against type/trope this book does while being a cyberpunk book. Readers of the subgenre are, to my mind, notorious in their subjective definitions of what a CP story is and ought to be. Usually people like realism in their CP. So do I, and this still won me over; twice now. The em-tracking is a novel concept and it’s not used as a magic marker that constantly works to his advantage. Most of the time it’s a disadvantage having empathy when others do not. Especially when they know how to use that knowledge like a weapon. As long as readers can roll with the quirky arrangement of cyberpunk, action thriller tropes and subversions, there’s plenty of love about this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    AndiReads

    What a crazy ride this book is. This book will make you laugh, cringe and think- sometimes all at the same time! The Devil's Dictionary is the successor to Steven Kotler's The Last Tango. I have not yet read TLT but was able to enjoy TDD as a stand alone. In TDD, "em-tracking" are empaths, emotional "soothsayers" that bond with animals or others. Lion Zorn is an unusual em-tracker in that he can feel the future - shifts and trends before they begin. Em-trackers are disappearing and Lion is hired t What a crazy ride this book is. This book will make you laugh, cringe and think- sometimes all at the same time! The Devil's Dictionary is the successor to Steven Kotler's The Last Tango. I have not yet read TLT but was able to enjoy TDD as a stand alone. In TDD, "em-tracking" are empaths, emotional "soothsayers" that bond with animals or others. Lion Zorn is an unusual em-tracker in that he can feel the future - shifts and trends before they begin. Em-trackers are disappearing and Lion is hired to track them down while tied investigating a new drug (EVO) that seem to the ability to utilize empathy to connect and track. This is cyberpunk at it's best and includes hot topics of neuroscience, technology, and environmental rights. I read the this world is imagined to be not too far in our future and I can see the similarities. This book is not for the faint-hearted - there are many, many characters and balls in the air. Lots to follow but also lots to learn. If you enjoy cyberpunk, cutting edge syfy or just want to see if an interesting male character (with feelings!) can save the world, pick up #TheDevilsDictionary #stmartinspress #netgalley #netgalleyreads

  8. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Ball

    Can't wait for this. I'll read anything by Steven. Can't wait for this. I'll read anything by Steven.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Soph the Oaf

    Expectations: sky-high. Reality: meh. I didn't really have that many specific problems with this book, but there was something about the characters that just... fell flat. In order to enjoy a book, you have to get attached to the characters and actually care what happens to them. These characters lacked that pull. Also, I had a problem with the casual drug use in this book. I'm fine with reading about heavy drug use by minor characters, or occasional (or past) drug use by major characters when ther Expectations: sky-high. Reality: meh. I didn't really have that many specific problems with this book, but there was something about the characters that just... fell flat. In order to enjoy a book, you have to get attached to the characters and actually care what happens to them. These characters lacked that pull. Also, I had a problem with the casual drug use in this book. I'm fine with reading about heavy drug use by minor characters, or occasional (or past) drug use by major characters when there's some kind of explanation (like grief, medical necessity, addiction, or a certain situation that requires it). But what I'm not fine with is normalized, recreational drug use by the main character who's a mature adult who should know better.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Billie

    The Devil's Dictionary by Steven Kotler Science Fiction Futuristic Detective NetGalley ARC Set in the 'near' future where because of a drug some people now feel extreme empathy with animals and Lion Zorn is a detective, after giving up his journalism career because he made the effects of the drug public. I guess all of this info was in the first book of a series, which was not emphasized in the blurb, which sounded so so interesting btw. When I see the words 'follow' up, I think it is the author's 2 The Devil's Dictionary by Steven Kotler Science Fiction Futuristic Detective NetGalley ARC Set in the 'near' future where because of a drug some people now feel extreme empathy with animals and Lion Zorn is a detective, after giving up his journalism career because he made the effects of the drug public. I guess all of this info was in the first book of a series, which was not emphasized in the blurb, which sounded so so interesting btw. When I see the words 'follow' up, I think it is the author's 2nd attempt at a bestseller. Books tend to lose a star when the blurb does not announce that it's a part of a series, or hide that info in 'reviews' or other words in bold type because I ignore those. I want to know what the story is about so I read the blurb, not the ads. I only got to 30%. There's no devil, no dictionary, no animals except humans, so the blurb and the place I got to in the story didn't really match all too well, so there went another star. But since I'm not finishing... Maybe the interesting parts of the story that have to do with animals and exotic creatures the blurb refers to are farther into the book, but there was nothing in the 30% I read to get me to care about the MC, let alone the mystery because what I did read was all about him and some missing people. Maybe if I had read the first book, I would care about the MC and his story. The blurb still sounds interesting, and a part of me wants to flip through the pages just to see IF the story gets any better, but it should have done that within the first 10% of the story. WNF 0 Stars

  11. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    It took me a while to get into the book, and I blame that on not having read the first book. This is a very different world with empaths, some of who can bond with animals or even plants. There is genetic engineering to create new animals, plus new forms of transportation, communication, and so on. Lion Zorn is an em-tracker, who can also predict future trends. This is his story. Some empaths have gone missing and he is trying to find one couple who mentioned a new drug called EVO and then went It took me a while to get into the book, and I blame that on not having read the first book. This is a very different world with empaths, some of who can bond with animals or even plants. There is genetic engineering to create new animals, plus new forms of transportation, communication, and so on. Lion Zorn is an em-tracker, who can also predict future trends. This is his story. Some empaths have gone missing and he is trying to find one couple who mentioned a new drug called EVO and then went missing. His life becomes one mystery after another, and his search leads him in unexpected directions. I liked that this was a true science fiction story, plus the idea of the empaths, and the struggle between those with empath abilities and those without, and the scientific experiments. And Lion’s ability to communicate and bond with animals was fun, however, I struggled with characters that I barely cared about. I went back and read the book a second time and actually enjoyed it more the second time around. I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley, this is my honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    D.K. Spencer

    Received as Goodreads Giveaway, Hardback edition. The Devil’s Dictionary, by Steven Kotler is a well-paced, mystery thriller involving a cast of characters over several geographic localities. The mystery begins with an unexplained torture-by-taxidermy of alleged and famous “empath detective” Lion; the mysterious death of his associate empaths; and the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend, Penelope. Incorporating the high concept of ecological “Mega Links”, the thriller mixes in killer-robot polar b Received as Goodreads Giveaway, Hardback edition. The Devil’s Dictionary, by Steven Kotler is a well-paced, mystery thriller involving a cast of characters over several geographic localities. The mystery begins with an unexplained torture-by-taxidermy of alleged and famous “empath detective” Lion; the mysterious death of his associate empaths; and the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend, Penelope. Incorporating the high concept of ecological “Mega Links”, the thriller mixes in killer-robot polar bears, friendly hyenas, and possibly gene spliced venomous snakes. And that doesn’t even cover it. Searching for clues, Lion bounds from scene to scene, coincidentally running into people he knows, finding answers to the bigger mystery involving a billionaire villain who's behind a plot to manipulate animals for evil (anti-human) ends. As the reader, we really don’t know where the story is headed. The plot rolls-out scene by scene all the way to the end. The dystopian, blade-runneresque beginning starts with Lion’s torture but he doesn’t understand the motive and neither do we. His missing ex-girlfriend, who may or may not be dead might have answers that encompasses bigger mysteries surrounding the ecological “Mega Links” and The Devil’s Dictionary. (An AI program that can genetically splice any combinations of genes, capable of creating Frankenstein animals possibly ending human life on the planet.) But the story doesn’t go there. Instead it stays within the confines of Lion’s search for clues to find the woman he likely doesn’t realize, he loves. In fact, this would be a love story, had it illuminated the relationship between Lion and Penelope, but it chooses not to go there either. The imagery is vivid and much of it is homage to familiar classics like Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’s futuristic anomalous cars and dystopian urban scenes; Clockwork Orange’s creepy eye clamps, and the drug fueled antics of Living and Loathing in Los Vegas, to name a few. Yeah, there are lots of illicit drugs in the first few chapters, so if that’s a hard pill to swallow, then this isn’t your story. :) We follow Lion from London to Los Angeles to Seattle to Lake Tahoe to New York, picking up clues and characters along the way. But somewhere between Seattle and Nevada, the story loses it’s blade runner vibe, vanishing completely, never to revive. The mountains of Tahoe are completely devoid of people apart from the core actors. The gritty, urban, dystopian scenery of before is now covered with a blanket of white, flying-snake-egg-hatching snow. The plot felt a little pushed at times, where I was left wondering how all the loose ends would come together. I was asking questions at the wrong time rather than having the story build in suspense. But even so, as the story moved along, I quit asking questions and just went along for the ride. And at times the plot felt a bit too convenient. While in London, Lion tracks a rare camera (that was used to document his torture) to a rental company in LA where he finds Carlos, a repair clerk who “happens to be the nephew of a high end jeweler that Lion knows in new York”. It isn’t until later that we learn the vintage camera is really rare; there are only six. So it feels a bit too convenient that this one rental company would deliver a camera transcontinental overseas to London. Coincidences do happen but it feels like there are too many. The most important relationship on display is between protagonist, Lion and antagonist Jenka since this produces the most dialogue throughout the story. It’s Jenka’s accent that helps to make these characters so prominent. Speaking in stilted and stopped sentences, it’s easy for the reader to fill-in the voice. There are no connector or helper words. But because this works so well when it is working, it’s also glaring when the language falters. This is really nit-picky, but here are some examples where the (fake) Moldavian accent could be more consistent: Jenka p. 107 “Two tunnels. One is a local habitat corridor. The second is a regional corridor … Also … There is a bar for skiers near the entrance … Ten days ago, that bar was last place anyone saw (see) her… Under sunny skies communication is shaky, In storm? … When she (not) didn’t check in …” Jenka, a Moldavian fixer (this is as much as we will learn) is either saving Lion, informing him about something important, or ushering Lion from one adventure to the next. Their chemistry is funny, in part for Jenka’s dry Moldavian sense of humor and his lack of tolerance, that contrasts with Lion’s go-along-to-get-along good nature, who in return barely tolerates Jenka. Many of characters are one-off. Their only mission is to kick the plot down the road. And sometimes the plot is missing altogether. Lion is off collecting clues, but the clues don’t really help the reader stay engaged. At time the clues feel more like devices. But nonetheless, this isn’t a deal breaker. While I have not read Kolter’s first book, Last Tango in Cyberspace, the jacket review mentions Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Philip K. Dick, Octavia Butler, and Robert J. Sawyer, so it might be valid to expect The Devil’s Dictionary to be similar. And though I searched, I couldn’t find Dirk nor PKD anywhere. That’s fine, they don’t have to be here. It just piques my interest to find out what's in the first book. Not finding them wouldn't dissuade me from reading The Devil’s Dictionary. While the book references influences like Richard Manning, Dr. Michael Mannino, and Dr. Andrew Hessel by name, other influences are only hinted at through association. Early on the book name drops the Long Now Foundation and mentions rewilding, referring to the term Mega-Linkage. Not being familiar with rewilding nor the concept of mega linkages, I turned to the internet to discover that Steve Forman, cofounder of Earth First, had coined the word rewilding and after leaving Earth First, founded the Rewilding Institute. In addition, Stewart Brand who wrote the Whole Earth Catalog made famous in the 1970’s, cofounded The Long Now Foundation. So it could be said that the foundation for The Devil’s Dictionary was built from works by Aldo Leopold's, Sand County Almanac, and Edward Abbey's, The Monkey Wrench Gang,. Authors that certainly Steve Forman and Stewart Brand would be intimately familiar. I would have found it helpful to have this connection more direct within the story, rather than let it be found. It would have helped reinforce and provide the link to the real-life founders of ecological movements, both past and present. Throughout the book, Sir Richard is mentioned as one of the main characters (though he plays a minor role, often appearing as a small hologram) and I forever see him as Sir Richard Branson. The book doesn’t directly allude to this coincidence, so maybe there is nothing there. As far as I can determine, Sir Richard Branson has not been significantly involved in ecological issues beyond the larger issue of Climate Change. So maybe this is a loose homage, however I found the use of his name distracting beyond madness. Though Lion is a famous empath there is very little in the way of him illustrating his powers. There are some mentions, but no real demonstrations aside from him interrelating with a parrot, some hyenas, and a failed attempt on three robot polar bears. Which leads to one last point, the title. As it turns out, The Devil’s Dictionary is a computer program designed to calculate infinite arrays of genes for genetic splicing. It is merely mentioned halfway through, but we never see it in action. Only toward the end do we meet evil billionaire Chang Zee, to understand his motivation and use of the technology, but there are no armies of Frankenstein animals as I had hoped to find. Invariably, the title wasn't about the book I'd just read. The book was telling a much larger story. The story is a great escape for those looking to devour a good book and dive into a world of mystery, trusting it will all get tied up in the end. And it does tie up some of the characters who remain missing up until the last few chapters. Though the real meat of the message is saved for the end, where Richard Manning pontificates over two lengthy paragraphs on humans' impact on the biome, and how we're ruining the planet by consuming more than our share. And though I agree with the sentiment, the ending felt cold and out of place. The fun parts had run out, leaving only a harsh message about our predicament, one that most everyone I suspect, is already tragically and woefully aware.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Arlene

    This book is a delight - a second book in a series that I didn't feel like I was missing major chunks of the story. The story covers many areas that seem to be in the news quite a bit now: ecology, global warming, relationships, reactions to those that are different from us, as well as what happens when people take views that don't allow much overlap with others. Set in many spots in an altered world, this looks at not only what some changes proposed might look like, both internally and externall This book is a delight - a second book in a series that I didn't feel like I was missing major chunks of the story. The story covers many areas that seem to be in the news quite a bit now: ecology, global warming, relationships, reactions to those that are different from us, as well as what happens when people take views that don't allow much overlap with others. Set in many spots in an altered world, this looks at not only what some changes proposed might look like, both internally and externally. There are references to many current news stories - which may serve to either date or delight readers in the future. And there is enough mystery to keep you reading. This is a proper science fiction book - there is enough science behind the words that it rings true.

  14. 4 out of 5

    TINA

    (ARC read) I really wanted to love this, but ended up being a dnf for now. I might pick it back up but this was so hard to get into for some reason. Maybe another time will be different and I'm not opposed to giving it another shot, but with all the books ok my tbr I just don't see myself doing it anytime soon. Characters lacked depth and I just didn't vibe with anything in this. 2⭐ (ARC read) I really wanted to love this, but ended up being a dnf for now. I might pick it back up but this was so hard to get into for some reason. Maybe another time will be different and I'm not opposed to giving it another shot, but with all the books ok my tbr I just don't see myself doing it anytime soon. Characters lacked depth and I just didn't vibe with anything in this. 2⭐

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    My thanks to both NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an advanced copy of this science fiction novel. Writing about the near future has to be much harder than writing about say the twenty- third century or something close. An author can make grand pronouncements such as everyone will travel by atomic jet packs and the sun will be wrapped in tinfoil like solar collectors to power the giant amusement park that is the Moon. No one will be around to go, you that one wrong, buddy. Writing about say t My thanks to both NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an advanced copy of this science fiction novel. Writing about the near future has to be much harder than writing about say the twenty- third century or something close. An author can make grand pronouncements such as everyone will travel by atomic jet packs and the sun will be wrapped in tinfoil like solar collectors to power the giant amusement park that is the Moon. No one will be around to go, you that one wrong, buddy. Writing about say twenty minutes or past that into the future, that is harder. Bitcoin as viable currency, I have a Larry David Super Bowl ad that says that ship might have sailed. Flying motorcycles, well we have been promised Jetson cars for a long time what else you got. Robotic polar bears being used to guard political prisoners and hostages, hmm tell me more. Steven Kotler in his book The Devil's Dictionary, a sequel to the book Last Tango in Cyberspace, has amazing ideas and a great story set in the near future of our world, that is exciting and fun to read. Lion Zorn is an empath tracker, able to spot trends and cultural shifts before they happen, sometime in the near future. Due to events in the previous book, Zorn is laying as low as he can, in a new world he might have helped create, when he is asked by two fellow empath trackers to investigate a new drug Evo, that is effecting people in odd ways. Zorn finds himself captured, tortured, and let go, for reasons he can't figure out or see. At the same time he is finds himself looking for a close friend, who has suddenly disappeared, and into an investigation that might change the world even more, not in a good way. The book is everything good science fiction should be exciting, thoughtful, hopeful for the future, but knowing that humans will probably mess it up. A lot of what is going on is based on current thinking and studies, and the reader might go on tangents looking up names and theories, to see what is real and what is not. Lion Zorn is an interesting character with a lot of potential and I like that more is slowly being revealed about him. The ancillary characters are well written with plenty of backstory to draw on, and their motivations seem like a surprise to themselves as it is to us when they do things. The narrative never really slows, and while somethings seem to happen without much explanation, the plot is still intriguing and moves well, carrying the reader along. Definitely for fans of William Gibson, Bruce Sterling or Neal Stephenson. Readers who played or play the role-playing game Shadowrun will enjoy this too. The future is bright, but still filled with humans who are as cowardly and suspicious as many superheroes call them. Steven Kotler has quite a few nonfiction books that I am going to have to check out, but I really can't wait for more adventures of Lion Zorn.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tessa Talks Books

    What's it about (in a nutshell): Lion Zorn is back, after quite a few years, and he is embroiled in a new case - that of missing people: two fellow em-trackers and his on-again, off-again significant other, Penelope. The Devil's Dictionary is a fast-paced sci-fi crime thriller that takes the reader on a futuristic ride of unbelievable proportions. What I Enjoyed: I loved that the issues I had with book 1 of this series (Last Tango in Cyberspace) did not exist in book 2. The story gave me a reading What's it about (in a nutshell): Lion Zorn is back, after quite a few years, and he is embroiled in a new case - that of missing people: two fellow em-trackers and his on-again, off-again significant other, Penelope. The Devil's Dictionary is a fast-paced sci-fi crime thriller that takes the reader on a futuristic ride of unbelievable proportions. What I Enjoyed: I loved that the issues I had with book 1 of this series (Last Tango in Cyberspace) did not exist in book 2. The story gave me a reading experience that lived up to the premise's potential. The unfamiliar concepts are explained thoroughly and in a manner that I can understand. The writing is clear and concise, and the plot stays tightly focused, keeping the pace as quick as I expect from a thriller. I both loved and was horrified at the genetic manipulation experiments on animals to make them more deadly and others to turn carnivores into herbivores. I found the ideas behind both changes fascinating, and the results added to the thrills in profound ways. The mega-linkage areas that I would equate with biospheres (incorrectly or correctly – that was my takeaway). In a technologically-driven world, natural areas are a nice change of pace until someone decides to add those genetically altered animals to it. But, not to worry, Lion Zorn is on the case. I also loved that some of the characters from the first book are brought back in this story. This adds to the familiarity and development of those characters, giving a little more insight into what makes them tick. The continuity also worked to help me to be pulled into this world. That being said, I would say that you probably need to read book 1, The Last Tango in Cyberspace, before reading this book. As a crime thriller, the story can stand alone. Still, the SciFi aspects require both books to fully understand the characters, dynamics, and futuristic elements that are the base of this series. Characters: Lion Zorn is the main character and 1st person narrator of this dark and gritty tale. He is every inch an introvert and has found that though he quit his job as an investigative journalist, he can not leave his innate need to find answers. This gets him in loads of trouble, but you must admire his excellent investigative skills. Penelope, Lion's on-again-off-again significant other, is feisty and fiery and everything that I find fun in a character. I love her ability to get to the truth and take care of herself in a fight. She adds interest and flair to the story for me. What I Wish: I wish that the first book had been as easy to read as this book is. To Read or Not to Read: If you love a complex mystery and futuristic predictions, The Devil's Dictionary is a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat and then push you off when you least expect it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    *I received an audio ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.* 2.5 Wow, I have very mixed feelings about this book. To start, this is definitely a sequel to Last Tango in Cyberspace, though without having read the first book it did seem that they filled in enough of the previous plot that I wasn't confused, just more detached from certain character relationships than I might have otherwise been. Lion Zorn is an empathy tracker, which basically means that his sense of empathy is off the *I received an audio ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.* 2.5 Wow, I have very mixed feelings about this book. To start, this is definitely a sequel to Last Tango in Cyberspace, though without having read the first book it did seem that they filled in enough of the previous plot that I wasn't confused, just more detached from certain character relationships than I might have otherwise been. Lion Zorn is an empathy tracker, which basically means that his sense of empathy is off the charts which allows him to communicate with dogs (other empaths imprint on whichever animal was closest to them during their inciting event) and that he can sense patterns in cultural shifts. I think. To be honest, there was just a lot going on here and it was near future enough that some of our current technology was still relevant but in their version of the future it's meaning or use was just different enough to be sort of confusing, especially with the amount of pop culture references. Like the empathy drug is called Sietch Tabr and in the book they talk about how it got its name and there is a man called Muad'Dib and the author specifically calls out that it's all from Frank Herbert's Dune. Also there is a joke used at least twice where Siri (or an equivalent) is explaining a concept when the user says "oh nevermind" and then Siri goes on to say something like "Nevermind is an album by American punk band Nirvana". And there is a character that inexplicably only speaks in quotes from the movie All the President's Men? All that to say, there got to be a point where the pop culture references became too much for me. That being said, I liked a lot of the concepts explored here. There's talk about environmental exploitation and human nature and consumption under capitalism and genetic engineering and a whole host of other things. There was even a scene where Lion was in Seattle and they talk about how it became the first privatized city and had been broken up into the Amazon, Starbucks, Microsoft, etc. zones and there was a protest/homeless encampment of sorts on the Space Needle, and given the current state of Seattle it seemed eerily prescient. Lastly, as I did receive an advanced audio copy, I will call out how excellent I found Ryan Vincent Anderson's narration. I don't believe I've listened to a book he has narrated before, but I will definitely be looking out for his next work.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This book has an amazing concept and solid world building. Problem is, there is also A LOT of world, a lot of characters, and a lot of twists and turns. So although I enjoyed this story overall, I felt at times that it took some effort to keep everything straight, and that kept me from fully enjoying the read. Also, not that it matters, but I think the title and cover don't do this book any favors. The title makes it sound like a supernatural story, when it is very firmly planted in Sci-Fi, and This book has an amazing concept and solid world building. Problem is, there is also A LOT of world, a lot of characters, and a lot of twists and turns. So although I enjoyed this story overall, I felt at times that it took some effort to keep everything straight, and that kept me from fully enjoying the read. Also, not that it matters, but I think the title and cover don't do this book any favors. The title makes it sound like a supernatural story, when it is very firmly planted in Sci-Fi, and the wolf image just makes no damn sense. (Shouldn't that be a different animal--like say one many species that appear throughout the book, particularly in the final 1/4?) On the plus side though, I thought the idea of em-trackers and the evolution of drugs to create empathetic connections across humanity AND other species to be brilliant. (I enjoyed that I read this book after Blake Crouch's latest which ends by wondering if such a future could be possible.) And I thought the concept of the Splinter made sense, as well as the amalgamation of different languages and cultures. I would have dug even more exploration of that world. The characters were all well developed, even thought there were so damn many of them. Lion was a decent hero, but he didn't hold a candle to more colorful characters like Jenka (who I loooooved) and Barry the "almost rabbi." I felt like the book really picked up steam in its final 1/3 when Lion and his gang of heroes were off to fight the "Big Bad." That was the point at which the cast of characters and the focus of the story narrows and it was easier to become absorbed in the plot. Sometimes I want to say to a book, "stop dancing around and let me love you"--like the author is throwing everything at the wall, and it's annoying me because I already dig the premise, characters, and basic plot and would be more than happy to go along for the ride based on those factors alone. No bells and whistles needed. I'm sold. I think that was part of my problem with this book and its killer snakes, fish with camera eyes, suicidal Chinese girls, and robot carnivores. While those elements were undoubtedly interesting, at times they made the plot seem a little messy and didn't necessarily feel in service to the word-building or the plot. The made the book memorable, at the expense of making it feel cohesive. But that's just my two cents. Thanks to the author and NetGalley for granting me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    Review of Uncorrected Digital Galley Once, Lion Zorn was a journalist, but that was a lifetime ago, before his talents led him to become an empathy tracker. Appearing early in the twenty-first century, the talent evolved following significant rewiring in the brain resulting in acute sensitivity, rapid pattern recognition, and hyper-mirror neuron activity, all working together to create an augmented sense of empathy. But the introduction of Sietch Tabr for autism had some psychedelic side effects, Review of Uncorrected Digital Galley Once, Lion Zorn was a journalist, but that was a lifetime ago, before his talents led him to become an empathy tracker. Appearing early in the twenty-first century, the talent evolved following significant rewiring in the brain resulting in acute sensitivity, rapid pattern recognition, and hyper-mirror neuron activity, all working together to create an augmented sense of empathy. But the introduction of Sietch Tabr for autism had some psychedelic side effects, making the user one with animals as a result of its ability to alter both emotions and pheromones. Or, as Lion put it, “empathy for all.” Lion had made use of his journalistic skills to tell the world about Sietch Tabr; now there’s a new drug, known as Evolution. Sietch Tabr, with its cross-species empathy, had caused the Splinter; now the seldom-appearing Evo is creating dangers for the em-trackers. Lion’s search for the Evo leads him to London, to Ramen; unfortunately, this leads him to Sharijee and the Rasta-biker bar called Defenestration. He’s hoping to find Kendra and Ibrahim, who vanished after telling him about an Evo party in London some six weeks earlier. But as Lion investigates, what he discovers may change everything . . . again. ========= Second in a series, following “Last Tango in Cyberspace,” this book picks up the story of the empath tracker Judah [Lion] Zorn, now in search of the dangerous drug, Evo. [Readers, consider yourselves forewarned, there’s a LOT of drug use in the telling of this tale.] The setting remains in the near future; Lion Zorn remains the central character in the telling of the tale. The unfolding story pulls readers into the search for Lion’s missing friends; the land-grab for the mega-linkage to protect biodiversity is not what it appears to be, leading to an unexpected battle. If for no other reason than unexpectedness, the plot keeps twisting and keeps readers guessing. References to current issues . . . relationships, insular thinking, ecology, climate change . . . help to keep things relevant for readers, even in this science fiction world of the not-to-distant future. Recommended. I received a free copy of this eBook from St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley #TheDevilsDictionary #NetGalley

  20. 4 out of 5

    Liz (Quirky Cat)

    3 1/2 stars rounded up. I've been picking up a lot of authors that I've never read before, so why not keep the trend going? The Devil's Dictionary, written by Steven Kotler, is the first I've read by this author – though I can already tell that I enjoy his style. Many experts have theorized that humanity will fracture sometime in the future. That is exactly what is happening here, as the world struggles to adjust to new abilities and talents. Lion Zorn is what some would call an emotional sooths 3 1/2 stars rounded up. I've been picking up a lot of authors that I've never read before, so why not keep the trend going? The Devil's Dictionary, written by Steven Kotler, is the first I've read by this author – though I can already tell that I enjoy his style. Many experts have theorized that humanity will fracture sometime in the future. That is exactly what is happening here, as the world struggles to adjust to new abilities and talents. Lion Zorn is what some would call an emotional soothsayer. He can detect things that no other being can. His gifts, and the need to understand, pulls Lion Zorn into a culture like no other. Trapped in this battle, he will travel to America, hoping to find a way to save the rest of his species before it is too late. I'll admit it: I have a weak spot for science fiction/dystopia that leaves room for empaths and the like. It adds a human element that many stories can overlook (not always, mind you). So I was excited to pick up The Devil's Dictionary. In this instance, empathy is the story's focal point, the world. All of it. Or maybe I should be saying it's the lack of empathy that's a focal point? What I'm trying to say is that people have turned pretty rotten, forcing one empath to step up and try and do something about it. Like I said, interesting premise. There's a lot that happens in this book, throwing the main character from one place to the next. Honestly, there were times when it got a bit busy (there were lots of adventures, including robots and wild creatures). Part of the problem here is that I made a huge mistake: I didn't realize this was a sequel until it was too late. By then, I was invested, and my stubborn butt wasn't turning around. I'm sure I missed some critical worldbuilding details there. So, don't be like me – read Last Tango first. I think you'll appreciate Lion Zorn's character more that way. Thanks to StMartinsPress and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own. Read more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Kotler depicts a near-future world which is mostly recognizable, but with one major difference. Humanity has divided itself into two camps: people with enhanced empathy abilities (they can read emotional states in humans, and bond with animals) called em-trackers; and a Humanity First movement that is opposed to any changes in empathy. Lion Zorn, the first known em-tracker, is also a journalist. He inadvertently created the em-tracker motto "Empathy For All," which makes him a hero to some and a Kotler depicts a near-future world which is mostly recognizable, but with one major difference. Humanity has divided itself into two camps: people with enhanced empathy abilities (they can read emotional states in humans, and bond with animals) called em-trackers; and a Humanity First movement that is opposed to any changes in empathy. Lion Zorn, the first known em-tracker, is also a journalist. He inadvertently created the em-tracker motto "Empathy For All," which makes him a hero to some and a hated villain to others. Lion has a routine em-tracking job go wrong. After being tortured he discovers that em-trackers have started to go missing. Seeking two lost friends, he follows a lead to a reclusive em-tracker living in an empath settlement. When a group of protesters violently attack, Lion must make a sudden escape, and heads for his next clue. This leads him to the world’s first mega-linkage, a continent-wide national park advertised as the best way to stave off environmental collapse. He is there because a friend apparently disappeared there, but in the process he encounters deadly mutated animals. Someone is trying to "improve" animal species, not just conserve them. Caught up in a war between two mega rich entrepreneurs with conflicting ideas about the future of humanity, Lion and his unlikely allies (a colorful collection of characters, for sure) may have to fight for humanity's very survival. The action and intrigue ramp up all the way through to the dramatic climax, with a few mysteries left over for the closing section. Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced reader's copy.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Adriana

    This one is a full-throttle roller coaster ride of conspiracies, secrets, and one man trying to stop very bad people from doing very bad things. It also contains a plot that constantly made me pause and think about the motivations and situations behind the story. It's a little bit all over the place when it comes to pacing, but it's like Kotler is giving readers a chance to take a deep breath before dropping us into increasingly intense situations. And it's not just that the things happening sou This one is a full-throttle roller coaster ride of conspiracies, secrets, and one man trying to stop very bad people from doing very bad things. It also contains a plot that constantly made me pause and think about the motivations and situations behind the story. It's a little bit all over the place when it comes to pacing, but it's like Kotler is giving readers a chance to take a deep breath before dropping us into increasingly intense situations. And it's not just that the things happening sound like things that could easily happen in today's world dressed up in science fiction costumes and are therefore all the more unnerving, it's that they're written in such a way that even the more out-there situations sound like things that could potentially really happen. I also really appreciate that Kotler trusts the reader's intelliegence and lets us do some of the work to figure out the world and the people in it without having to spell everything out. Lion Zorn is a complicated character living in a crazy, divided world that feels as strange as it does familiar. And that's a big part of why it was possible to dive into the character and the story he was telling, you have to figure out the character and understand him a little at a time as the story progresses. I liked that. Very happy thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the pulse-pounding read!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    "The Devil's Dictionary" is Steven Kotler's second in the series following Lion Zorn, an empathy tracker that is out to solve a mystery involving missing acquaintances amidst a politico-eco-revolution that has some of its origins from book one. There is A LOT going on in this book, and I mean that in both a good way and a bad way. In a good way: Kotler is able to weave many different aspects of 'sci-fi' that are relevant to life today: it may be a book about the future, but the extinction of ani "The Devil's Dictionary" is Steven Kotler's second in the series following Lion Zorn, an empathy tracker that is out to solve a mystery involving missing acquaintances amidst a politico-eco-revolution that has some of its origins from book one. There is A LOT going on in this book, and I mean that in both a good way and a bad way. In a good way: Kotler is able to weave many different aspects of 'sci-fi' that are relevant to life today: it may be a book about the future, but the extinction of animals and ruin of nature, the science and tech to 'fix' things--- if this book was written 20 years ago, this might have felt like an improbable future. Now it feels a bit too unsettling. There are a quite a few big questions that are good take-aways from this book that would be fun to discuss in a book club. But then in a not-so-good way: It is very easy to get lost in this book. Lots of characters and side stories, lots of switching of sides... and while most of it comes together, I didn't always enjoy 'traveling' with Lion. There is a lot to learn from this book- I rated the first book "Last Tango in Cyberspace" as a three-star book, and I would give this one a 3.5 if half stars were possible. I doubt I'd continue on with Lion Zorn's story, but I do recommend this book to sci-fi genre lovers who enjoy futuristic, brainy (as in actual neurology) stories.

  24. 4 out of 5

    PastTheSample

    REVIEW (Twitter style): The Devil's Dictionary by Steven Kotler Ramen sells ramen, and I thought he was the Main Character. Caused me some major confusion. Only up until the real MC (Lion) takes charge with his inner monologue info drops. Haha. You know, I hate to say it, but... 🌈🧵♥️ ...this chapter was completely wasted. Was there any point to it? Sure, we get a hint at the setting, but really, that could have been achieved in a million other ways. There's not even a hint of the MC's em-tracking abilit REVIEW (Twitter style): The Devil's Dictionary by Steven Kotler Ramen sells ramen, and I thought he was the Main Character. Caused me some major confusion. Only up until the real MC (Lion) takes charge with his inner monologue info drops. Haha. You know, I hate to say it, but... 🌈🧵♥️ ...this chapter was completely wasted. Was there any point to it? Sure, we get a hint at the setting, but really, that could have been achieved in a million other ways. There's not even a hint of the MC's em-tracking abilities. Why not start with the scene where the MC gets approached by those two people for whatever job it is that he obviously didn't accept? Establish the setting, the magic system (em-tracking), the conflict (drugs, morals), character, in a way that doesn't rely on inner monologues feeding us the information. Hell, combine it with an action scene. Maybe a short fight where we get to see those death punches in action, followed by a flight which utilizes the uniqueness of the futuristic world. *Sigh* I swear, authors are so uncreative. Judgement: FAIL!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tawney

    Mysteries unfold into other mysteries in this SF actioner. It begins with the protagonist looking for two missing friends and twists through many alleys to it's end. The premise is interesting, but for me it was somehow flat. Because the plot is complicated a great deal of exposition is necessary. So one character explains to another character (and the reader) what's going on off stage and it can feel like a lecture. There's enough action to keep things moving along at a decent pace, but I didn' Mysteries unfold into other mysteries in this SF actioner. It begins with the protagonist looking for two missing friends and twists through many alleys to it's end. The premise is interesting, but for me it was somehow flat. Because the plot is complicated a great deal of exposition is necessary. So one character explains to another character (and the reader) what's going on off stage and it can feel like a lecture. There's enough action to keep things moving along at a decent pace, but I didn't feel any connection with either the characters or their goal. And this just now popped into my head - if it were a comic or graphic novel I may have liked it because my expectations would be different. Thanks to St. Martin's Press via NetGalley for an advanced copy.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    A good follow-up to Last Tango in Cyberspace, with not only Lion, but also Penelope, Jenka, Sir Richard and others returning. This time, the mystery may lead to the end of civilization itself as a battle rages between human rights and empathy for the animal kingdom. The storytelling this time around isn't quite as trippy, but there's still more of an emotional quality to it than in typical novels of this genre. A good follow-up to Last Tango in Cyberspace, with not only Lion, but also Penelope, Jenka, Sir Richard and others returning. This time, the mystery may lead to the end of civilization itself as a battle rages between human rights and empathy for the animal kingdom. The storytelling this time around isn't quite as trippy, but there's still more of an emotional quality to it than in typical novels of this genre.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    This is a near future sci-fi book that takes place in the USA. The dialogue was initially hard to follow and it took a while to become interesting. It is more political than I care for, hard core environmentalists versus those who are the opposite. Saying too much would give too much away. I received a free copy of this book to review through NetGalley.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    3.5 rounded up. This book turned out to be a sequel to a book I have not yet read, but worked pretty well as a stand alone. It reminded me a little of REAMDE BY Neal Stephenson. It took me a few chapters for me to get into the book and I blame that on not reading Last Tango in Cyberspace first. Soon enough we are introduced to Lion Zorn and things start happening quickly.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tanya R

    Super hard for me to rate The Devil's Dictionary as this is a book 2 in the series (which I didn't know) and reading this one left me so confused. I never got my feet under me and so I really didn't enjoy the story. However, had I started on Book 1, I have a feeling that the world building is probably pretty cool and the concept seems really intriguing. I definitely think this one should be branded with the series info on the cover and a Book 2 listing as well because if I had picked this up in Super hard for me to rate The Devil's Dictionary as this is a book 2 in the series (which I didn't know) and reading this one left me so confused. I never got my feet under me and so I really didn't enjoy the story. However, had I started on Book 1, I have a feeling that the world building is probably pretty cool and the concept seems really intriguing. I definitely think this one should be branded with the series info on the cover and a Book 2 listing as well because if I had picked this up in a bookstore and didn't realize it was Book 2, I would have been really upset. Thank you to #NetGalley and #StMartinsPress for the opportunity to read this book. Opinions expressed are my own.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Derek Moore

    I believe that not having read the first book in this series made it difficult for me to really get into the whole plot and characters. I tried but did not finish the book. I am sure there are people who will love this book. Thank you for the opportunity of receiving this book. I have already passed it on.

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