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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Division Zero by Matthew Cox is a riveting dystopian science fiction novel. It centers around the main character Kirsten Wren, a futuristic cop and a childhood victim of her mother's abuse and extreme religious beliefs. All she wants is to be good at the job she likes in Division Zero, but her past still troubles her, and she doesn't quite fit in. Strangely enough, she feels most connected to those she works with. The year is 2418, and she has a powerful psionic gift to combat the dark entities of the supernatural, but this time she's up against Dolls, which are bloodthirsty androids. As Agent Wren investigates, she herself becomes a target of the higher powers behind the killer androids.
What I like most about this novel is the character of Kirsten herself. She has an interesting background and is an atheist because of her mother's abusive religious ideology. What it comes down to is that her mother just couldn't tolerate Kirsten's gift. Has the psionic talent been a gift or a curse? It definitely has made her feel like an outsider, but one who is perfectly suited to her work at Division Zero. Cox invites you into Kirsten's psyche on the first page, and I enjoyed getting to know her in her world. And speaking of worlds, this author has a talent for world-building, which is a must for me when reading sci-fi. He has created a believable world of multi-dimensional characters and interesting arcs, a plot that builds and unfolds over time, and natural dialogue that grounds the characters in normalcy. There are other characters to like and dislike (the Dolls are SO interesting but deadly), and moments that are emotional, but I think Cox's strong suit is showing growth and change with Kirsten. She isn't the typical heroine. She's vulnerable, uncertain, and carries baggage. Yet she finds the strength within herself to do what she needs to do. If you're looking for a character-driven sci-fi novel with a suspenseful plot, don't pass up Division Zero by Matthew Cox.