Zero-Day Rising

The BetterWorld Trilogy Book 3

Fiction - Science Fiction
352 Pages
Reviewed on 08/24/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

T. C. Weber has pursued writing since childhood, and learned filmmaking and screenwriting in college, along with a little bit of physics. His latest novel, Born in Salt, is a character-oriented alternate history novel that explores life under authoritarian rule, the abuse of psychology, the power of the dead, the realities of drug addiction, and how everyday people can challenge impossible odds. His first published novel was a near-future cyberpunk thriller titled Sleep State Interrupt (See Sharp Press). The first book of a trilogy, it was a finalist for the 2017 Compton Crook award for best first speculative fiction novel. The sequels, The Wrath of Leviathan and Zero-Day Rising, are also out. Mr. Weber is a member of Poets & Writers and the Maryland Writers Association.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Zero-Day Rising is the third book in The BetterWorld Trilogy by T. C. Weber and in this installment, Kiyoko sets out on a dangerous mission to free her sister, Waylee, who is facing life imprisonment. She is also out to sink MediaCorp and to destroy U.S. President Rand. What she does not know is that MediaCorp has its own sinister plan; it is about mind control using cerebral implants and they are targeting the population. Can Kiyoko and her sister’s team stop the deadly onslaught of this corporation on humanity?

This is science fiction at its best, a tale of resistance against an aggressive and utterly oppressive government and a corporation about to rob everyone of their freedom. T. C. Weber creates a world that is irresistible, especially to fans of virtual reality games. It is sophisticated and the new digital technology is designed to offer not just endless possibilities but power to its owners that no one or corporation has thus far enjoyed. It is in this digital context that the dynamics of the conflict are created. The characters are well-developed and I enjoyed the way the author fills in the blanks with information from the previous installments without digressing from the main plot.

Zero-Day Rising is filled with action, brimming with sophisticated characters, and propelled forward by a monumental conflict. The writing is superb and this skillfully plotted and beautifully written story demonstrates how a few corporations can take control over the lives of millions of people, thanks to the power of digital technology. It is a novel with a clear and strong message about what happens when too much power is given to the wrong people — it is as entertaining and as mind-boggling as any can be.

K.C. Finn

Zero-Day Rising is a work of fiction in the science fiction genre and serves as the third entry in The BetterWorld Trilogy. It is aimed at older readers and was penned by T. C. Weber. This work follows on from the first two books, in which sisters Kiyoko and Waylee discovered a government-level conspiracy to control the whole world and ended up being hunted by mercenaries for their troubles. Now, faced with the final stages of MediaCorp’s plan to roll out cerebral implants that let them see everything and control everyone, the sisters must juggle their efforts to elude capture with a desperate last chance to strike back against their oppressors.

Zero-Day Rising serves up a fantastic addition to the cyberpunk sub-genre and one that I absorbed from cover to cover. One of the things I enjoyed the most about this story was how well-developed and intriguing the characters were. Kiyoko and her team are all given the same amount of attention to detail and well thought out quirks and flaws, making each character likable and three-dimensional. Author T. C. Weber gave a full and detailed explanation of the technology used which felt informative yet easy to access. I felt the plot was weaved naturally and seamlessly into the world in a way that made the novel an engaging and tension-fuelled experience. Overall, I felt the book was action-packed and well written, and that had its own flavor which made it stand out from other books in the same genre. I would not hesitate to recommend Zero-Day Rising to those who enjoy fast-paced and action-packed science-fiction stories, or those interested in the sometimes-dangerous ways our information is used.

Divine Zape

Zero-Day Rising is the third book in The BetterWorld Trilogy by T. C. Weber. The author provides a good synopsis for the previous two books in the series, giving a solid background that will help readers take off with the characters without feeling lost in the story. Kiyoko is determined to free her sister who has been found guilty of all the charges against her. She also wants to destroy President Rand and MediaCorp, the corporation that has invented the successor to the internet: Comnet. She has already lost Gabriel whom she pledged to marry and while she plots how to bring down MediaCorp, the powerful company has its next devastating plan for humanity: to orchestrate mind control through cerebral implants. With the overwhelming surveillance and the manhunt directed at them, can Kiyoko and her sister’s team stop MediaCorp?

You are caught up between the virtual gaming world and real human emotions, plunged into a setting that is as sophisticated as it is relevant. The setting is better described in the words of Bob Luxmore in the story: 'BetterWorld is not just for gaming or chatting. It is a place with unlimited horizons, where a quadriplegic could compete in marathons and a rural villager could study simulations of black holes.' But it is far worse than that; it is a world where liberties are gradually being lost and where the most disturbing form of oppression is orchestrated. This novel features high and advanced technology and portrays what the world could become if its leadership fell in the wrong hands or what cynical and egoistic leaders could do were they in possession of the kind of digital technology that Mediacorp has developed. Zero-Day Rising is an action-packed story set in a world that is partly dystopian and virtual; it is very imaginative. I adored the way the characters are written; they are solid and each of them is driven by motivation that is clearly defined and propulsive. T. C. Weber writes in excellent prose and he creates characters that readers can easily relate to; the plot is unpredictable and it features high stakes for the key characters. Great handling of conflict, wonderful storytelling craft, and a world that is as exciting as it is dynamic.

Jose Cornelio

Zero-Day Rising is the third book in The BetterWorld Trilogy by T. C. Weber. The story follows Kiyoko, a kickass female protagonist as she sets out on a dangerous mission to rescue her sister, Waylee, who is facing life imprisonment, and to destroy MediaCorp and President Rand. MediaCorp has been using their advanced technology to control the population, and this time has a sinister plan to up their game to total mind control with cerebral implants. MediaCorp is after Kiyoko and her friends while they work hard to penetrate the company’s networks. The stakes are high, the danger impending, and time fast running out. It is a game of wits, intelligence, strength, and scientific prowess.

The story has strong plot lines and elements like Francis’s and Farah’s murders help to flesh out the plot. The characters inhabit a world of advanced digital technology and T. C. Weber develops this aspect of the narrative with great confidence and imagination, exploring possibilities in scientific development while keeping the setting real and accessible to readers. I enjoyed the characters and the intrigue and the way the author develops MediaCorp’s quest for control. Characters like President Rand reflect the worst that readers can imagine in leadership and the character is well-written to deserve the hatred and loathing he gets from Kiyoko and her friends. Themes of love, friendship, murder, corruption, and family are ingeniously written into the story, and I adored the connection between Pel and Waylee, the teamwork, and Kiyoko’s devotion to her sister. While Zero-Day Rising is the third book in the trilogy, it can be read as a standalone novel; it features a background synopsis from the previous books. It is a compelling story with strong conflict and a satisfying ending.

Rabia Tanveer

Zero-Day Rising is the third book in The BetterWorld Trilogy by T. C. Weber. Kiyoko is ready to take charge and free Waylee before it is too late. Tired of hiding, Kiyoko knows she and her group of friends are the only people who can bring Waylee back and stop MediaCorp before it is too late. With most of them hunted and wanted by the authorities, Kiyoko, Charles, Pel, and Nicholas have to get one step ahead of MediaCorp and President Rand. They also have to make sure they bring an end to MediaCorp before it takes control of everything. The task may be bigger than them, but they know they have no other choice. Can Kiyoko save her sister and the rest of humanity? Or is it already too late to save anyone?

Although I haven't read the previous novels in the series, I had zero issues connecting with Kiyoko and becoming invested in Zero-Day Rising. It is an easy science fiction novel to read, and this is primarily because of the author's writing style. Opening the book with Bob is a smart move on the author's part. It sets the tone of the story and shows that tension will be high until the very last page. T. C. Weber talks about many futuristic technologies, yet nothing is too futuristic to be considered unrealistic. Things do get a bit technical, but the author explains everything in a very natural way. The pace is perfect, the characters get time and page space to grow properly, and the plot is incredible. The background building is phenomenal and done exceptionally well. It is fantastic and realistic at the same time!