An Interesting Technothriller
4 out of 5 stars
Blackquest 40 has that perfect technothriller vibe that I love. It takes things that you’re used to in your world today and turns them against you. In the case with this book – it was a company (similar to Google) is taking part in a training exercise – but it’s not your ordinary team building experience.
Bond did a really nice job creating a character that was likable and, from the start, we understood that she was a bit of a rebel. This comes into play nicely later in the story – but it was set up without feeling too “set-up-like” if that makes any sense.
Right away Bond dives into the story – within a few chapters we’ve already met most of the main players in the story – and we’re thrown into the thrilling parts of the story within a few minutes. I wasn’t sure just how far the story or the characters would go but I knew I wanted to find out what happened.
Overall, I thought that Blackquest 40 was a unique and interesting take in a genre that I love. Bond was able to create a memorable experience without it feeling overdone or done before.
One of the complaints that I had while reading was that he continued to use the word “repository”. I work as a product manager for a tech company – I understand code to some extent and what a repository is. What I don’t ever hear is the full word repository. Everyone I’ve ever worked with has called it a “repo”. I think that Bond could have used the full word once and then switched over. I guess technically someone could argue that the group of “trainers” might not know that, but from other scenes (trying not to spoil anything) they’ve worked with tech companies before. It’s small and probably wouldn’t bother the average person – but it was in the book enough times that it got to me personally.
Blackquest 40 by Jeff Bond
Narrator: Natalie Duke
Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
Published by Self Published on May 30th 2019
Buy from Audible
Big Tech meets Die Hard in this techno-thriller Kirkus Reviews calls "a clever, spirited tale with a brainy, nimble heroine at the helm."
From IndieReader's 5 star (highest rating) review: "Bond weaves an entertaining story filled with deceit, robots, Russians, and tech entrepreneurs that all combine to give the reader a reason to flip pages furiously to find out what might happen next."
Deb Bollinger has no time for corporate training.
Her company’s top engineer at just twenty-seven, Deb has blocked off her day for the one project she truly cares about: the launch of Carebnb, an app that finds spare beds for the homeless. When she’s told all employees must drop everything for some busywork exercise called Blackquest 40, it’s an easy no.
Trouble is, her bosses aren’t really asking.
Blackquest 40 is the mother of all corporate trainings. A near-impossible project to be completed in forty straight hours. No phones. No internet. Sleeping on cots. Nobody in, nobody out. Deb finds the whole setup creepy and authoritarian. When a Carebnb issue necessitates her leaving the office, she heads for the door.
What’s the worst that could happen?
Armed commandos, HVAC-duct chases, a catastrophic master plan that gets darker by the hour — Blackquest 40 is a fresh take on the Die Hard formula, layering smart-drones and a modern heroine onto the classic action tale.Also by this author: The Winner Maker