This latest series entry successfully shoehorns abstruse techno-thriller issues into a not-too-serious mystery format. As CATS founders Juan and Julie deploy against cyber-ransom demands which shut down businesses and cities worldwide, debate rages whether to pay or resist. The authors defuse the tension with self-parodying acronyms and cute dialogue, along with a medley of oddball characters. The humorous overtones prevent this from becoming an exercise in geekishnes. This work has much to offer to those who wish to savor the Technological Disaster Lite genre
Date Submitted: July 14, 2016
In this spinoff of Breakfield and Burkey’s (The Enigma Always, 2015, etc.) techno-thriller series, someone’s hacking companies and places with automated services and demanding ransoms.
Julie Rodríguez plays her part in family-run information/security organization R-Group, but her latest job is being handled by her own Cyber Assassin Technology Services. CATS is keeping an eye on a number of hacked computer systems and corresponding demands for money. There may be a pattern, as each incident involves tampering with an automated process. The Consortium of mines in Australia, for example, loses control of its digital mining equipment, while U.S. airline Fast Flyers’ fully automated flight service confronts problems like a website erroneously promising free travel. Julie and her pilot husband, Juan, dispatch CATS members around the globe, including Brayson Morris, who’s in Spain to help Baby Perez, mayor of the ultramodern, digitized Smart City. Meanwhile, the persons behind the cyberattacks are, it seems, little more than gamers—Russian Dmitry Vasnev and Chairman Chang in Macau, China—engaged in a serious competition on their respective supercomputers. The CATS team tries to regain access to the machinery or networks but is encumbered by people’s willingness to abide by the hackers’ ultimatums. Julie and company race to track the source as the ransom deadlines approach. The authors wisely chose cyberassassin Julie as a focus, as she’s one of the series’ best characters. Though it’s a bit disappointing that she doesn’t get more of the spotlight, the story provides excellent coverage of the hacked systems and the team’s varying degrees of success—one business pays the ransom and effectively terminates its contract with CATS. An unmistakable distinction from preceding books is evident, primarily a lighter tone. There’s concentration on Julie and Juan’s intimacy, for example, as well as relative distance between Dmitry and Chang’s game and its real-world consequences. Still, grim events build anticipation; a crew’s work on nonoperational vehicles proves lethal, and even Juan faces trouble, with his plane losing a battle with a hijacked drone. Readers returning to the series will appreciate recognizable faces, while the authors’ comprehensive back story gives newbies a warm welcome.
A cyberattack tale that’s superb as both a continuation of a series and a promising start in an entirely new direction.
Rabia Tanveer - 5 Star
The Enigma Gamers: A CATS Tale (Volume 7) by Charles V. Breakfield and Roxanne E. Burkey is a twisted tale of how things can go south if the cyber world is not kept under control. Set in the 21st century, where virtual reality is very real, the gaming world has evolved; it is more interesting and more threatening than ever before. When a ransom demand is made through virtual predators, The CATS know that this is something much more sinister than they anticipate. Juan and Julie are given the task of leading their team to find out what and who is behind this. Someone very real is behind this evil virtual wrongdoing and the CATS are onto it. But who is it? When the lines become blurred between the real and the virtual world, can you even find the true culprit? This is a new world where real is virtual and virtual is real. How can they find the person behind it all?
This is definitely an interesting novel. It was a cool thriller; reading about characters like Julie and Juan makes me so happy. We don’t have enough geeks who are proud to be geeks in the literary world. It is nice to read about such characters as the main leads. They are awesome and so smart. I love the way Juan led his team and how Julie became a support for all of them. Her being a female did not make her any different to her team. These characters were developed, they were created to perfection, the thrill and the mystery of the novel was on point, and the climax was heart racing. This is definitely a five star novel! It was amazing.
Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite - 5 Star
The Enigma Gamers: A CATS Tale (Volume 7) by Charles V Breakfield and Roxanne E Burkey is a thriller that brilliantly deals with cyber crimes, a reality that is as current as it is appalling. It takes a gifted writer to weave an intriguing, somewhat mysterious and gripping story around such a phenomenon. A new kind of evil is plaguing society with cyber threats and crimes growing in numbers. Gamers are stepping beyond the digital world to actually execute what is supposed to only be taking place in the games they play. Cyberspace becomes more and more an uncertain arena in which to tread and one never knows when a cyber crime lord will strike. Here come the CATS - Cyber Assassins Technology Services - team led by Julie and Juan. Do they have what it takes to eradicate cyber crime?
Breakfield and Burkey have written a thriller that should catch the attention of cyber-lovers and online gamers, but it is a story that will be of great interest to everyone with a computer, an internet, and access to anything online. The topic is crucial and very relevant, and this story will create a powerful awareness in cyber lovers of the dangers that lurk in this vast and mysterious world. I loved the writing style and it's necessary to comment on the fact that the authors write with confidence in the power of their prose. The dialogues are used wisely and they are very relevant, but the descriptions are stunning. The Enigma Gamers: A CATS Tale (Volume 7) is the first book I have read by these authors and now I have to hunt down the previous books in the series. It's a relevant story, a page-turner, and one that most readers will undoubtedly identify with.
Sefina Hawke - 5 Star
The Enigma Gamers: A CATS Tale by Charles V. Breakfield and Roxanne E. Burkey is a fictional thriller, mystery, and suspense story that is the seventh book in the Enigma series. The Enigma Gamers is set in a futuristic time where video gaming has become so much more advanced. There are no more game controllers; instead all of the controls are intuitive and sensory. The Enigma Gamers has the video gamers so much more immersed in the world of video gaming; however, this immersion is not without cost or risk. The gamers can experience a blur between reality and the gaming worlds. This presents a risk as there are those who use gaming to unleash terror on people using the technology. The CATS (Cyber Assassins Technology Services) team is all that exists to protect and avenge the victims of these new cyber-crimes.
The Enigma Gamers: A CATS Tale has a bit of a slow beginning, but I stuck it out and wow, am I glad that I did; the storyline was amazing and it quickly picked up the pace after a few chapters. One of the things I really liked about The Enigma Gamers is the Locations and Primary Cast Members page. As a first time reader to the Enigma Series, this page really helped me to catch up. There is some sexual content, but nothing too explicit. However, it is clear that the characters are engaging in sex and there is some description. I liked the fact that they kept to a more PG-13 level instead of an R. Overall, I enjoyed reading The Enigma Gamers.