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Ninth Step Station: The Complete Season 1 PDF, ePub eBook

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Ninth Step Station: The Complete Season 1

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Ninth Step Station: The Complete Season 1 PDF, ePub eBook A local cop. A US Peacekeeper. A divided Tokyo. Years of disaster and conflict have left Tokyo split between great powers. In the city of drone-enforced borders, bodymod black markets, and desperate resistance movements, US peacekeeper Emma Higashi is assigned to partner with Tokyo Metropolitan Police Detective Miyako Koreda. Together, they must race to solve a series of mur A local cop. A US Peacekeeper. A divided Tokyo. Years of disaster and conflict have left Tokyo split between great powers. In the city of drone-enforced borders, bodymod black markets, and desperate resistance movements, US peacekeeper Emma Higashi is assigned to partner with Tokyo Metropolitan Police Detective Miyako Koreda. Together, they must race to solve a series of murders that test their relationship and threaten to overturn the balance of global power. And amid the chaos, they each need to decide what they are willing to do for peace.

30 review for Ninth Step Station: The Complete Season 1

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sherwood Smith

    This series at Serial Box really lends itself to the weekly episode format. The blurb is the best introduction to the basics: Years of disaster and conflict have left Tokyo split between great powers. In the city of drone-enforced borders, bodymod black markets, and desperate resistance movements, US peacekeeper Emma Higashi is assigned to partner with Tokyo Metropolitan Police Detective Miyako Koreda. Each episode is a case, setup, conflict, solve, which makes satisfying reading for those who don This series at Serial Box really lends itself to the weekly episode format. The blurb is the best introduction to the basics: Years of disaster and conflict have left Tokyo split between great powers. In the city of drone-enforced borders, bodymod black markets, and desperate resistance movements, US peacekeeper Emma Higashi is assigned to partner with Tokyo Metropolitan Police Detective Miyako Koreda. Each episode is a case, setup, conflict, solve, which makes satisfying reading for those who don't like artificial cliff-hangers. While the cases get solved, each week we learn a little more about our main pair, Emma (Japanese-American, coming to Japan with American cultural values and background) and Miyako, Japanese born, and still even in this future, dealing with gender bias. The women are prickly, Miyako especially closed off, but gradually they begin learning about each other as they learn to depend on the other's particular skill set. It's a real pleasure for readers who like complicated cultural, political, and military overlay in character development to watch these two navigating cultural and gender shoals on top of dealing with the aftermath of war and disaster. The worldbuilding backdrop is more sketched in. The world stage is not complicated, more like TV situational backdrops, but the foregrounding more than makes up for that in complexity. I loved watching the spiky, wary pair form their partnership as they dealt with a dangerous, fascinating world. The writers worked to complement tones and focus, making this series a pleasure both as science fiction and as mystery. Copy provided by Serial Box

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kaa

    A fun, very engaging near-future police procedural set in occupied Tokyo, starring an American peacekeeper and a Japanese police officer. This story is set up much like a TV crime show, with distinct cases in each episode tied together with some overarching narrative threads. It took a little while for me to get used to this format - I struggled at times to keep track of the larger storylines and to have a sense of the timeline of the different cases. There were a few rough transitions and times A fun, very engaging near-future police procedural set in occupied Tokyo, starring an American peacekeeper and a Japanese police officer. This story is set up much like a TV crime show, with distinct cases in each episode tied together with some overarching narrative threads. It took a little while for me to get used to this format - I struggled at times to keep track of the larger storylines and to have a sense of the timeline of the different cases. There were a few rough transitions and times where I felt that the episodes were too short for me to fully understand what was going on with some of the investigations, but overall the story was a good fit for the format. However, in all honesty, I am not a huge murder mystery fan, so I was more interested in other parts of the story. For me, the really enjoyable aspects were Emma and Miyako, and the dynamics of their relationship; the cool sci-fi tech, especially body-mods; and the political storylines. The end of this season (view spoiler)[was simultaneously very exciting and kind of frustrating because it promises a second season that brings these elements even more to the forefront but also now I am very impatient to read that next season! (hide spoiler)] A second listen-through helped a lot to clarify some of my confusion around the cases and overarching plotlines. A second reading also increased my appreciation of the authors' skills in developing the relationship between Emma and Miyako, building in both friendship and tension. Overall, I really enjoyed the audio version, much of which I listened to on the new Serial Box app for Android. As someone who is easily distracted from audiobooks, I found the sound effects to be very helpful in keeping my brain focused on listening. I received a free ARC from the publisher.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Claudie Arseneault

    Set in a near future Tokyo divided between a China-controlled sector and a US-chaperonned, Japanese sector, NINTH STEP STATION is an amazing mystery serial. I loved the way the impact of the recent war was threaded through the every episode, both in the crimes and their motivations and in the means available to our two police MCs (limited or unreliable databases, no access to the Chinese side, etc.). Watching the slow build of trust between Miyako and Emma was so rewarding--I'm always here for p Set in a near future Tokyo divided between a China-controlled sector and a US-chaperonned, Japanese sector, NINTH STEP STATION is an amazing mystery serial. I loved the way the impact of the recent war was threaded through the every episode, both in the crimes and their motivations and in the means available to our two police MCs (limited or unreliable databases, no access to the Chinese side, etc.). Watching the slow build of trust between Miyako and Emma was so rewarding--I'm always here for prickly partners growing on each other with time. Between that and the web of political tensions and shifty allegiances which grew in importance and impact until the blazing finale, NINTH STEP STATION had absolutely everything I wanted out of it, and I'm glad to have read it. So, thank you to serial box for a review copy of this in exchange for a review. <3 It was worth every moment.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Hiller

    One of the benefits of an anthology or collection is that the reader is exposed to different writers and gets the opportunity to discover a new diamond. Ninth Step succeeds in this regard. There were several really compelling episodes and watching how each author took on the cast, setting, and the past details left behind by the previous author was fascinating. For this, both the authors and editor deserves a lot of credit. The stories flow together really well. The characters maintain the same One of the benefits of an anthology or collection is that the reader is exposed to different writers and gets the opportunity to discover a new diamond. Ninth Step succeeds in this regard. There were several really compelling episodes and watching how each author took on the cast, setting, and the past details left behind by the previous author was fascinating. For this, both the authors and editor deserves a lot of credit. The stories flow together really well. The characters maintain the same personality even as new aspects are unfolded. Set in a near future Tokyo caught between rival world powers, Ninth Step Station tells the story of a partnership between a Japanese inspector and an American peacekeeper. The book progresses like the episodes of a TV series, each story being both standalone and linked to the previous one. Several themes emerge and a few nuggets set up in Episode 1 get their payoff later in the series. Also, similar to many TV shows, Ninth Step Station has been written by a team of talented writers. The crimes follow a wide range: murder, theft, kidnapping, terrorism, etc. which prevent the reader or book from falling into too predictable a pattern. That said, like most police procedurals, the stories do follow a formula and at times that stalled me. Readers who enjoy thrillers will not have a problem with this. Personally, I found the way the stories were broken up into "Acts" a little offputting. Maybe it's the playwright in me, but these didn't feel like "Acts." Worse, the idea that any play or TV show might have five acts is downright frightening. However, that's a pretty picky nothing compared to the fun I had with the great cast, interesting plots, and fun stories. Should you read it. Probably. If only because I was a little sad when I reached the last story and the series ended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This is what you get when you mix Blade Runner and Altered Carbon in a feminist blender. The two protagonists are women, a soldier and a cop and they are delightful. The futuristic world-building was excellent and each of the cases was interesting. I kind of cheated because I didn't listen to the episodes as they were released weekly but rather binged them all in a few days. Either way this was an exciting story that kept me listening and I'm ready for season two! The narration was very good with This is what you get when you mix Blade Runner and Altered Carbon in a feminist blender. The two protagonists are women, a soldier and a cop and they are delightful. The futuristic world-building was excellent and each of the cases was interesting. I kind of cheated because I didn't listen to the episodes as they were released weekly but rather binged them all in a few days. Either way this was an exciting story that kept me listening and I'm ready for season two! The narration was very good with just one woman voicing all the characters. That one woman was Emily Zoo Weller and she did an excellent job at all the accents and languages. She did the male voices really well too. Serial Box audio also has sound effects and music Graphic Audio style which makes it feel like a movie and I enjoy a lot. Two thumbs up for this book and its audio!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Linda Robinson

    On your mark. Get set. Tokyo. A fistful of years beyond the 2031 opportunistic China partial grab, the city is global player sectored and kept that way by checkpoints and drone walls. Reconstruction, power, records, data access are all sketchy. Tokyo Metropolitan Police Detective Miyako Koreda is assigned a murder case. And a new partner, US peacekeeper Emma Higashi, on a let's-see-how-this-goes basis for both organizations, with the silent admonition that the women need to be the ones to make i On your mark. Get set. Tokyo. A fistful of years beyond the 2031 opportunistic China partial grab, the city is global player sectored and kept that way by checkpoints and drone walls. Reconstruction, power, records, data access are all sketchy. Tokyo Metropolitan Police Detective Miyako Koreda is assigned a murder case. And a new partner, US peacekeeper Emma Higashi, on a let's-see-how-this-goes basis for both organizations, with the silent admonition that the women need to be the ones to make it work; for their supervisors, and for whatever agenda the lead actors may not have shared. Plays well with others is not a valued skillset in superpower hegemony. The team doesn't want to be a team, but has to. They are instructed to solve the murder posthaste. The two have to find a killer, but first find out who the sans-identification victim is. Meanwhile. A container truck hauling who knows what, under the jurisdiction of who knows who, has disappeared through a checkpoint it should not never have been able to cross. Nishimura, Yardley, Kensuke Maeda, Sato and suspects are superbly written. There are bodymods and modifiers, data miners, drone tech, Organized Crime, civic governance misbehaviours, flirtations and hatreds and - it's good. Super. I received an eARC of this series, and also an introduction to Serial Box, which intrigues me, too. I remember serials at the movie theater. One episode a Saturday, and if you had to run away from home the following Saturday and suffer the consequences later to keep up, that's what you did. Thrilling tales! Don't miss the next episode! Cliffhangers. We'd hover at the comic books store for the next installation. Feels fresh now, and I'm sure will fit the reading profiles of younger device users. Readers of Malka Ann Older and Fran Wilde will be delighted, and I now have 2 authors more to read. Brava, bravo!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Aidan Budd

    So - that was fun! Enjoyed listening just now to "The Faceless Body" by Malka Older, first episode of the first season of the Serial Box serial "Ninth Street Station". I tend to only listen to "audio books" when trying to get to sleep, but with this format (episodes in a season, each audio episode I guess around 90 min) I thought it might work well in my "podcast slot" (i.e. cooking and doing the dishes) - happy to say it did. Certainly planning to buy the full season now (something I didn't expec So - that was fun! Enjoyed listening just now to "The Faceless Body" by Malka Older, first episode of the first season of the Serial Box serial "Ninth Street Station". I tend to only listen to "audio books" when trying to get to sleep, but with this format (episodes in a season, each audio episode I guess around 90 min) I thought it might work well in my "podcast slot" (i.e. cooking and doing the dishes) - happy to say it did. Certainly planning to buy the full season now (something I didn't expect when I started listening to the first free episode). While different in several key ways, the episode reminded me *strongly* of the John Rain books of Barry Eisler. More specifically, Eisler's books and this episode share...: - well written strong women characters with lots of agency - Japanese setting - well written immersive sense of place - martial arts - interest and focus on information and security - intersection and tension between US and Japanese cultures Having said that, "The Faceless Body" differs from the Eisler books as it is: - speculative fiction, not a "real-world" thriller - *two* women protagonists, not a man protagonist - more focus on detection, less on (superbly-described) action sequences (Eisler IMHO writes some of the best action I've ever read) Anyway! Looking forward very much to episode 2!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Roland Clarke

    Review 4.4 stars I was pleased to receive this serialised fiction as an ARC from Serial Box Publishing as it was an exciting read. This police procedural set in a near future Tokyo consists of ten engrossing episodes written by different authors, including at least one, Jacqueline Koyanagi whose debut novel I've read and reviewed. The style is reminiscent of US crime series, but with its own interesting approach as the sense of an imminent future pervades but doesn’t take over the plots. This cou Review 4.4 stars I was pleased to receive this serialised fiction as an ARC from Serial Box Publishing as it was an exciting read. This police procedural set in a near future Tokyo consists of ten engrossing episodes written by different authors, including at least one, Jacqueline Koyanagi whose debut novel I've read and reviewed. The style is reminiscent of US crime series, but with its own interesting approach as the sense of an imminent future pervades but doesn’t take over the plots. This could be ‘tomorrow’ with China occupying part of Japan and a sector of Tokyo, and with the US playing what is meant to be peacekeeper. Ninth Step Station has some fascinating characters, interesting plots, futuristic tech and very real political intrigue. US peacekeeper Emma Higashi (Japanese-American) is assigned to partner with Tokyo Metropolitan Police Detective Miyako Koreda at Nine Step Station, one of the key TMP stations. The cases they are tasked with solving are standalone, but there are overarching events that carry through the novel/series with the usual TV-style cliff-hanger to lead into Series 2. The crimes in the ten episodes vary from suspected suicide and domestic violence to assassination and terrorism with differing levels of technological involvement such as body-mods, drones, data mining, and data sleeves – all realistic evolutions of existing tech. The data sleeves especially play a key role in enabling people to instantly communicate and interface – although this is also a city troubled by regular power-cuts/blackouts. However, the war and the gangs/Yakuza make solving crimes challenging with some data irretrievable and some information obscured by human evasiveness. Each of the writers gives an individual feel to each episode, yet together they create a seamless story with consistent and evolving characters, a realistic-feeling Tokyo post-occupation and those building overarching events. The TV-style structure means the episodes are formula to some degree, but they are enjoyable – although not as complex as some mysteries I read. Both the two main characters and the supporting players are distinctly portrayed, and there are developing attributes and discoveries as the episodes unfold. The misunderstanding and conflicts arising between the two protagonists due to cultural differences, personal secrets and political agendas create a more complex relationship than an instant crime-fighting partnership and that relationship has room to grow. I was also pleased to see that the issues of gender bias and sexuality were addressed – although not as suspected. Not knowing Tokyo, I assume that the world-building does build on the present city, although I realise that the format only allows the setting to receive less attention than the stand-out characters who are what will pull me back here. I look forward to the sequel as there is plenty to build on in Ninth Step Station. Story – four stars Setting/World-building – four stars Authenticity – four stars Characters – five stars Structure – four stars Readability – five stars Editing – five stars Full review at: https://rolandclarke.com/2019/01/31/%...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brook

    This read much like a series of Ghost in the Shell. From the NeoTokyo setting, to the ubiquitous cybernetic body mods, I expected Major Kusanagi to pop up at any juncture. That said, it also ruled. It’s been a long time since I read serialized fiction outside of comics, and the episodic nature made for a fun time. Each author added to the tale, instead of distracting with wild stylistic flourishes. I would happily read another series with Emma, Miyako, and the rest. There were less political mac This read much like a series of Ghost in the Shell. From the NeoTokyo setting, to the ubiquitous cybernetic body mods, I expected Major Kusanagi to pop up at any juncture. That said, it also ruled. It’s been a long time since I read serialized fiction outside of comics, and the episodic nature made for a fun time. Each author added to the tale, instead of distracting with wild stylistic flourishes. I would happily read another series with Emma, Miyako, and the rest. There were less political machinations that I expected, based on other work from Older, but the story was fun, exciting, and well-told.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Maria Haskins

    This is such an entertaining read. Mix a near-future setting (Japan has been laid low by natural disasters and Chinese interference, and is now a divided nation) with some very plausible scifi-tech (body-mods, implants, and people who use tech-y "sleeves" to communicate and interface), and make it all a cyber-punkish police procedural, and you get the vibe of this excellent story. But what really sells this for me, are the two main characters, US peacekeeper Emma Higashi and Tokyo Metropolitan P This is such an entertaining read. Mix a near-future setting (Japan has been laid low by natural disasters and Chinese interference, and is now a divided nation) with some very plausible scifi-tech (body-mods, implants, and people who use tech-y "sleeves" to communicate and interface), and make it all a cyber-punkish police procedural, and you get the vibe of this excellent story. But what really sells this for me, are the two main characters, US peacekeeper Emma Higashi and Tokyo Metropolitan Police Detective Miyako Koreda who are assigned to work together. The two have a great odd-couple/burgeoning buddy-cop vibe, and their different backgrounds gives insight into the world and the society they now have to navigate. Written as a serial, Higashi and Koreda deal with various crimes (often involving technology and politics) and each part of this story is entertaining and gripping. (Check out the audio version at SerialBox for an extra-delicious enhanced version!)

  11. 5 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this free book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) More like a 3.5 from me. Ninth Step Station is a fast paced crime science fiction thriller. There's mystery, murder, and manipulation. Written by four different authors, it is a serialized action book. I'm interested in how it felt to work with three other authors and you can see their characters develop. Each author picks up where the other left off, taking you to a new case with (Disclaimer: I received this free book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) More like a 3.5 from me. Ninth Step Station is a fast paced crime science fiction thriller. There's mystery, murder, and manipulation. Written by four different authors, it is a serialized action book. I'm interested in how it felt to work with three other authors and you can see their characters develop. Each author picks up where the other left off, taking you to a new case with our cop and US peacemaker. There's a great deal of world building with fast moving technology, eerie new advancements, and a world hanging by a thread. full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Adrianne

    This is an excellent serial revolving around a Tokyo cop and an American peacekeeper's efforts to solve a series of murders in a Tokyo that has yet to be. The mysteries were written by several different authors, but the pacing was excellent, characterization was strong and consistent, and there was a fascinating story arc that transcended each installment. The setting was so real that I felt like I was in Tokyo again, and I loved the way that inter-office politics brought secondary characters to This is an excellent serial revolving around a Tokyo cop and an American peacekeeper's efforts to solve a series of murders in a Tokyo that has yet to be. The mysteries were written by several different authors, but the pacing was excellent, characterization was strong and consistent, and there was a fascinating story arc that transcended each installment. The setting was so real that I felt like I was in Tokyo again, and I loved the way that inter-office politics brought secondary characters to life. This is available on serialbox.com in both audible and ebook format, and will be available on Kindle 4/13/19. The audio narrator is excellent, and brings a lot to an already wonderful story.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Karl

    This is a very cool concept, and if one of myriad TV networks out there (looking at YOU, Netflix) needs more programming, they should check this out. Great characters, interesting worldbuilding, and murder mysteries, all chopped up and neatly packaged in serial format. Like any series, there were stronger episodes and weaker ones, but the overall quality and compatibility among the crack writing team made this a genuine pleasure. 4.5/5

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.And here we are at the end! Today's episode marks the end of Season 1 of Ninth Step Station. It's been a blast covering each episode on a weekly basis, and I hope it's been at least somewhat entertaining for you! In this review I'll discuss Episode 10, as well as give you my overall thoughts about the story. For those of you who've been with I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.And here we are at the end! Today's episode marks the end of Season 1 of Ninth Step Station. It's been a blast covering each episode on a weekly basis, and I hope it's been at least somewhat entertaining for you! In this review I'll discuss Episode 10, as well as give you my overall thoughts about the story. For those of you who've been with me from the beginning of this grand experiment, thank you so much for stopping by each week! All hell breaks loose in the final episode of Ninth Step Station , Season 1, and everything comes to a head. For obvious reasons, I don’t want to discuss the events of The Foreign Mischief too much, but I will give you a brief recap. The episode starts with at attack on the Diet during a council meeting. Armed men in business suits storm the building and start shooting. Emma and Miyako arrive at the scene, and Miyako discovers that one of the dead, Minister Kobayashi, has been murdered, not by bullets but by a knife to the throat. As news breaks out of another threat on the border, Emma takes off to help with that situation, while Miyako decides to stay and investigate the murder. As the city falls into turmoil and the threat from the Chinese seems very real, Miyako and Emma must do everything they can to hold their city together. I love how everything came together in this episode. Older brings back threads from the beginning of the series, which I loved. I had a couple of “oh yeah!” moments when events I had forgotten about were suddenly front and center. There are plenty of surprise reveals as well. People that Emma and Miyako trust turn out to be untrustworthy, and it’s not always clear which side their friends are on. These unexpected twists made this a fast-paced and exciting finale. And the ending was perfectly played. Just like a good episodic TV show, we get some resolution, but we also get a clear lead-in to the next season. I loved the twist at the end, and I think it will make for a thrilling second season. Reading each week’s episode in real time was such an interesting experiment! I actually enjoyed the bite-sized stories which I was able to fit into my schedule along with my other reading commitments. Serial Box stories are meant to be enjoyed this way, meant for busy readers who may only have less than an hour at a time to squeeze in some reading, and they are written in such a way that makes you look forward to the next week’s episode. And Ninth Step Station isn’t just for people who love science fiction. This series has a lot to offer fans of political intrigue, mysteries and police procedurals. The characters really grew on me, and I’m especially pleased that this story centers around such well-drawn female characters. I'm really looking forward to spending more time with Emma and Miyako in particular, and I’ll be anxiously awaiting Season 2! Big thanks to Serial Box for supplying a review copy. About Ninth Step Station: A local cop. A US Peacekeeper. A divided Tokyo. Years of disaster and conflict have left Tokyo split between great powers. In the city of drone-enforced borders, bodymod black markets, and desperate resistance movements, US peacekeeper Emma Higashi is assigned to partner with Tokyo Metropolitan Police Detective Miyako Koreda. Together, they must race to solve a series of murders that test their relationship and threaten to overturn the balance of global power. And amid the chaos, they each need to decide what they are willing to do for peace. Episode 1: The Faceless Body Episode 2: The Bodiless Arm Episode 3: The Fallen Executive Episode 4: The Blackout Killer Episode 5: The Deadly Defection Episode 6: The Stolen Xiaohái Episode 7: The Loud Politician Episode 8: The Clawed Limb by Jacqueline Koyanagi Episode 9: The Assassin's Nest by Fran Wilde & Curtis C. Chen Are you intrigued? You can purchase the entire series for $13.99! Click here now to learn more. About Serial Box: Serial Box brings everything that's awesome about TV (easily digestible episodes, team written, new content every week) to what was already cool about books (well-crafted stories, talented authors, enjoyable anywhere). Like TV, we release a new episode of our serials every week and serials typically run for seasons of 10-16 weeks. Easy to pick up, episodes are enjoyable on their own but build over the course of the season to tell a bigger story. Each episode is available in ebook and audio and takes about 40 minutes to enjoy.á This review originally appeared on Books, Bones & Buffy

  15. 4 out of 5

    brian

    Tokyo is divided. In the (somewhat) near future, an war with China leaves Tokyo with a Chinese occupation and US-led military peacekeepers. The police force has to contend with both as they go about their duty of upholding the law. Ninth Step Station follows detective Miyako Koreda and her newly assigned peacekeeper partner Emma Higashi as they solve crimes, learn to deal with each other, and try to douse some of the fires that could result in a renewal of the war. Ninth Step Station is a Serial Tokyo is divided. In the (somewhat) near future, an war with China leaves Tokyo with a Chinese occupation and US-led military peacekeepers. The police force has to contend with both as they go about their duty of upholding the law. Ninth Step Station follows detective Miyako Koreda and her newly assigned peacekeeper partner Emma Higashi as they solve crimes, learn to deal with each other, and try to douse some of the fires that could result in a renewal of the war. Ninth Step Station is a Serial Box product, which means I got to read the first 10 "episodes" which I assume comprise a season 1. Each episode is approximately novella size. This format worked well for Ninth Step Station. With a limited number of authors, the deviations in voice and tone between each episode were pretty much non-existent. Every now and then, a character would do something a little out-of-line, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well each story flowed into the next. This is a police procedural, like Law & Order: SVU in a slightly futuristic Tokyo. Each episode follows a new case, but this isn't the kind of thing you could shuffle up and put into any order. Actions in previous stories have impacts later in the series, which is a nice touch. The stories themselves range from a really intriguing mysteries to a little plodding but not terrible. Where they've nearly lost me, and it remains to be seen if I'm still in it, is the ending of the last episode. It's really not an ending at all. It's like they've built up to a crescendo and then stopped. I had to ask for confirmation that my copy wasn't missing some final chapter or epilogue. I was really put off by how it ends because it doesn't end anything, neither the novella episode nor the novel season. I want this series to continue, but I also expect some satisfying conclusion to the 10 episode season, and I didn't get that. As with most serialized media, there's a chance this thing never sees a season two and this particular series will suffer badly for it. It stops mid-sentence (figuratively), and I'll be really unhappy if it doesn't continue. But the build up to that non-ending is totally enjoyable. It's an exciting, complex weaving of many strands of plots across personal and national conflicts.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Lloyd

    I received an ARC of the complete first series of Ninth Step Station from the publisher. This means that I read the episodes not week-by-week as you would for at least the second half of the season if you subscribed soon after this review appears, but over just under three weeks. I tried, at first, to read Ninth Step Station as if I didn't immediately have access to the next episode. I managed, for a little while. But you know how it is when you have a whole season in front of you. I just wanted I received an ARC of the complete first series of Ninth Step Station from the publisher. This means that I read the episodes not week-by-week as you would for at least the second half of the season if you subscribed soon after this review appears, but over just under three weeks. I tried, at first, to read Ninth Step Station as if I didn't immediately have access to the next episode. I managed, for a little while. But you know how it is when you have a whole season in front of you. I just wanted to keep on reading to see what was going to happen. Ninth Step Station is set in the not-too distant future in a Tokyo recovering from the twin disasters of a substantial earthquake and occupation by China, which has split the city into occupied territory and the US zone, the 'free' Tokyo protected by peacekeepers. The story begins when Tokyo Metropolitan Police detective Miyako Koreda is partnered with seconded US peacekeeper Lieutenant Emma Higashi. Their investigations in each episode vary from solving murders to political intrigue, usually revolving around a technological development of which we may or may not be on the brink in the present. While the setting is great, it's the mismatched detectives Miyako and Emma and their developing relationship that make the series. Miyako is a loner, isolated in her workplace and very quiet about her private life, and not entirely happy about having this American interloper thrust upon her; Emma is more outspoken, perhaps impetuous and, if not trigger-happy, at least gun-toting. The episodic nature of Serial Box's releases means that their relationship fluctuates as they get to know one another in ways that wouldn't work so well in a novel, but works well in a serialized narrative (and that's one of the reasons I tried to take breaks between episodes). There are great supporting characters, too - the scheming US liaison to the Japanese Government, Charles Yardley III; charming misogynist Kensuke Maeda; sleazy Chinese detectives Liu and Wong. But it's Emma and Miyako that make the series wonderful. While each episode has its own story, there is an overall arc as the political situation in occupied Tokyo worsens. I certainly want to see how this story develops going into a second season. For now, I'm going to go back and listen to the audio of season one.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    (Disclaimer: I received an advance copy of season 1 in exchange for an honest review.) Intriguing new concept in reading; it was a little jarring at first (especially since I had not actually noticed the description of the TV/serialized format before I started). The story is set up much like a TV series, with individual "monster of the week" episodes with cases that (mostly) resolve by the end, but also an ongoing story arc of a divided Japan after an invasion from China, with US forces stationed (Disclaimer: I received an advance copy of season 1 in exchange for an honest review.) Intriguing new concept in reading; it was a little jarring at first (especially since I had not actually noticed the description of the TV/serialized format before I started). The story is set up much like a TV series, with individual "monster of the week" episodes with cases that (mostly) resolve by the end, but also an ongoing story arc of a divided Japan after an invasion from China, with US forces stationed in Tokyo to help keep the peace. US peacekeeper Emma Higashi is assigned to partner with a Tokyo PD detective to help solve cases, as a way of keeping up good relations between the US and Japan. Despite the advanced technology, it reads mostly like a buddy-cop show. In general, I enjoyed the stories and the way they flowed together, although sometimes I found it hard to keep all the names and political factions and other players straight in my head -- I'm fine with a good cop story, but political machinations are not really my thing. I found that when I picked it up to read, I'd get engrossed and read an entire episode or two at a time...but when I put it down, I was often not all that eager to pick it back up like I am with my favorite books. I'm not entirely sure why that is. However, it more or less ended on a cliffhanger, and I do want to know what happens next. If it was a TV show, I'd totally watch it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sean Locke

    Ninth Step Station is my first foray into paid serial fiction, and the first serialized story I ever bought from Serial Box. Now that I've finished NSS, I can tell you it won't be my last. I've already preordered season 2, and I can't wait to get my hands on it. NSS is a near future police procedural with strong elements of political thriller and international intrigue. It goes deep on the two protagonist characters, and I'm beyond pleased and surprised at how consistently the protagonists get po Ninth Step Station is my first foray into paid serial fiction, and the first serialized story I ever bought from Serial Box. Now that I've finished NSS, I can tell you it won't be my last. I've already preordered season 2, and I can't wait to get my hands on it. NSS is a near future police procedural with strong elements of political thriller and international intrigue. It goes deep on the two protagonist characters, and I'm beyond pleased and surprised at how consistently the protagonists get portrayed across ten episodes and four authors. I listened exclusively on audiobook, and the audio production is top notch. Plenty of ambient sounds and music to immerse the reader in the experience, but not so much as to be distracting. Narrator Emily Woo Zeller was fantastic, and I'm sure I'd listen to anything she read aloud. TL;DR: go get this series. The whole thing is just fantastic.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sidsel Pedersen

    I really read too though mysteries. I really liked the characters. The story was griping. The world building was really interesting - including the use of tech and I loved the episodical nature of it - it suits my brainspace right now.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Throughly enjoyed this book

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Some authors weren't my favourite but on the whole it was an interesting read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jetamors

  23. 5 out of 5

    MA

    I won a free copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaways. DNF @ 7% I think I need to stop requesting (1) sci-fi and (2) futuristic stories set in Asia.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Melinda Bardon

  25. 5 out of 5

    Eve

  26. 5 out of 5

    Scott Baxter

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Meservier

  28. 4 out of 5

    Max

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mike Norman

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

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