Hero and secondary characters that you actually care about. Check.
Cool tech? Check.
Dilemmas that necessitate a sci-fi setting (as opposed to a story that could be told anywhere, but is sci-fi just because)? Check.
The series takes place on a near future Earth a little further along on drones and cybernetics than we are now. They’ve notably not done too much in the way of space exploration. Humanity seems to be stuck, stewing in its own corruption, the USA still in the clutches of a military industrial complex run amok. Humanity is still very much alone in the universe … or is it?
The Red is traditionally published, and the first book was a Nebula Finalist, which means you can pick it up at your local library. The trilogy is also available on Amazon of course. Click for current price: Amazon US, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia also GooglePlay, Kobo, and Nook.