A virulent pandemic sweeps the globe, leaving hundreds of millions of victims completely paralyzed, yet fully aware. Over time, “integrators” emerge: people willing to play host to the consciousness of the victims, but unwittingly opening the door to corruption and exploitation of untold proportions. Murder, intrigue, social upheaval, and a far-reaching FBI investigation — this near-future thriller has it all.
This is the synopsis on one of my current reads. Let’s see if it lives up to the expectations. Details and thoughts to follow!
Well, I finally finished the book. Book club is this evening (nothing like waiting ’til the last minute!) and I have just enough time to gather my thoughts so I can discuss them in a somewhat coherent manner.
So what did I think…the concept is definitely interesting. Already scientists are developing means for paraplegics and quadriplegics to regain the use of their limbs through technology. Is it a far reach to think that maybe two or three steps down the line, an overall neural network might be proposed? Thinking of how many times I receive a “click this link” e-mail from a friend whose account has been hacked or have to run sweeps on the computer to rid it of spyware and adware, though, I wonder if the integration of technology on a neural level is the wisest choice. Certainly, the drawbacks of this were fully explored in this book making for interesting food for thought.
Now for the book itself. I have to say that although it finished stronger than I expected, this book really didn’t appeal to me. Scalzi’s writing style is largely dialogue driven, and I prefer books which are character driven. The premise of the book was one with which the readers are completely unfamiliar. Due to his sparse descriptions, he was left with dialogue as his only means of explaining everything, leaving the characters flat and their conversations stilted. I really didn’t connect with the people, their problems or the setting. These are really key in my enjoyment of any book, and that lack of connection contributed greatly to my indifference about the work as a whole.
I feel like this is a book that needs pictures. It was an interesting enough concept, and adapting it for a movie or t.v. series would help make up for some of it’s inherent shortcomings. The superfluous, awkward dialogue could be trimmed, and the lack of description could be shored up by visual effects.
So back to the most interesting part of the book: the concept. What do you think about embedded biotechnology? Most can agree upon the benefits that can be had, but at what point would the risks outweigh the benefits? Hmm…interesting thoughts to ponder. I’d love to hear what you think!
Until then, happy reading!
Little Book Reviews