Geosynchron (Book Three of the Jump 225 Trilogy)
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2011
Having read all three books in back-to-back succession it strikes me that the author, while starting with an interesting concept that was certainly engaging and enthralling during the first fifty pages of book 1- Infoquake (mediocre writing style and one-dimensional characters notwithstanding) had really not given enough thought for the entire trilogy and its ultimate conclusion. Before commenting on my biggest criticism of this last book (see item (3)), I also want to briefly outline a few issues that compelled me to give this a lower rating than the book (and the entire trilogy) otherwise could have gotten.

1) The books read like they were either padded with unnecessary and rather poorly stylized exposition in an effort to make three books where one would have been enough. (God bless the nature of the literary business where quantity pays better than quality.) In essence, all three books could have been one book, with about 250-300 pages (at the very least) pruned for the sake of consistent flow, greater emphasis on relevant aspects of the story and the philosophy, all the while including less clutter and poor writing. The third book is the most poorly written in my opinion, where internal monologue, narrative plot advancement, dialogue and general pontifications by the author fit together in a contrived and rather awkward jumble. There are literally entire paragraphs consisting of sentences ending with question marks as a means of showing the inner thoughts of the main female protagonist. It's rather formulaic (as it is repeated often as way of showing the reader that this is Jara's inner voice), sexist as the author only portrays the women as weak while all men as strong, conniving, stoic, or brazen, and grates on the eyes and ears by simply being written in bad style. Simply put, either the author felt like he was above having to do basic editing to perfect his craft, or his editors simply slept at the wheel. What this resulted in was 20% interesting story, 80% cyberpunk space opera (in the derogatory sense), with all the cheese and utterly misplaced profanities to boot. Oh, and I forgot to mention that 90% of the book takes place in meetings, board meetings, and more conversations in meetings. Take Star Wars Episodes 1-3, take out all battle scenes and leave only the pointless walking and talking scenes and you get the gist of these books. Edit, edit, and edit some more. Again, if these 3 books were written as one, and better edited, the story would have been more compelling and less annoying to wade through.

2) The characters are completely inconsistent from chapter to chapter, and especially from book to book. In effect this does nothing other than further highlight the 1-dimensionality of all characters in the books, as well as giving a close reader an unnecessarily intimate look into the author's own personal psychological issues. This becomes apparent due to the flat narrative of each character, the lack of credible motivations or believable inner lives, the shifting beliefs and allegiances of friends and enemies that no normal human psyche would adhere to considering their circumstances and the short time span of all three books. At best all the characters come off as are mere facets of the various views the author has of himself - author as stoic, author as self-deprecating fat guy, author as ideal Ayn Randian ubermench, author as guy who has issues with women, author as arm chair general that any person with military training would laugh at, etc. The tragic result of all this is that at the end I didn't have a scintilla of care about any of the characters or their ultimate fates because none of them were in any way 'real'. Basically this was a pastiche of a pastiche.

3) And here is my main problem with the third book specifically: The author started with a difficult idea -multiple realities- rather reminiscent of Neal Stephenson's god-awful novel Anathema, and tried to do his best to massage the idea of multireal into something interesting. Ultimately, however, as far as a Utopian or social-commentary novel, these books, and the third one especially, completely fail to offer anything new to the socio-cultural discussion. This is because the author makes so many rudimentary mistakes and oversights about the proposed technology itself (nanotech), human nature (both social and biological), society in general (politics, ethics, etc), the nature of physics and thermodynamics (I am consistently baffled by how so many cyberpunk writers from a computer/IT background appear to willfully fail to learn even the basic presets of the laws of thermodynamics before leaping off into the magical world of nano-magic and use of nonsensical words like 'aether' or 'sub-aether'), and humanity's ultimate destiny in the sea of unbounded technology, which have already been painstakingly and eloquently explored for over a half a century by great philosophers and great sci-fi writers of yesteryear, that it reads like a hodge-podge of second-hand pseudo-intellectualism wrapped up in some self-aggrandizing messianic obsession with an Ayn-Randian superman sacrificing himself for the good of the world. And here's the biggest rub (not a spoiler): the book ends with practically a deus-ex machina denumeunt that essentially negates the entire three books, akin to those awful tv episodes that end with the main protagonist waking up an realizing that the entire episode was a dream.

In sum: the concept of multiple realities if a difficult one to use as a premise. Therefore, it requires care and aforethought to flesh the entire story out before starting the written project. This is because there is absolutely nothing more frustrating than an author teasing the reader for three books that perhaps there will be a clever, if not profound, resolution and realization of the significance of the proposed concept, only to be left with a "I didn't know where to go or how to wrap things up so I coped-out as best as I could by falling back on the most "meh" ("uninspired" for the cultured among you) martyr-esque ending to avoid all the difficulties of a tangled and pointless web... of basically people talking in circles about nothing.

Better books on the same themes: Accelerando by Charles Stross. The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigulapi. River of Gods by Ian McDonald. Anything by Philip K. Dick or Jorge Luis Borges. And of course the classics: Neuromancer by William Gibson and the Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2011
So I'm giving the final book of the trilogy five stars, even though I don't think it is significantly better than the first two books, both of which I gave four stars to. The book is deserving of five stars simply for the incredibly detailed future world Edelman has created and the concepts that he conveyed in the books, which I'm sure I will be contemplating for quite a while. The future of capitalism, democracy, technology, biology, software, marketing, the news media, and entertainment were all well-thought out and thoroughly explored in this book. It was all so incredibly detailed, self-consistent, and just down-right creative that it felt genuine. There's a reason why each book contains appendices and a glossary to explain all that's going on in these novels. For the "world building" alone, the trilogy, if not the third book, deserves a five-star rating.

The one major problem with this book was that the first half was pretty bland, with not much happening and very little tension. Don't get me wrong, the "ho-hum" narrative set up a satisfying and suspenseful conclusion, but, tellingly, it took me a little over a week to read the first half of the book and less than 24 hours to read the last half.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2011
There were a lot of really nasty people in this series, and you have to admire how they played off each other. Natch's transformation at the end seemed a little out of place, despite all of the revelations he experienced. Overall this series showed a great deal of promise, but Natch's choices at the end caught me by surprise, because there did not seem to be enough evidence to support it.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2011
The Kindle edition of this book uses the "Topaz" file format which allows the publisher to embed a custom font for typesetting the book. The font they've chosen is both ugly and hard to read: especially compared with the default fonts available on the Kindle.

The publisher does not allow you to change the font on the Kindle or to adjust line spacing: two key features that the Kindle provides.

The font is even uglier and harder to read on some devices like a second-generation iPod Touch than it is on the Kindle.

This can only be considered a broken file and you should not purchase it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Having loved both Infoquake and MultiReal, I couldn't wait to see how David Louis Edelman would close the show in the third and final volume of this series. Especially considering that MultiReal ended with a cliffhanger, I was eager to discover what would occur next.

Here's the blurb:

The Defense and Wellness Council is enmeshed in full-scale civil war between Len Borda and the mysterious Magan Kai Lee. Quell has escaped from prison and is stirring up rebellion in the Islands with the aid of a brash young leader named Josiah. Jara and the apprentices of the Surina/Natch MultiReal Fiefcorp still find themselves fighting off legal attacks from their competitors and from Margaret Surina's unscrupulous heirs -- even though MultiReal has completely vanished.

The quest for the truth will lead to the edges of civilization, from the tumultuous society of the Pacific Islands to the lawless orbital colony of 49th Heaven; and through the deeps of time, from the hidden agenda of the Surina family to the real truth behind the Autonomous Revolt that devastated humanity hundreds of years ago.

Meanwhile, Natch has awakened in a windowless prison with nothing but a haze of memory to clue him in as to how he got there. He's still receiving strange hallucinatory messages from Margaret Surina and the nature of reality is buckling all around him. When the smoke clears, Natch must make the ultimate decision - whether to save a world that has scorned and discarded him, or to save the only person he has ever loved: himself.

As was the case in the second volume, in Geosynchron Edelman wastes no time revisiting the events of the previous installment. Geosynchron picks up exactly where MultiReal left off. For those, like me, who need a little reminder, you can find a synopsis for both Infoquake and MultiReal at the end of the book.

In order to avoid info dumps, David Louis Edelman has never dwelt too much on worldbuilding as part of the narrative. Relying on appendixes, the author has always managed to keep the pace moving rather swiftly. Though this has worked well in the past, I would have liked to learn more about the Autonomous Revolt, the Pharisees, and the Islanders. All three are fascinating concepts, but unfortunately Edelman never truly gets the opportunity to elaborate on them in a way that I found satisfactory. It doesn't take anything away from the story, mind you. Yet I feel it would have added another dimension to a work that already resounds with depth.

I've said in the past that my favorite facet about this series would be its flawed protagonists. No larger than life characters in this trilogy, they all have shortcomings like regular people, and that makes them more genuine. They remain true to themselves, giving each character more life and credibility as the story unfolds. Enduring all the hardships fate has thrown his way, Natch has grown and becomes an even more interesting character in this one. The same can be said of Jara, for that matter. Although Horvil, Vigal, and Benyamin have roles to play in the end game, other characters such as Quell, Brone, the Patel Brothers, and Magan Kai Lee take center stage from time to time. Even though this remains to be Natch's story, as was the case in MultiReal Edelman focuses on several secondary characters in this sequel, which again elevates the characterization to another level.

The politicking plays an important role in this final volume. The power struggle between Len Borda and Magan Kai Lee will have great repercussions, as will the Islanders' unexpected involvement.

The surprising ending makes Geosynchron a terrific and fitting finale for a series that found a way to get better with each new installment. The Jump 225 trilogy could well be the best science fiction series of the new millennium. David Louis Edelman deserves his place among the most talented scifi authors in the field today.

Highly recommended.
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on June 15, 2010
First of all, I really enjoyed these three books. Who would have thought that such excitement could be generated around what's essentially a tale of computer programming and business? However, my gripe is as follows (spoiler): I understand the literary reasons for dystopic or downbeat denouements; such is the author's prerogative. But with such fascinating concepts bandied about in these books, to me it would have been more courageous to explore their progression into implementation rather than put them on hold until humanity is "ready." Just sayin'; if our future is created at least partially by our visions, then wouldn't utopian projections be more desirable than say cautionary tales and certainly more than tragedies? Maybe that's what I would ideally want to read, anyway. In Wil McCarthy's Queendom of Sol books, the catastrophe occurs to illustrate mankind's flaws and hubris, a writer's device, but things are left highly charged with positive possibility. In Geosynchron progress is stalled basically because the infrastructure can't handle the new technology. Well, come on.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2010
GEOSYNCHRON is Volume 3 of the 'Jump 225' trilogy, concluding a saga and therefore recommended for science fiction collections possessing the prior volumes. It continues the story of a civil war between Len Borda and Magan Kai Lee within the Defense and Wellness Council, and offers a political thriller that takes the contenders around the world and into the sky as they battle for the truth behind a revolt that ended humanity hundreds of years in the past. The tense thriller is brought to gripping conclusion, here.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 6, 2010
Every once in a great while I run across an author who has imagined a world so vivid and complete that I feel as if it actually exists. When that world is set hundreds of years in the future, this feat of creation is even more astounding.

Geosynchron, the final piece of David Edelman's Jump 225 Trilogy, completes the story of entrepreneur Natch, convincingly portraying his evolution from self-centered businessman to socially-conscious guardian of MultiReal. Infected with life-threatening black code and on the run from his nemesis Brone as well two executives vying for control of the Government, Natch must choose between two paths, each with dire consequences for the welfare of the human race.

As with its predecessors, this novel features intense action sequences, mentally-stimulating political maneuvering, and interesting thematic material. Here, the possible unification of the connectibles (the majority of the population who fully embrace the fusion of their bodies with software that regulats their bodily functions and connects them to the Datasea) and the unconnectibles (a minority group who have chosen to remain in a more-or-less natural state), and the disparate viewpoints they embrace, form a central motif.

If humans are on an inevitable path towards perfection, is it truly possible to destroy a technology that has the possibility to improve the human condition (but with alarming collateral consequences) or can we only hope to come up with a way to restrict its proliferation until adequate controls are in place? This is not only Natch's dilemma, but the dilemma our society faces as we stand on the brink of technologies that could alter the course of human evolution.

The Jump 225 Trilogy, for me, deserves not only a wide readership but also recognition as one of the most important sci-fi works of our time.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2010
This is a fast paced thrill ride that will take you to a unexpected ending , You really should read Infoquake, and MultiReal first. I loved this Trilogy
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2010
First let me say that I love the world and the idea behind the series. I had a great time reading the books and I would have given this a 5 for that. However I also want to give it a 3 for other reasons. So I settled on a 4. I am going to try to keep major spoilers out of this but there may be a few smaller ones.

My major issue with the series is for things that seemed like they should be linked, but never were. It is Natch's story but the Surina's influence the whole world. Everyone seems to play in the sandbox they made. There are two parallel stories about Surina technology, Teleportation and MultiReal. Both are similar in the way they could change society and how the government wants to stop them. The novels do a great job illustrating that. Teleportation was neutered before it could be perfected. It is implied that teleportation could be instant, but is now limited to a time intensive process (hours). MultiReal's fate I won't get into because of spoilers.

The code for both of these technologies came from the same place, the Surina's. It is mentioned that the code for Teleportation and MultiReal share/have similar structures. That they "fit" together. It seems obvious that with both technologies one could really move between realities. The human race could truly evolve into a go anywhere/do anything post human existence. The clues in the book make it seem like this was the Surina plan from the beginning.

My problem is that this never happens. None of the characters bring it up as a possibility or solution. They never even see the connection. To me it would have been a great place to take the story. An even more fascinating possibility on top of a the great world we were already given.

So I think it is a great series and a good read but I am disappointed in where we eventually ended up. Or at least in where we could have ended up but didn't. Hopefully a future series in this universe will explore that more.
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