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3.9 out of 5 stars
Heaven 2.0
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Chairman Robertson called a meeting concerning an incident that happened "on the fourteenth of July in the year of our Almighty God 2769". Michael Kepler, a first year extractor, and his mentor, Gabrielle Hawking, are both at the meeting. In fact, they are the reason for the meeting because of a bit of bother with The Computer. Seems they almost extracted someone before their time.

Scott Haworth has created a very interesting concept for his readers; the notion that God intended humans to use the intelligence He gave them, to create their own Heaven and Hell. Using extremely advanced medical procedures, no one ever dies, though those consigned to Hell desperately want to. Intelligent though they may be, humans are still subject to corruption, as Mike discovers when a person he knows to be decent and good is sent to Hell. Mike, like any good hero, cannot let this happen and takes on those who make the decisions.

Heaven 2.0 is a good read and well worth at least thrice the price. There is one niggle pertaining to the writing that needs to be addressed (sometimes the adverbs got out of hand), but it wasn't enough to take me out of the story. Thought-provoking, and with a hint of romance, I recommend it and would welcome comments.

Review of Heaven 2.0 by Amanda J. Capper for TheGenReview [...]
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Disclaimer--got it on a free day, so I didn't pay for the book. However.

The story concept and telling started out strong, and I enjoyed the premise, but I had some --to some reviewers nitpicks--but to me, major stumbling blocks.

The premise being that in the 28th century, the protagonist works as an "extractor"-- helping remove the just dead, artificially revived, and taking them forward
to his own time, where they are judged for their "sins" ---according to a world religion distilled from the Abrahamic religions--and then sent to a technologically
created "heaven" or "hell" where they are either rewarded or punished for eternity. As the protagonist soon learns, there are major flaws in the concept of a God
who has created humans and then wants them to use their intelligence to create their own "afterlife"--and "heaven" and "hell", and some people are convicted unfairly.

He learns this when he is sent to extract a homosexual man who is judged to be "sinful" for being homosexual, even though he died sacrificing his life to save a child.

Here was where the story bogged down. His homosexuals who live in the Castro District (naturally) are stereotypically swishy. All. Of. Them. The dystopic future has
"cured" humankind of the "defect" of homosexuality. What nonsense. I realize this is to underscore the dystopia of the protagonist's present...but it pulled me right
out of what could have been a good story. The writer has talent. I am certain he could grow and learn. But at the end of the day, this is as much nonsense as the
portrayal of homosexuals in the 1950s or black people or other people of color in the same era in sf. Or women. (I once read a Murray Leinster novel published in the
fifties in which he described the heroine consistently as "the girl" and I had a mental picture of a twelve year old--until the last bit when the heroine marries the
hero. This was the same amount of off-putting without the space opera theme.)

I can't give this more than two stars. I wish the writer well--but I hope he learns that stereotypes are not the way to write good characters. Premise was interesting, and
maybe someone who already has a preconception that homosexuality is a "defect" that can be "cured" or that pagan religions will just disappear or that atheism will just go
away for good might enjoy it more.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle Edition
This book had a very interesting premise. The notion of manufactured afterlifes - well not even real because your soul isn't going there, your immortal body is - and being judged by a corporation on where to spend eternity; wow, a lot of questions arise! It was very interesting. I can't say I liked it all or even the "good" characters, but I was always invested in the plot. I'm excited to see what else this author has in store. I did borrow the book through my Prime membership, as it's a bit pricey. Not sure if I would have paid full price for it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed this book. Its an interesting and unique take on time travel. I really liked the distinction between the 'dark ages' and the 'really dark ages.' Definitely recommend it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Actually a 3.5 star rating. There are possible spoilers in this review.

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

I thought this book had some innovative ideas. It wasn't overly wrought in religious dogma. There were some outrageous moments for me though. Such as the moment when it was stated that in the 28th century they had successfully stamped out the "homosexual disease". It was just another instance of proving what a dystopic society it truly was though.

The trips back in time were enjoyable diversions, but I think they took away from the main character. I think we could have done with less of the diversions and more character development.

This book was only 161 pages and the brevity showed in the character development. Mike was a great character, except he ultimately lacked a certain emotional depth that I would normally have found in a longer novel. I actually got more of a sense of who some of the supporting cast members were rather then who Mike Kepler was.

Another problem I had was when the rebels attacked they were armed with steak knives. Against guns. Obviously they had no chance. Steak knives against guns? I have an issue with that. Needless to say the rebels got captured. How they thought they'd have a chance I have no idea.

Parts of the climax of the story were interesting. Although they didn't sound very plausible. They just seemed too neat and pat. It also felt a little rushed. I wasn't entirely happy with the end either, but that's just my personal taste.

Overall, I did enjoy this story despite its flaws. I enjoyed the innovative ideas. I enjoyed the characters of Nicole and Paul from the 21st century. They had a depth to them that I couldn't find in the 28th century characters.

There were some humorous moments I liked, but they were few and far between. I liked the idea of time traveling. The idea of an artificial Heaven was interesting. I don't think it was my idea of Heaven, but I suppose it might serve for some.

So this wasn't a bad novella. It just wasn't great.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
After reading Scott Haworth's other thrilling books, American Liberation Front and Abraham Lincoln's Lie, I was excited to see Scott tackle the Sci-Fi genre and he does not disappoint.

The plot in Heaven 2.0 is elegant in its simplicity. Plainly put, future space people go back in time with their science and save everyone at exactly the moment of their death and bring them back to the future to be judged on their deeds. They either will go to their own virtual reality Heaven or be thrown into one of the layers of Hell or perhaps if they are one of the select few, have their own specialized Hell created for them.

The characters are astoundingly well put together. The main character is your stereotypical fish out of water/ultimate rebellion leader type that has been done before. However, Scott pulls it off well with the supporting cast of characters and their own side stories kept me wanting to read further. My two particular favorites are the french man who is in heaven and spends his day in a cafe in Paris before it was destroyed during world war 2 and his nights with many of the female patrons but never the one whom he truly wants. Secondly the barbarian brought to the future that believes everything is done with magic and goes into a berserker rage. It's the little details like those that make the story captivating.

The settings are magical places. Having the Heaven 2.0 Facility on Mars was a good judgement call because that brings the focus of the future away from Earth and the advances there and focus in on this microcosm of humanity's future in this specialized area. The time travel parts of the books were wonderful to read, you can tell Haworth's historical knowledge shine through and he brings the history to life told from the main character's point of view. Lastly, I could not stop reading about the different rooms in Hell and man-kind's never ending creativeness of how to torture his fellow man. I don't want to ruin the book for anyone but I'll just say these 2 words, poop room. Buy it simply because more people need to be in on the inner circle of Hell's poop room.

Forgetting all the minor problems that should be over looked with the gay cure, all religions combine together, the fact that there are still lawyers in the 28th century, the problem I have with this book are when you open the door with time travel you really need to have it locked down to avoid plot holes or at least address all the plot holes you are going to generate otherwise everything breaks down and goes all Time Cop. For example, if there is time travel in the 28th century and future people are judging others that lived before them, do they themselves get judged? Are people from the 29th century coming back to the 28th century to bring them to the 29th for judgement? or do they just stay in the 28th century and live forever working on the Heaven 2.0 project?

Not really a time travel plot hole but I'll just throw this out as a question, is the main character even working at Heaven 2.0 or is the whole book just his own personal Heaven adventure he got to create after he died and was judged?

Over all the book was an excellent read and I would be more than willing to pay full retail price for a copy of this book. I've read through the book twice so far and after writing this review plan on going back a third time. If you already haven't stopped reading this review to go buy the book to start reading, do so now. Then come back here so we can talk about the poop room.

OH! FYI, Hitler also makes an appearance, because of course he does.

The whole room is covered/filled with poop! Guys! Seriously. Read. This. Book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I am not really sure where to begin here. The plot of Heaven 2.0 is one like no other I have ever read before. Simply put, future people go back in time and save people at the moment of their death. They are brought into the future to be judged. Once judged they will go to either a virtual reality Heaven, one of the layers of Hell, or their very own Hell which has been specialized just for them (got your attention didn't I?)

The characters are all very well put together with all of the small minor details that make all the difference in the world there. The setting are simply wonderful as well. Heaven 2.0 is on Mars which makes everything seem more real in the sense that you could easily see this happening sometime in the future. I will say that reading all of the different layers and rooms in Hell were more than fascinating For example there is a poop room! That is all I am going to say, you have to read the book for yourself to get all the details.

I was provided a free copy of this book by the author so that I could facilitate my review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Cross-posted from Papyrus Independent Author Reviews.

Life is tough for angels - I mean extraction specialists. What if eternal happiness was a facility designed by humankind some time in the future? What if eternal damnation was similarly administered? Would you feel relieved - or worried?

"Heaven 2.0" starts with a fascinating premise; that some time in the future, all religions merge into a single unifying faith and that technology has availed us of the opportunity to extract people from the past, moments before their fated passing, processing them into a manufactured "Heaven" or "Hell" as decreed by interpretation of humanity's moral creeds. When you're so sure that the Almighty's will is to have you create the ultimate result of humanity's mortal coil, what could possibly go wrong?

As a reader we are exposed to exactly what could go wrong. And like many futuristic science fiction stories, there is ample extrapolation of current issues throughout the story: corporate rationalisation, quotas and performance metrics and what a corporation might do to secure ongoing government funding. We also see the peril of a future humanity applying a contemporary moral code on people from different eras - a rather sobering and provocative exercise. As quickly as we feel the outrage against a future morality when brought into judgement over our own, we suddenly recognise the similar arrogance we often use to judge those who have come before us.

Unfortunately, although I found the premise and message a winner in this novel, I could not be as enthusiastic about the execution. The prose itself is completely adequate and I have no particular issues with the style and certainly none with the accuracy; there was a satisfying lack of careless errors. However, I found the handling of the plot and characterisation to be less impressive than the ideas behind them. I understand the need of keeping a story focused, on not embarking in hundreds of pages of filler not pertinent to either the core plot or message. But to me, this novel was the skeleton of the story that could have been told - only containing the bare minimum required to make sure the message was delivered. Additionally, the characters became shells - sometimes illogical shells.

The main character could have been a likeable hero - a recognised genius head-hunted to become an extraction specialist, embraced in a corporation eventually revealed as corrupt and dangerous. There's a great deal we could learn about this character and how his ideals and intelligence could be used to uncover in-congruencies and hatch sophisticated plots to expose corruption, all with the very real risk of being disposed of by those in power. It could have been a sci-fi version of "The Client" by John Grisham. However, all we end up witnessing is an absolute fool blundering carelessly through every plot milestone, without any spark of intelligence or cunning. The cunning is reserved for characters that we never really get to know who remain in the background like some deus ex machina to ensure our clueless hero's success. And when wandering with intent but without any plan in the vast complex providing a Hell for all humanity throughout history, what chance would one have to run into people one was looking for? According to the author, a 100% success rate - maybe our protagonist really is a genius after all.

Along the way we do see some interesting ways in which a future humanity might use one's alleged sins to devise punishments, though I have to admit to being somewhat perplexed by the significance of some - the faeces room in particular seemed more puerile than pertinent. But overall, I just found the experience a bit lacklustre.

I wanted to like this story because to me, the premise is great. I would happily have swallowed the disbelief when considering a complex in the moon housing the history of humanity if I was given a conspiracy thriller with logical character development, genuine suspense and a sophisticated plot. But "Heaven 2.0" unfortunately felt like a rushed exercise and a missed opportunity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 20, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is a very interesting and entertaining story, very well written, about a futuristic world where science was able to create Hell and Heaven. The company responsible for this implementation is called Taipei Corporation and it recruits the most brilliant minds on Earth to work for their project, based on Mars. But the way the judgement happens is not completely "fair" and the company needs to fill some quotas for Hell as well as for Heaven and that causes some good people being sentenced to Hell. Mike Kepler is a young physicist that is recruited and when he notices those anomalies, he starts to fight the structure, and he is not alone on that fight. He has the help of his mentor and other surprising help from inside the corporation.
Very entertaining reading, brilliant idea, I recommend this book to the permanent library of any science fiction lover. It will keep you entertained for quite some hours. It took me around six hours to read the whole book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Heaven 2.0 brings up some interesting concepts. I'm reluctant to say "unlikely" as today we enjoy so many things that were unlikely not so long ago.
The concept of a private corporation running a Heaven/Hell operation and trying to meet Federally Required Quotas isn't all that strange, nor is the stigmatization of certain segments within our society. Even now some of those concepts are changing as the facets of our civilization increase in number.
This book is not big on technical aspects but tries to bring forth the insult to people's morality. Whether it succeeds or not is up to the individual reader.
It's not a long read, and I'd recommend it to just about anyone, especially if you're looking to find something a little different from your normal fare, a palate cleanser if you'd prefer.
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