Plot/Storyline: 4 3/4 Stars
I found the plot to be surprisingly unique, along with its interesting setting of our future earth. The future in the novel is scarily realistic. I could actually see the U.S. turning into this world.
From the first paragraph, I was pulled into the story. The depiction of the very different futuristic society was seamlessly interwoven into the story. The cover states that this is a "Cyberpunk Novel." To be perfectly honest, I'm not really into all that new genre classification. I preferred to think of it as a science fiction novel, and a very good one at that.
Yes, there are a lot of references to computers and new technology. However, there was really only one scene that required any computer knowledge. Although, I didn't think that scene was done as well as the rest of the book. It was a bit convoluted with all of the "rules" not explained very well. The rest of the book is set outside of any "cyberspace" areas.
While I am not into political type books, this one had an entirely different take on politics and government. It was not an especially new concept, but it was introduced in an awesome way that kept me guessing until the very end.
Character Development: 4 1/2 Stars
Artemis, the main character, was really fun to read about. I loved his style. While I couldn't agree with his politics, or lack thereof, or his moral reasonings, he still remained sympathetic in my eyes. He wasn't particularly likable, yet I still found myself cheering him on.
Artemis' lady love was far less developed. She could have used qutie a bit more "page time."
The bodyguard was just a side character, yet he was my favorite by far.
Writing Style: 5 Stars
I really enjoyed the writing style of Mr. Ballard. The smooth sentence structure gave the story a good flow. The descriptions were excellent, with just enough detail. The dialogue was very realistic.