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About the Author
- Publication Date : October 13, 2020
- File Size : 2745 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 384 pages
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Publisher : Tor Books (October 13, 2020)
- X-Ray : Enabled
- ASIN : B082RS7N3X
- Language: : English
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #10,201 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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For example- something happens early on in the story involving taxi cabs. It is a horrific event, and unlike anything the protagonist nor reader has ever experienced. Imagine machines in a city rising up to battle humans - sounds interesting, right?Approximately two paragraphs are devoted to describing the event and the protagonist’s reaction to it. Following these two paragraphs are perhaps 5 pages of the protagonist explaining “binary transparency” and the minutiae of cryptographic keypairs as it relates to cyber security. This section is completely unrelated to the taxi event, and occurs immediately after. Keep in mind this is a subject that the protagonist deals with every single day. It would be like an accountant witnessing an alien invasion on tv, switching off the tv after a few minutes, and then sitting and pondering Excel formulas and balance sheets for an hour. It is hard to believe anyone could be so blaśe about such a crazy event, and I certainly wouln’t want to spend any time in the head of someone like this.
That said, this is how Doctorow writes. You either deal with it or move on. As far as Doctorow goes, this is a good one!
If you follow Cory Doctorow then a lot of the themes in this book will be familiar. Regardless, it follows a very different arc to that of Marcus Yallow. Exploring the other side of the fence when it comes to surveillance.
While Cory Doctorow's novel Walkaway is still my favourite, this is a close second. Even better is the audio book version, narrated by Amber Benson. Note: it's not available on Audible because, for some unknown reason, they won't allow books without DRM (even if the Author and Publisher is okay with it).
I gather it's supposed to be a stand-alone story for those who haven't read the previous entries...but I can't help but wonder what those readers would make of it.(Why does this Marcus fellow and his wife keep popping up?) Still, I think there's plenty for new readers to sink their teeth into. Plenty of food for thought.
I work in high tech and I know what are the technologies being developed or already existing. All the technologies in this book are already existing and some cases when they were used to control political opponents appeared on papers in recent times.
But this is also the story of Masha, of her friend and of hope that comes from people joining forces and fighting for a better world.
Masha isn’t a likeable character and I found hard to warm up to her. She works for security companies that use the technology to monitor people. She’s an excellent technician but she’s also a damage person who must compartmentalize her life in order to survive.
I met some people like her, people who work to develop technologies that can be in a moral grey area. It’s not hard to see how they are considering their activities as business as usual and avoiding to reflect on the moral implication.
Even if I think it’s a bit unreal that a highly specialised tech guy have a Damascus moment and decides to take side with the good guy it was also a moment I loved because it was hope in quite bleak story.
There are good guys and there are bad guys in this story. At the end of the day all the main characters are women. They are brave and they fight and even Masha, who is morally grey, is able to change and grow.
The technical aspect is interesting and Doctorow did an excellent job in explaining the different technologies and helping people to understand what are the implications and how they can be used.
The plot is quite gripping even if it drags sometimes. It’s not heartwarming and I’m still quite terrified by what I read. I’m a bit paranoid about connected devices and this story did affected me as it made me wish to go back to a very simple phone with no internet connection.
There’s hope at the end to this story but there’s also the message that the power can affect the persons and the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
I don’t know if my review is logical or what else, I just know that this book should be read by a lot of persons as we need to know how technologies can be used to manipulate and control us.
I strongly recommend it because, even if it’s not a perfect book, it’s important to know.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine