Top positive review
September 4, 2012
Well! I have to say that even though the cover says A Techno-Thriller on it, this lovely piece of intrigue falls perfectly into the conspiracy genre. Hold up kiddies there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that. I love a good conspiracy, almost as much as I love paranormal romance.
Kim puts together a cast of characters who bring a strong presence to every part that they are in. I found two weak point the whole book where I wasn't feeling them but good googly moogly, who cares.
The story is based the idea that computer programming could possibly be the reason for the start of world war three. Sound familiar? It should there are enough movies about this same idea. I think own a few...
We open with a college student circa the Viet Nam era tripping on something and creating the first computer bug by hand, punch card style. The book flashes forward from there to 2007, but then makes it a point to follow this genius throughout important parts of said tripper's life. The books leads you, the reader, to the business end of Washington DC, divey areas of Thailand, the fall of Saigon, and even to Tehran. A lot of research went into this book and it's not lost on you as you traverse the world with the characters.
I can say that this book comes with all the requisite ingredients for a thriller: deranged military and government officials, creepy assassins, and old men considered harmless or crazy, good stuff really. What makes this a stand out for me is the random Thai tranny, the girl on girl action, and the fact that everyone seems to have daddy issues. How they feel about Daddy seems to motivate just about everyone even those who's father isn't even relevant.
Junior the voiceless and some would want to think brainless machine, makes a perfect foil for all America's fears. The program operates without concern for moral rightness. It is business, the opposite of humanity and ironically created by humans. It's after results, and humans constant need to have a decision made for them makes the system so easy to abuse. It's a means to an end but is it the right end?
I think a good portion of time was spent understanding why this machine should not exist, inside each characters mind. The way that they eventually blended together and worked toward the solution for Junior was neatly arranged. If that time was not spent I think the characters would have been flat and the story would have suffered. Some books I've read lately have not been able to pull that off.
What did I not like about the book? Not much. Because this book does not really need romantic undertones, it's just that good, what little romantic interactions there were, could have been omitted. I'm not even really strong on that stance because the story doesn't really have to reach that far AND it's done in such a matter of fact ay that you don't even really question it. I did love how smitten one of the minor characters became with the aforementioned tranny. I especially loved it when he got warned by both his/her father and brother. Freaking classic, as a comic relief moment goes that was superb.
The end was a little too tidy but what do you expect? These are, despite their collective big brains, humble citizens of the world and all they really wanted in the end was to just live in peace. Sorry no sunsets or sailing off into the moon light here.
Was this a good book? Yes. Did this live up to it's techno-thriller title? Yes. We already said this was a great conspiracy novel. Super Yes. Is this a guy book? MMM maybe, but not so much a guy book as just a really good book.
Thanks Kim Aleksander for putting some seriously good hard work into this story. It was totally worth the wait ordering the print copy.