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Finished with Life but Unable to Die Omnibus Edition Kindle Edition
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The story begins with an elderly man getting ready to leave this world and ends with a very similar, but very different man actually leaving the world. In between, the world is changing drastically, advanced technology becomes commonplace, and all of it is done with one family at its core. The father of this family loves his children, but never realizes that they resent him because he is always critical of the way they live their lives. The father, Michael, is at the center of the story, and we see most things happen through his eyes.
We see his struggle to connect with his children, we see his confusion when trying to adapt to new technology, and we see his transformation into someone who is eventually won over and uses the technology to benefit himself and the world (he hopes). Eventually, we see him realize that he helped to create a monster and then his attempts to fix the situation with the help of his daughter.
I can't give many details because doing so would ruin the story for others. I could write about the technology forever because it is a story unto itself; however, even the technology is a commentary on our world today. Yes, this is a science fiction story, but it shows us that even surrounded by all the technology in the world, it is people, individuals and groups, that actually make the difference in the world.
My biggest criticism of the book is the ending. It felt rushed. It didn't seem like the problem could be solved quickly. I also thought the story about Michael's brother was totally unnecessary. It didn't add anything to the story, and, at times, made it uncomfortable.
Other than those two things, the book was very good and an excellent commentary on the world we live in.
When I first started reading this book, I didn't really know what to expect. All I had to go off of was what the author told me -- a science fiction story about an old man who's ready to die but, thanks to a mysterious scientific procedure, doesn't. It didn't really sound up my alley, but I like supporting Canadian authors, so why the heck not give it a shot?
And I'm SO GLAD I DID!
This book is phenomenal. It starts off slow but fascinating, and then just keeps ramping up, page by page, until you're sitting there trying to wrap your mind around how unbelievably epic the story has become. Michael is a brilliant and layered character -- he's committed to helping his family, but he meddles so much in their affairs that he basically causes all the problems he later has to face and overcome. But my favorite part of the book has to be the technology the author envisions -- a world of illusion, sentient AIs, infinite life-extension ... it's unlike anything I've read before, and did such an excellent job of painting a wicked cool yet ultimately terrifying vision of what our future might become if we don't keep our ambitions in check.
I'd definitely recommend this book to any science fiction fans out there. Don't be put off by the seeming normalcy of the first part -- once you hit part 2, things really start to get intense. Trust me. It's awesome.
I was not disappointed by the continued proliferation of interesting ideas contained in this book - the way we view ourselves and are seen by others, power and it's effects, possible futures, global warming, quantum physics ( made easy), equality, religion, utopia and hell, family and it's dynamics, g!obal economics, love and hate, humanity - and even more. At first, the continuing story of the man who couldn't die held me, the ideas seamlessly flowing with the exciting text but somewhere, around two thirds in, the author lost me: it fe!t that he was simply playing with words to build the length not the story ( sorry further details would lead to spoilers) and it descended into a fantasy horror instead. For this I have given only three stars.
That said, if ideas to ponder are what gives spice to your enjoyment, this is a worthwhile read.
I read the entire series before starting any other books, and the pace was just right, and the ending just right, to satisfy my expectations of both quality writing and satisfaction with the progression of the story.
I will be reading more of Scott's books for sure. (Just downloaded another one!)
Sure, there were some familiar elements: AI supremacy, a world where the point of living is to consume and be happy, a severe caste idealism based on what the people at the top expect the world to look like.
But this author wove all the themes together in a way that truly surprised me. And as a veteran reader, that is the best recommendation I can offer.