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(R)evolution (Phoenix Horizon) Paperback – June 1, 2015
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"[An] intriguing and fast-paced debut...With poignancy and sensitivity, Manney constructs an intricate and adventurous plot...Fans of gosh-wow SF will devour this novel all the way to the startling ending." —Publishers Weekly
"(R)evolution builds momentum to a rollicking chase through hope and terror, fast-looming biotech, and a tasty-paranoid look at who 'actually runs’ the USA." —David Brin, author of The Postman and The Transparent Society
"(R)evolution is a superhumanly researched hybrid of sci-fi, techno-thriller, epic myth of the hero's journey with vivid and memorable characters. And its e-book presentation is perfect for the times and the material. Truly an achievement." —Joe Quirk, bestselling author of The Ultimate Rush, Exult, and It's Not You, It's Biology
“Reading (R)evolution is a thrilling cinematic experience in your head on par with a Bourne novel. You will find yourself rushing to find out how the protagonist survives and thrives, and along the way develop an appreciation for how emerging technologies will soon change our experience of daily life.” —Dr. James Hughes, executive director of IEET, former ED of Humanity+, author of Citizen Cyborg, bioethicist, futurist
About the Author
PJ Manney writes the same way she lives—with an abiding passion for exploring new, exhilarating, and utterly unique experiences. A devotedly positive futurist, she was on the board of directors of Humanity+, an international nonprofit organization that advocates the ethical use of technology to expand human capabilities. PJ has also been active in communications, public relations, and film production. To date, she has written numerous scripts for television pilots, as well as worked on shows such as Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. She has lived as far afield as New York and New Zealand, and loves delving into the cultural landscape of wherever she finds herself. Whenever she’s not working on her novels, she continues to expound on her perspective of a technology-driven posthumanity while encouraging hopeful visions of the future. She lives with her husband of twenty-five years and their two children.
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The scene starts off as essentially rape as it starts with Tom and Talia bumping into each other and she tells him to stay away from her (going so far as to point a meat cleaver at his chest to drive home the point that she was serious), but he was aroused so he pushes himself onto her and she mostly just stands there as he gets going. (But it is somehow supposed to be romantic?) If the rapey feel of this weren't bad enough the descriptions come off sounding like they were written by someone with no first hand sexual experience and instead is basing the scene off of the worst, cheapest, most poorly made porno you could possibly imagine. I mean come on, Tom even tried to 'tease' her by putting a knife down her skirt. This scene was in complete contrast to the entire rest of the book to the point it seems to have been written by someone else (someone who doesn't know what they are doing I might add). The scene could have been completely omitted and the book would have only benefited from it.
Taking place in the not too distant future, the "science fiction" is the advancement in technology, particularly nano technology. The advancement accelerates as the book goes on and the last 10 or 15% is a little more traditional sci fi- but with more philosophical speeches :) The book does include some foul language, violence and one graphic sex scene but I think you will find the first two in any modern thriller
In the first few chapters I was put off by awkward dialogue, descriptions and silly character behavior but then it picked up speed and seemed interesting. And then it glossed over major events and time with a few sentences but included protracted descriptions and monologues. And then it got interesting again. That unevenness continued throughout the book. In addition,the main character was unlikeable. At one point he is described as a "Dudley Doright". Uh, no. He starts out ethically weak, erratic, self centered and, for a genius, not too bright. That never really changes.
This is shown as "Book One" and based on the ending I would expect a future book to be hard core near future sci fi. Clearly this is intended to be a set up for that book/series. But just about every theme in this book has been done before from the rich guy secret society to ...others I won't include to prevent spoilers. So I don't think that I'll pursue another in the series.
Pretty much just a sometimes OK book that could have been edited down by a third.
Top international reviews
As with many writers who decide to make their antagonist the 'smartest guy in the room', wunderkind genius type, Manney is betrayed by their own limitations in this area, and ends up writing a lead character who veers from the jaw droppingly dense to the dementedly offensive via OTT spluttering and semi-magical plot twists that make less and less sense the more you think about them. Also, surprisingly for the work of a female author, there is a nasty streak of misogyny running throughout the novel, with almost all female characters paper thin cliches; all stunning curves and bulging bras, saintly whores or whining child bearers. There is even a scene of domestic violence that seems to be passed off with the old "I hit you because I care" shrug and that goes totally unanswered or penalised, which left a genuinely unpleasant taste.
By the end I was racing through the last few pages with abandon, unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. I'm sad to say I can't think of a single thing that would make me want to read the sequel.
This is a well-written and plotted story, teasing the reader into wanting to know what happens next. My only disappointment, excluding the inevitable cracks in the journey's road with this genre, is the abundance of beauty, intelligence and wealth. But that may well just be jealousy.
There was some great technology ideas, though they weren't always consistent. The technology just gets a little to Zarathustra in the end. But the conspiracy theory around a club that has existed for 200 years running America is just a bit much for me. However much people want to believe in an Illuminati it probably doesn't exist. I always go by the tenet.. If its a choice between a conspiracy and stupidity go for the stupidity.
I might read future books just to see where it finally goes.
The writer must have an interesting background.
A curious mix of proper hard-ish science combined with some standard and somewhat cliched Hollywood plot devices, it's an accessible novel that maintains a steady pace.
It has something of a pulp-ish feel - the 'bloated plutocrats' feeding off the lifeblood of good ol' 'Mur-cans comes across as a bit like stage dressing, with no depth to the wanton powers-that-be. It's this some-time cartoonish-ness to the backdrop that robs some of the tension from the back end of the novel.
For all its detractions, I have a feeling that the style and tone of this novel will slot neatly into the demographic that gobbled up Dan Brown's bland, tepid offerings.
Add in a protagonist who was really hard to like and a deux ex machina ending very literally. Together they earned my single star
Superbly written in such a way that you will find yourself not only painted a vivid picture of the not so distant future but also room to imagine the possibilities that biotech can bring.
In many ways this is a rise, fall and rise again story pitted with love, pain and redemption.
Open your eyes and embrace the possibilities
I will read the next book, but I hope that there is SOMEONE likeable in it.
PS Too many likes???
like it was taken from the opening of the movie 'Prometheus' !!!! (Or maybe the movie copied it from the book!!!!?????). Definitely a
good read though!!
Characters are believable and if your into conspiracy theories the underlying plot thread is quite believable.
I enjoyed it and will probably by another PJ book.