Read No Evil Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a "soft" Sci-fi / Speculative Fiction story which relies on the possibilities of technology for story-line but does not include any hard science beyond the 0s and 1s of computer language and speculation about future possibilities of computer intelligence. It is mostly grounded firmly in the modern day and the concepts will be readily accessible to anyone who has ever bought a book on Amazon for their Kindle or other ebook reader.
Strengths of the book include a carefully planned plot with some nice twists and excellent writing skills (as a self-appointed Grammar Nazi, I have nary a complaint with this one, which can not be said of many self-published novels.) I found myself wanting to continue reading instead of putting the book down for other things.
The novel also builds tension in an often interesting way rather than entirely through action (although there is plenty of action as well). This is encapsulated nicely in my favorite lines from the book:
"Because if she was right - if the ebook simply exploited the emotional power of the written word in a way never seen before - then whatever happened, however this calamity turned out...there was no way that the written word could survive."
I don't know about anybody else, but I am as horrified as Jan at that possibility.
Over all, I enjoyed the book, but there were a couple of things that kept it from being a 5 star book for me. When the book began, I was really able to like Jan. She was a dedicated teacher who truly cared about her students and literature, and she really won me over when she stepped between two of her male students to break up a fight, despite that fact that they were both much bigger than she was. She made them back down on sheer force of her conviction. My kind of gal.
Sadly, later on in the book, she became a YA heroine who falls in love after going on half a date with another teacher. Okay, I admit...she had one brief conversation with the object of her affections before their truncated date, so maybe that added a lot to the relationship. Unfortunately, whenever I read a book in which the characters fall in love within days of their first conversation, I really have to ask myself, "have I been doing something wrong?" (Why yes, apparently I have.) I also found it difficult to believe that an intelligent person would take the risk she had in relationship to her sister's health, but I can not go farther with that without getting spoilery. While both of these story elements were there for a reason and were important to the outcome of the story, they felt like they had been dropped in for that purpose and were not as well developed as they should have been in an otherwise deftly crafted story. I found them irritating.
In terms of character development, Jan's teenage student, Adrian, was more consistent and often more interesting. At times, I realized I would rather have heard the story from his perspective instead because Jan was on my nerves at the time with her insta-love.
In general, the whole "meta" thing going on with the book is pretty popular right now and I think the teen and early 20's reading groups would really, really dig it. I am quite a bit older than that and still found it enjoyable. You do not have to be a sci-fi fan to enjoy the story, but if you hate anything to do with sci-fi, you probably would not like this one in the end.
On a final note, this book did not format properly on the Kindle Fire HD or on my Kindle PC app. The larger images in the book float down over some of the text, and the only way I was able to read the text underneath was to make the text size as large as possible to push the image out of the way and then make it smaller again after getting past the image. Obviously, this flaw didn't keep me from continuing reading. I should note that I got the book as a free download on a special promotion day. However, I would have felt I got more than my money's worth if I had paid the $2.99 it usually sells for. It's a good book, and a bargain at that price.
I read reviews by a couple other people and agree with one if the reviewers that Jan fell " in love" way to fast with Paul. Other than that, the story was excellent. While you really know that nothing like that could happen, the story was realistic enough that it made you wonder ever so briefly.... Hmmmm, could something like that happen years down the road... Now that's a scary thought.
However, even though it is well written and the characters are ok, I found the acts committed by these readers of the story within the story too gruesome to enjoy the reading, and eventually it turned out to be what I would classify as a fantasy novel.
I found it captivating and well written enough to recommend it for fantasy fans but not for those who prefer an old-fashioned whodunit.
1) There were a lot of errors in formatting, and it was hard to read because of the many duplicate pages. There were also parts where images were pasted over text, and cut out the words so you could not read what it said.
2) The concept was intriguing. A super computer that craves power - it was something I haven't read in a long time, but I think having two stories in one made it more confusing.
3) I was left confused with the ending between Jan and April. The binary code left me hanging, wondering what happened to April all of a sudden.
Overall, it was definitely something I am glad I read, but I wish the errors would have been corrected prior to release. I would have enjoyed it much more had it not irritated me so much.
Turns out I was right. About which? You figure it out.
Anyway, I was entertained enough to read it through but, ultimately, was disappointed. Turns out to be the Matrix, or Terminator, pick your scifi AI.
It would have been much better as a horror novel. You know, a curse, witchcraft, not HAL.