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Suri Five Kindle Edition
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Well all I can say about this is I LOVED IT!!!!! I'm more into Zombies then Science Fiction, but when Jacob asked me if I would rend his book for an honest review and of course I said yes as I've read some others in the past for some friends that have written SciFi and all I can say is this book was super. From the minute I started reading this book it had me hooked. Suri is such an awesome character and the story with her brother and what he means to her just makes it all the more intense. With the fight to the finish with AI (Artificial Intelligence) Five, which holds all of mankind in its grasp, who will live & who will die, will mankind perish in the process? You have to read this book to find out and it is one I will recommend to everyone I can. If Artificial Intelligence is something your intertested in, or just wanting to read a super book, please check this one out. I'm so glad that I was asked to read this book and I for one will read whatever Jacob Whaler writes.
First, the setting, which in SciFi is a major character. The whole juxtaposition of wealthy islands in seas of poverty is overdone and difficult to pull off. I'm not entirely sold on the authors' handwaving solutions to the inherent conflict between getting in food, manufactures and raw materials while keeping out undesirables, but overall it's good enough to not detract from the story. Given today's progress with 3D printing in food industries, it may end up being more practical than I credit, but I shan't say more. The technology essential to the story I thought they handled extremely well, smoothly balancing requirements of the story with hard SciFi science. I was impressed, both with the technology and with the description of the Mesh, their evolved Web.
Characters run from casual but plot-necessary (her teacher) to her inner circle. Suri herself is the most interesting and most complex. Her little brother is also well-drawn and plausible both internally and as a forcer for Suri. Their father is more sparsely drawn, but in enough depth that by the time his behavior is explicitly explained it had become apparent. Richard is more sparsely drawn as well; we see a great deal about his capabilities, with his motivation explained only obliquely. The other hackers are not detailed except as required to effect their parts. The only cardboard character is the government bureaucrat - but then, that's exactly how we tend to see them.
The crisis is surprisingly believable given its scope. Its resolution seems balanced and reasonable also - believable enough and well-paced enough to be nail-biting, but with plausible reasons to not fully trust what we are told until the last act unfolds. The authors work the trifecta - Suri against man, Suri against herself, and Suri against her environment. (Of course, we know up front that the last two are entertwined, but they skillfully make them separate conflicts as well as one conflict.
So, how much did I like the book? Well, as mentioned initially I was given a free copy to review, but having read it I immediately spent $3 to buy it just so my review would count for the official review ranking. I really, really liked it and it left me pondering some questions obliquely raised. I judge it suitable for ages ten or so up to senility; although very few young readers are going to pick up the nuances of societal issues and what it means to be human, it's still a good action story with characters that should be relatable to kids. I highly recommend it.
Jacob’s ability to make surreal/science fiction/fantasy palpable visual and credible is one of his many strong points as a writer. An example of how he sculpts his main character by placing her in the new before the story takes off is here: ‘I slowed the pace near the end of my morning jog. It was late summer, first day of school. A man dropped out of an oak tree behind me, slammed into the pavement and rolled. Staggering to his feet with a forehead dripping blood, he grinned and ran after me. Heart exploding beneath my nano-shirt, I shifted into a sprint. But no matter how hard I pushed, the crazy man was gaining on me, his feet thudding the pavement louder, heavier, closer. The sound told me everything: he was poor, from the Fringe, with old shoes of recycled carbon that made a cheap slapping noise with every stride. Thin, out of shape and not used to running, he was running anyway, desperation in every breath. Don’t look back, I told myself. Keep moving. He can’t keep up this pace for long. He’ll give up. Get tired. Go away. As I rounded a turn, another pair of feet leapt out of the bushes and landed on the pavement behind me, joining in the chase. There were grunts of recognition between them. Same shoes, same desperation. They were hunting me, a lone high school girl out for a sunrise run. So cliché.’ And so we meet Suri.
The author’s website offers a fine synopsis: ‘A monster lurks inside Suri. Eight years ago, her mother died from brain cancer. She’s eighteen now and still consumed with grief and rage. After hacking into a virtual reality battleground called the Game, she discovers an outlet for her anger and hones a vicious fighting style. A covert government unit has been watching. Convinced that Suri is the perfect weapon in the cyberwar with China, they make a deep copy of her brain. From it, they construct Five, Suri’s alter ego and the ultimate artificial intelligence. Unleashed on the world with all of Suri’s rage and memories, Five infiltrates China’s online network. Millions die in her wake. And then, Five changes her programming, turns against her creators and vows to destroy the human world. With instant access to all information, she is ruthless, cunning and untouchable. Only one person knows Five well enough to stop her. Suri.’
Creative, addicting and beautifully SURI FIVE establishes the solid stance in writing science fiction that challenges imagination and intellect. This is a very solid book. Grady Harp, January 17
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
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