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Tag (The Zumar Chronicles Book 1) by [Royle, Simon]
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Tag (The Zumar Chronicles Book 1) Kindle Edition

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Length: 318 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Simon Royle was born in Manchester, England in 1963. He has been variously a yachtsman, advertising executive, and a senior management executive in software companies. A futurist and a technologist, he lives in Bangkok, with his wife and two children.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1187 KB
  • Print Length: 318 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: I & I Press; 1 edition (November 27, 2013)
  • Publication Date: November 27, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #807,535 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
''Let me start by admitting that of all writing genres, mystery/thriller books tend to be the ones that grab me the least. So it takes a good one to keep me engaged. By good I most likely mean "unpredictable" and "exciting" -- and Royle's Tag accomplishes both nicely. It starts off with an intriguing interplay of futuristic documents giving us some interesting tidbits in regard to a runner, Jibril Muraz, (if that's actually his name...) and moves forth to a double-talked, double-thought Q&A session between him and the main character, Jonah Oliver. Tag just keeps hitting from there, particularly in the second half of the book after you've figured out the quirks of this futuristic but not too bizarre (and therefore, chilling) world.

Plot: In a future world that is somehow both familiar and completely alien, Jonah Oliver has to prevent 2/3 of the world's population from being destroyed. Along the way, he discovers new (and sometimes horrible) truths about himself and his world. Additionally, some aspects of this futuristic world are terrifying - everyone is required to carry a device that will monitor all activity, for one thing, and it is soon to be embedded in people's arms. This, in particular, seemed entirely plausible to me - in fact, almost a logical conclusion from the way technology is developing today.

Setting: The world, mostly "New Singapore," 2109. Nicely done. I liked the way the author let us just figure out what the new technology was without feeling the need to overly explain it. I also liked the slang used for the devices, it made them seem more real and more plausible.

Characters: Well developed for a thriller - I suppose that is one of the features that makes it likeable to me as not a big fan of the genre.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Simon Royle had a great idea for a novel that touches on the trend toward loss of personal privacy. Unfortunately, the execution of the idea is not up to the same level as the idea.

First, the writing overall is stilted. For the first half of the book, I actually believed that the author was not a native English speaker. Then I looked him up online and discovered that he was born and raised in Manchester, England. I don't know if the problem was all the terminology he used to make the story seem futuristic or that he is just a beginning writer and hasn't found his voice yet. This didn't stop me from reading, but it did decrease my enjoyment level.

Second, some of the major characters really are just stereotypes that are barely fleshed out. Jonah, the protagonist, is allowed to speak to the reader in first person, but he is the only character that rises to the level of full development. The worst offender, and possibly the most important character to the storyline, is Gabriel. This book would have been so much stronger if we'd had scenes in which Gabriel was given the first person POV to address us. As written, however, his climactic letter to the world comes across as impossibly naive, as does the global portion of the ending.

Third, the author created some really clever jargon for this world that created a real sense of place and time that is outside of our own. It was never difficult to figure out what the jargon meant, but unfortunately, some of the jargon words he created were crazy hard to pronounce, even though they were just 2 syllables long. Kudos for the idea and the consistent execution of it.

Finally, I need to say that I received a free copy of this book in exchange for writing a review.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I recently went on a Kindle spree, wildly downloading free and inexpensive books willy-nilly! The cover had me hooked- was this going to be a communicable disease threatened dystopian future? Would I finish it in two days, unable to put it down?? Could it be my next favorite???

Unfortunately, no was the answer to all three questions. This author could benefit from the professional advice of an editor, someone to insert punctuation at key junctures, to help craft a real and approachable voice for the main character. The book reads like someone describing aloud everything that happens in a video game- it's too long, and, to be honest, boring.

There were some interesting concepts, clearly postulated from current privacy-on-the-internet issues, but they needed more fleshing out and less stereotypical male action hero treatments. The characters all seemed like cardboard cutouts: "Good Guy," "Evil Guy," "Bitchy Lesbian." And did I mention it was too long? It was too long.

Reading this was a waste of time, but once I started I felt too badly to simply delete it. A noble try from a first-time author, but perhaps more practice is in order?

*Note to self- stop buying books based on the cover!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Life is irrevocably changed for Arbitrator Jonah Oliver the day he's called in to work with a mysterious runner, Jibril Muraz, who seems to have no past, and an amazing ability to avoid the potency of the truth treatment. Jonah is not sure why this strange and alien being is asking specifically for Jonah's services, and things become even less clear when a telepathic message is received directly from Jibril that hints at secrets and betrayal. With little explanation, and much confusion, Jonah is thrown into a race against the clock to stop a terrible plot designed to eliminate two-thirds of the population. All the odds are stacked against him, and he soon finds that his past is not what he thought it was, and his future is even more uncertain.

In his first novel, Simon Royle has managed to create a riveting thriller that kept me up much past my bedtime. From the first chapter, I was engaged and eager to discover the secrets of Jonah's life as they unfolded. The book is set a century in the future, and the world looks much as we may expect; it is different, but somehow exactly the same. In line with the human tendency to shorten words of common objects (think net for internet, phone for telephone, TV for television), some of the important terms of this century include, amongst other terms, dev (device), trav (travel), and cred (credit- monetary units earned by "contributions"). Although common travel has extended to the moon and the world is now united, at least in theory, the people and the experiences are recognizable and definitely feasible. The idea of "tagging" humans with their identity numbers is perhaps not even as far in the future as the timeline chosen for this book.
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