Wednesday, 19 December 2018

KILLING ADAM by Earik Beann #RBRT @EarikB

3.5 out of 5 stars

On Amazon UK
On Goodreads

How I discovered this book: it was submitted to Rosie's Book Review Team, of which I am a member.

In A Nutshell: Scifi/dystopian. Brains are implanted with altered reality chips, controlled by artificial intelligence.

A fantasy future, in which most people spend all their time in altered reality, via a chip: an ARC, on the ARCNet.  The world they inhabit is whatever they want to it be, and 23 hours a day may be spent this way, with only 4 breaks of 15 minutes a day to deal with bodily necessities such as eating and washing.  All existence is controlled by Adam, the artificial intelligence, even the people's perception of what occurs elsewhere in the world.

Some, though, cannot have the chip implanted, for a variety of reasons.  These people are considered 'disabled'; Jimmy, the main character, is one of these, because of a football injury.  Their being left behind in the real world keeps them separate, a minority group.

I found the idea of all this quite exciting, and dived straight in; Earik Beann's writing was certainly good enough to keep me turning the pages.  I enjoyed the first 20% of it very much, as a picture of the world was being built up.  I liked the way that the author did not explain much at all, but let the picture of his created world gradually become clear, by what was happening to Jimmy, and going through his mind.  However, as I read on, I felt the whole premise needed a bit more thinking through.  For instance, Jimmy's wife spends 23 hours a day in a catatonic state, as do many.  Wouldn't cities of people spending all their days lying on sofas create massive health problems?  How would the production of life's essentials be maintained?  Would society not just collapse?  Or am I over-thinking?

It's an odd one; I did like the basic ideas; perhaps it is intended to be a comment on our present lives, and the way in which people are so often plugged into online life that the 'real' world has become less and less relevant - especially as the ARCNet and Adam are the work of a corporation: BioCal.  I liked the writing style very much, and the characterisation was solid.  But there were too many times when I found myself thinking, 'yeah, but hang on a minute...'.  On the other hand, it's science fiction. Or is it fantasy?  I couldn't make up my mind.  Either way, I think how much you enjoy it will depend on how far you are willing to suspend disbelief.

1 comment: