I decided to put these three together in one post as there seems to be considerable overlap with the themes. I am also reminded of Brainjack which I blogged about a while ago.
Dave Eggers – The Circle
I discovered this book late last year when I read the first few chapters on some promotional website and thought it would be worth reading. The idea of a powerful internet company that essentially takes over the world (and knows all) really resonates with me. Even in the time since it was published some of the more futuristic aspects of it seem less farfetched. For example, both Google and Facebook have purchased drone technology in the past month and Google purchased artificial intelligence technology earlier in the year. The premise of the story is somewhat Orwellian in that with The Circle everyone knows everything (privacy is theft, secrets are lies and sharing is caring) and think that this is a good, normal way to be. The main character Mae is likeable but frustrating in that she is desperate and gullible, she wants as many smiley faces and friends (sounds like Facebook) as possible. Overall, I enjoyed this novel for the warnings it offers and as a nice change to the more common Hunger Games type dystopians.
Gemma Malley – The Killables, The Disappearances.
These two fit in nicely with my review of The Circle, as the first (The Killables) is about a society where everyone has a label and there is a system that knows and sees all –
Everyone accepted that people were different physically. But inside? Inside, they were different too. You just had to know how to tell, what to look for. Evil has been eradicated. The City has been established. And citizens may only enter after having the ‘evil’ part of their brain removed. They are labelled on the System according to how ‘good’ they are. If they show signs of the evil emerging, they are labelled a K …But no one knows quite what that means. Only that they disappear, never to be seen again ..
And the second (The Disappearances) provides the background to how and why that system was created. There is a third in this trilogy which I am yet to read. I must admit I didn’t find either book riveting but liked the ideas behind both.
Cory Doctorow – Little Brother
There is a definite theme with my recent reading….. another computer controlled dystopian world.
From Goodreads – Marcus aka “w1n5t0n,” is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.
But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days.
When the DHS finally releases them, his injured best friend Darryl does not come out. The city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: “M1k3y” will take down the DHS himself.
More believable and exciting than The Killables, but two weeks on from reading it I can’t remember many of the details!