Today’s team review is from Noelle, she blogs at, http://saylingaway.wordpress.com
Noelle has been reading The Fair & Foul by Allie Potts
Book Review: Fair and Foul by Allie Potts @alliepottswrite #rbrt #sci fi #technological fiction
I chose to read Fair and Foul, Project Gene Assist Book 1, for Rosie’s book review team because I was very much attracted by the premise – a brilliant female programmer, Juliane Faris, determined to change the world through technological advancement but blinded by her ambition to create a legacy by participating in highly risky and uncontrolled experimentation. The procedure to which she willingly submits grants her unprecedented knowledge and control over her mind, it at will to the internet, making her brain a supercomputer. This is not without side effects which threaten her very sanity. It’s clear from the premise that the author has a real gift for seeing and imagining future technology.
The testy relationship at the outset between Juliane and her mentor, Alan (couldn’t find a last name), a superstar scientist, is all too real – he takes advantage of her work without giving her credit. She has guts and does stand up to him. She and Alan both work for ACI, a private-public partnership think tank devoted to research and development, established by Louis Evans, Sr. When Juliane meets Louis, Jr., reportedly a playboy with no interest in his father’s creation, she quickly finds he is neither dumb or disinterested. He has a quick mind and is determined to take ACI to even greater heights of discovery. When Juliane falls for Louis and engages in an affair, she thinks her future is rosy. But there are two caveats a scientist should always remember: don’t antagonize your mentor and don’t date the boss’s son!
I found Alan’s character two dimensional – loathsome, self-centered, egotistical – and some of the other characters weren’t much better. Juliane’s research assistant was the exception. Chad was delightfully and humorously all too human and I wish he hadn’t disappeared half way through the book.
I am not the most tech-gifted reader, but there were parts of this book that had me confused. It was especially frustrating when some of the descriptions of the laboratory work did not ring true, even for a computer lab. I spent several decades running my own lab, so more background work in running a research operation might have grounded the story to a better degree. The science itself is occasionally confusing, and experimenting on oneself – and without controls – is such a negative for me that I had to make an effort to suspend belief. But that’s what one does with science fiction.
There are editing gaps – an explosion that apparently occurs in Juliane’s lab to which there is a reference but no description, before the explosion in the foreign factory producing one of Juliane’s products. Color me confused.
I suspect there are a lots of sci fi fans out there who will dig into this book with great enjoyment, and Ms. Potts has received some strongly positive reviews. While there were parts of Fair and Foul I found interesting and compelling, it was a difficult read for me personally.
Juliane has a supercomputer for a brain and she isn’t afraid to use it. Perhaps she should be.
Juliane Faris is a brilliant programmer determined to change the world through scientific and technical advancement. Blinded by ambition, she will do whatever it takes to secure her legacy including agreeing to participate in an experimental procedure. The procedure grants her unprecedented knowledge and cellular control over her body but threatens everything she holds dear including her sanity. When others undergo the same modifications it becomes apparent that not everyone can afford the price that this technology demands
Set in the not too distant future, The Fair & Foul is earth-based science fiction dealing with the next era of human evolution. The line between humanity and technology is blurring, and what seems like magic is only a scientific discovery away.
About the author
Allie Potts, born in Rochester Minnesota was moved to North Carolina at a very early age by parents eager to escape to a more forgiving climate. She has since continued to call North Carolina home, settling in Raleigh, halfway between the mountains and the sea, in 1998.
When not finding ways to squeeze in 72 hours into a 24 day or chasing after children determined to turn her hair gray before its time, Allie enjoys stories of all kinds. Her favorites, whether they are novels, film, or simply shared aloud with friends, are usually accompanied with a glass of wine or cup of coffee in hand.
A self-professed science geek and book nerd, Allie also writes at www.alliepottswrites.com.