Today’s team review is from Terry. She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/
Terry has been reading Cromby’s Axiom by Gary J Kirchner.
There are so many good dystopian books around now, and I love reading the many, wildly different versions of what might await us in decades to come. I enjoyed this, the debut novel by Gary J Kirchner.
In the future, the people are crowded together in cities and connected by the Hive mind; all thoughts are connected, all information just a micro-second away. Tommy is a world famous athlete who finds himself lost in the ‘Fallowlands’ of Switzerland – and, worse than this, he has somehow become unconnected, as he discovers when he searches for the information he needs about where to go and what to do. Eventually he meets up with members of the Ketchen: rebels who live outside the cities and the Hive mind.
The differences between life inside the Hive and the old world of the Ketchen give one a lot to think about, especially if one is of a certain age and grew up without the technology that exists now. The sinister truth about Tommy’s world unfolds gradually, and is no less shocking for being almost expected. Several times, one of the people who controls Tommy offers some depressing reflections of our real world:
‘…from the days of metal electronics and hand-held interfaces to skin graft technology and visual implants and finally to seamless thought communication, the same pattern was followed: technology is developed, a vanguard establishes its use, meek voices raise issues of privacy and ethics, which simply get swamped in the global rush to embrace this newest step…’
And about why the Ketchen are allowed to exist:
‘It’s healthy to have an enemy. It brings people together… the idea that ‘out there’ are outlaws, bad guys who want to do your side in. If the Ketchen didn’t exist, we’d probably invent them’.
Tommy is a likable character and, despite my feeling that some of the explanations could have been edited down to be more reader-friendly, the story held my interest throughout. The exciting events of the last ten per cent of the book, and the ultimate end, are particularly good. I’d definitely like to read more books set in this world.
Before we were all connected, before we were The Hive, there was individualism, privacy, ‘personal space’ . . . so quaint, so unnecessary . . . so dangerous . . .
TOMMY PIERRE ANTIKAGAMAC, a star quarterback, is the most followed player in the world’s most popular sport: American football. While off-season training in the unpopulated European Fallowlands, he abruptly finds himself detached from the Hive. Agonizingly alone in his head for the first time in his life, he panics, becomes hopelessly lost, and then is captured by a fringe group of anti-Hive saboteurs. The Freemen, as they call themselves, have concocted an audacious plan to “cataclysmically disrupt the brain of the Hive,” and Tommy may just be the key they need to make it successful.
But Tommy’s arrival among the Freemen is not as serendipitous as it may appear. Neither he nor his captors suspect that it is not the terrorists, but Tommy, who is the threat to the Hive. And the Hive has ways of protecting itself….