Thursday, 13 October 2016

The Machine Society by Mike Brooks

Book Title: The Machine Society
Author: Mike Brooks
Genre: Sci-Fi
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥
Source: ARC via Netgalley
Goodreads, Amazon UK 
I received this copy from Netgalley in return for an honest review. I chose it because I thought the blurb sounds very interesting. 
From the publisher: Mike Brooks’ debut novel is an adventure story set in a dystopian future in which our taste for branding, consumerism and artificial reality is boundless. In The Machine Society, he weaves together psychological insight, philosophical reflection and spiritual inquiry to give us a novel that is both a deep satire on modern life and a rich metaphor for our longing to find inner peace. Dean Rogers lives in the Perimeter of New London, holding down a soul-destroying job, surrounded by people who have lost the will to communicate. He is afraid his debts will spiral out of control, resulting in him being cast out of the city, outside of the Security Wall. Meanwhile, in the Better Life Complex, New London’s rich elite live in plastic luxury, unaware of the sinister secrets that underpin their world.
What did I think? The idea is quite clever and the premise is interesting. However I wasn't enamored with the execution. The writing is a bit clunky and the ending too abrupt.

It's a quick read though and a lot happens in those pages. I particularly enjoyed the vivid description of futuristic (and very realistic) video games. The book is filled with thoughtful philosophical concepts and a dose of healthy satire. Despite that it never comes across as pretentious and I can definitely see parts of the future Mike Brooks paints already happening.

I thought the ending is too abrupt and leaves too many questions unanswered, so hopefully there will be a second installment with a satisfactory resolution.

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