Mason portrays late-22nd-century Earth as a dark and desperate world populated by drones, slums, rising tides, longevity treatments, and artificial intelligence. His fleeting images of harsh cityscapes in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Thailand evoke an inhuman coldness. Three characters unwittingly take part in a globe-spanning scheme to stop a powerful AI that hijacks people with memory implants to interpret the world for it. Thales, the son of a Brazilian politician, receives such an implant after surviving an assassination attempt. Irina Sunden uses her implant to link with AIs and learn how they think. Street fighter Kern, from the favelas, steals the wrong phone. When Irina finds computer code in city graffiti, she links with Akemi, a ghost woman trapped in an AI, the voice on the other end of Kern’s phone. Together they help Irina contact the powerful Cloudbreaker AI and get revenge on Cromwell, a wealthy recluse who wants Irina’s memories. Patient readers who persist through the excessive layers of description will be rewarded with a vivid story, complete with a chilling and satisfying ending. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2017 Release date: 04/11/2017 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.