Sunday, June 10, 2018

[Book Review] The Infinet by John Akers

Book photo of The Infinet by John Akers

The Infinet by John Akers is a thought-provoking tale about technology and how it impacts our lives.  If you're into sci-fi with a heavy dose of technical details and jargon, this is one that you won't want to miss!

Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way. 

Let's dive in!

The Infinet by John Akers


Synopsis:
Imagine, a few short years from now…

...a quantum computer more powerful than all other computers ever created...combined

...a madman seeking to destroy civilization with a computer virus targeting the Internet of Things

...a brilliant but reclusive geneticist determined to solve one of the great mysteries of all time

...and Oreste Pax, inventor of the augmented/virtual reality glasses used all over the world

Pax is now the head of Omnitech, the biggest company in the world. But despite all his success, he is facing a shareholder revolt and could soon lose his job as CEO of the company he founded. His only hope lies with a new project he hopes will transform human cognition and convince his doubters he is still the visionary to lead the company into the future.

However, a massive computer virus that attacks the fragile bonds holding human society together has been launched, and Pax is abruptly torn away from his concerns for his company. Soon he will have to make a decision, one that will affect the future of the human race. The choice of what to do is his, and his alone.

A clever, compelling vision of the future, The Infinet is a speculative fiction thriller that can’t be missed!



My thoughts: 
I really enjoy books that make me think, and this one really got my brain going!

I mean, we just recently got a Google Home. It's the first piece of technology that we have owned that we were a bit hesitant about simply for privacy reasons. But man, we are LOVING it. We use it all the time to ask questions, get information, and play music. We know we've only scratched the surface of what we can use this technology for. Just yesterday I learned that I could ask Google how to pronounce things by spelling them out. How handy?! Especially with character names!

When we get a house, we really want to get the NEST to control the temperature of our home, a Rumba to help with cleaning, and we would love Hunter Douglas blinds and shades with POWERVIEW® Motorization. These three pieces of tech alone would save me SO much time!

But then to think about these pieces of technology going rogue... that is incredibly eerie! And that is exactly what this book was about.

I loved that the book begins with a very interesting project that the main character has been working on. I was hooked into this immediately and couldn't wait to learn more. Then suddenly, we are introduced to a new idea from a second character that was also incredibly interesting. However, before we learn more there, the story totally threw me for a loop when the focus switched again! This makes it sound a little choppy, but I assure you, it all flowed so well together! I loved being caught so off guard; it really kept things interesting!

I really enjoyed that the main storyline was broken up by police reports and news articles the helped to show how the situation had gotten more and more intense. There were a few sections that could be seen as a little info-dumpy, but I personally think that the way the author incorporated the educational lessons into the story was very well done! It was conversational and interesting!

And you all know how much of a sucker I am for chapters that end with a sentence that keep you hooked, making it impossible to stop reading. This book had many of those. For example this last sentence of a chapter: "As Pax looked up, the blackness above suddenly soared away from them, and what it revealed took his breath away."

The author also packed so many very difficult and controversial topics into the narrative in a way that flowed so well. And WOW! What a wonderfully timely book. I found myself shaking my head and agreeing with many things that the characters were saying.

A lot of the jargon was a bit above my head, so of course I can't say how realistic the things included were, but that's why I love sci-fi so much! The author wrote this book in such a way that made everything so believable to me, especially with my tendency to be a bit skeptical.

There were so many things discussed that seemed so clever to me, such as the name of Pax's project, Simon. This technology was originally called "Psy Man" because it was centered on psychic powers. The name "Simon" came around in a joking reference to the game Simon, which focuses on pattern matching. I though this was very clever, especially after reading about the trials they went through to get this tech up and running.

Then there were the characters. They were all so much fun! I was most intrigued by the AI characters, but I loved the humans as well. I really enjoyed how snarky and quick Gabe, the AI, was. I mean, these sections had me cracking up:

"Well, this wasn't here when I left yesterday, so how did it get here?"
"Based on the available data, I'm pretty sure I have no idea," Gabe snarked.

"Mr. Pax, you're about to..."
"Whoa!" Pax cried out, as he caught himself leaning so far forward on the edge of the bed he almost fell onto the floor. He sat back and said, "Thanks, Gabe - got a little carried away there."
"Don't thank me, it was self-preservation. I was afraid you were going to fall on your face and break me."


My favorite passages:


The Infinet by John Akers quote

The dust turned into sparkles which drifted down like the aftermath of a fireworks explosion before disappearing.

"...He often spoke of the importance of asking questions, and how they create a natural tension in the mind that persists until they are resolved. He used to say, "Humans are natural-born problem solvers, and when we are confronted with a compelling question, it attracts the information we need just like a moth to a flame. Our unconscious minds are always at work trying to answer them, silently sifting through data, like a background process in a computer program, until the answer is found."

Pax looked down at the slowly darkening cityscape. Without the normal noise of a helicopter, Pax felt if he were in a glass bottomed boat observing marine life in the water below. The headlights from an endless daisy-chain of cars on the freeway sparkled like a diamond necklace that had fallen to the bottom of a mysterious grotto.

Pax stared at Angelo, trying to see if he was pulling his leg. Angelo's face, however, was as stoic as a Roman statue's.

I still hold out hope that some day people will come to understand we're all passengers on the same boat, seeking answers to the same questions.


My final thoughts:
A must read for any sci-fi/technology thriller fan. While some of the terminology was way over my head, this book still absolutely captivated me. I couldn't wait to see what happened next!



Thanks for reading!
Do you have any technology in your home that helps make your life easier? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.
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18 comments:

  1. This sounds interesting and I could see how it could have gone all wrong. So glad to hear it didn’t.

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  2. This sounds very cool! Glad it all came together! I'm not super into technology, but I can see how this book would be a great fit for many readers.

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  3. Woah, I'm sure a lot of this would go over my head too but it's still fascinating.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  4. I love thought-provoking books! And yes, tech going rogue is definitely a scary thought!

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  5. Have you read any of Soren Kierkegaard's books? I bought my husband The Diary of Soren Kierkegaard (I believe that's the correct title...), but I don't often see his quotes used in books.

    I'm not a big fan of electronics that do too much... I feel like this is the beginning of the end, you know? All of those robot movies, especially the one with Will Smith, end with the robots taking over the world and wiping out the human race. Eventually, we're going to make something smarter than us, and then books like this will become our reality. (I'm not saying this will happen any time soon, but it could happen, haha!)

    L @ Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. I haven't, but I definitely need to check some out! And totally! Technology makes me a bit nervous as well. I don't even trust iTunes since my accounts have crashed three times, deleting ALL of my music. I still buy CDs :)

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  6. Okay this sounds amazing! I love books that make me think and wonder. Great review Erica :)

    Uma@Books.Bags.Burgers.

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  7. Wow, this sounds like a really cool read. I usually don’t read sci-fi, but from what you described, this one sounds way too good to pass up.

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  8. This sounds like an interesting story and it kind of reminds me of the movie I,Robot.

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    1. Oh! I still haven't seen that! I'll have to check it out.

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  9. Fantastic review - I think I'll have to add this to my tbr. :)

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