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3 out of 4 stars
Review by Scerakor
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The book follows our five main characters as they look into acquiring an American based company that is working on memory scanning and (currently) illegal possibilities of transferring a fully scanned memory into a clone that has been grown to an equivalent adult age. The book has to deal with the complications of working in total secrecy, moral implications of giving clones a life, social aspects of how a clone would enter society, and philosophical musings on what really makes us who we are.
I really liked the concept behind this near-future science fiction story. I liked how the author was able to take a concept such as recording/transferring memories and create a compelling piece of work that brings together many different applications of that technology such as rebirth, recovery from paralysis, memory/addiction alteration, etc. What I liked best about this book is how it kept me thinking about the nature of consciousness all the way through. The main premise is that these billionaires want to live forever; by transferring their memory to a fresh new body, they think they will simply wake up and continue their lives. It forces you to consider if memories/experiences alone make a person or if there is something more that makes up an individual.
There were, however, a couple of things that bothered me throughout the book. The first was the choice of main characters and how, between the five of them, money was endless and there was no limit to the contacts they had. These men were able to do pretty much anything simply because they were rich and powerful. I find that it takes a bit of realism out of a story when there are zero limits to power and influence. The second, and the thing I disliked the most, was the style of writing itself. It felt like the text and dialogue were forced at times and that the writing didn't exactly flow smoothly such as we'd expect from a professional writer. Sometimes the dialogue seemed unnatural and came off as being awkward. There were times when plans, dialogues, or events were repeated several times over, and although it may be how we would actually go about doing things (describe a plan in our head, tell it to a friend, and then execute it), the repetition disturbed the flow. I found a few instances of typos, but nothing to detract from the story or give the impression that it wasn’t professionally edited.
I give this interesting book 3 out of 4 stars for the thought provoking content and compelling story line. I spent a long time deciding whether the writing style bothered me enough to merit a 2 star rating, but ultimately decided that I would indeed recommend this book to others. Since it kept me interested page after page, I finally decided that the third star was merited. Due to the writing in the book and some of my personal issues mentioned above, I couldn’t justify a fourth star. This book is ideal for those that want a near-future science fiction story and those that are intrigued by the concepts of cloning, rebirth, and the transfer/modification of memories. I would not recommend this book to those who either have an extremely strong opinion on the concept of self or those who have a strong social/religious stigma towards something like cloning.
They'll Never Die
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― Ernest Hemingway
kandscreeley wrote:I reviewed this book as well. I agree with what you were saying. There was definitely a lack of realism at all the money they were spending. I also felt the flow was disrupted. I, however, felt it was a bigger problem than you did. For me, it really inhibited my reading of the story. Thanks for the review.
I really did struggle for a long time determining how I wanted to rate it. It was a fun story and I did get embedded in it to see where it went so I took the optimistic route. It just goes to show how different methods/visions come to different conclusions. Thanks for the comment, it is always good to hear from someone else that has read the same ones that you have.
-- 21 Apr 2017, 09:07 --
LivreAmour217 wrote:You did an excellent job with this review, but I don't think that this book is for me.
This one definitely isn't for everyone. I had a bit of fun reading it but there are a lot of factors that would preclude someone from thoroughly enjoying it. That is the great thing about literature, there is a bit of something for everyone. Thanks for the comment!
kimmyschemy06 wrote:Sounds like a very interesting book. I'm very interested about the idea of transferring memories. I might have trouble, though, about the unrealistic parts. Great job on the review.
I know there is an element of fiction which completely gives you the leeway to write characters and situations anyway that you want, but sometimes it can break the magic as well. That being said, it still was a fun story! Thanks for the comment.
Great Review! 🌸
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Amagine wrote:It sounds like a really interesting book with a concept I've never read before. Five billionaires who are doing everything in their power to live longer? That's kind of an innovative idea.
Great Review! 🌸
Not just live longer... Live forever! Just think of all the consequences if something like this actually happens. Thanks for the comment.
Chrys Brobbey wrote:"Death the Leveller" is a poem by James Shirley. Part goes like this: "There is no armour against fate; Death lays his icy hand on kings: Sceptre and crown mus come tumbling down." Regardless of one's status in life, death is an inevitable end. But it is good to have a fantasy story like this, on how to thwart death. And whilst on the topic: can we think of a way of preventing earthquakes, Tornadoes, Tsunamis, etc.? We're yet far from taming the ravages of nature.
Great quote. I think what you propose there could be another great premise for a future novel. How can we tame/thwart/deny those ravages of nature from ripping our lives away from us.
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