3 out of 4 stars
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The Chip of Knowledge, written by Vaggelis Kaliosis, revolves around the story of Citizen A. It takes place during the first quarter of the 21st century and gets narrated by the protagonist’s grandson in the year 2100. The setting is a city of five million people, whose democratically elected government has become corrupt and self-serving.
Right at the beginning, the young protagonist, “a sensitive soul at the age of twenty-five,” falls madly in love with a tall, blond, and beautiful woman he sees in a café. She soon leaves, but Citizen A feels bewitched and decides to call her Elf. A waiter lets the protagonist know that she is the governor’s daughter, and the men accompanying her are bodyguards. To try to improve his chances with Elf, Citizen A, who is a self-taught computer geek, starts to work for the government in an extensive surveillance network that monitors everything. What follows is a vibrant love story that unfolds against a tumultuous political backdrop.
What I enjoyed the most about this book was the cast of well-developed characters. I grew particularly fond of Citizen B, a popular investigative journalist who broadcasts witty radio shows. The author did a great job of portraying this secondary character as an idealist who used music and speech as tools to promote awareness. Also, I appreciated how the main character gets torn by a moral dilemma: how far would he be willing to go to conquer his beloved Elf? Besides, the book has interesting sci-fi elements. I enjoyed the idea of the Implantable Knowledge System (I.K.S.), a tiny device also known as the Chip of Knowledge. Above all, I felt that this device got well used by the author as a metaphor.
On the other hand, there were a couple of negatives worth mentioning. Firstly, I felt that the political commentary throughout the book was sometimes overdone and borderline preachy. Additionally, the aspect I disliked the most was the ending. Although it wrapped things up nicely, it lacked believability. I felt that the author pushed the suspension of disbelief a bit too far. But I’m not going to give away any spoilers!
Lastly, I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. I am taking a star away due to the negatives previously explained. Still, I thought it was an enthusiastic and thoughtful tale. I would recommend it to readers who enjoy stories that resemble a parable. If you’re not fond of political commentary or moral tales, you might want to skip this one.
The chip of knowledge
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