4 out of 4 stars
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The Future Is by Carroll Grabham is a science fiction novel set two hundred years in the future. Humanity has become addicted to virtual reality. Barely anyone wants to live real life anymore. Instead, they spend their free time in online fantasy simulations. The whole of London is now controlled by a massive technology corporation named VoQue. The story follows Alexandra Brontay, a young insurance saleswoman, as she gets sucked into VoQue's conspiracies.
I really enjoyed this story. The author blended pop culture references with futuristic technology excellently. For example, characters could have a hologram of Elvis at their personal AI assistant. I loved how people could travel through tubes to get to work. The story also deals with gene splicing and genetic modification. There were so many really well thought out concepts like this throughout the novel.
The writing itself was well structured and exciting. Grabham had a unique style that included a lot of metaphors and dramatic sentences. One of the best parts of his writing was the way he showed the inner thoughts of his characters. There was a perfect balance of action and internal dialogue. His queer representation was excellent. There were several LGBT characters in lead roles, which was a refreshing change from the norm.
All of the characters in the novel were well developed. Alexandra was a unique and likable protagonist. Grabham described her as pear-shaped and imperfect. I liked how she wasn’t a stereotypical beautiful young female lead. A lot of the characters had really unusual names like ‘Deconstructed Man’ and ‘MannyCapra’ which tied in well to the futuristic setting. The antagonist MannyCapra was genuinely frightening. I loved reading chapters from his point of view because of his alarming megalomaniac opinions.
My only issue with the novel was that at times it was difficult to follow. The plot took a long time to get going. There was also a lot of information packed into very short chapters. At times I found myself having to reread some parts to understand what was happening. However, this didn’t ruin the story for me. The plot and characters were engaging enough that it wasn’t a serious problem.
I am giving The Future Is 4 out of 4 stars. I was torn between giving it 3 or 4 because of the difficulty I had following the story, but in the end, I chose to give it 4. It was a professionally edited, well-written story with some fresh and exciting themes despite the minor issues with pacing. I would recommend this story to anyone who loves science fiction. There was a fair amount of bad language, sexual content, violent scenes, and some characters used homophobic language that could be upsetting to some people. For this reason, I would only recommend it to older readers.
The Future Is
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