2 out of 4 stars
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Have you imagined what would potentially happen if technology advanced so far that Artificial Intelligence takes over humanity? In Think Again, author Richard Nelson Kane explores this idea through the process of creating one specific invention: thought-reading technology.
Jon Stone has an idea; to create what could become the most important invention in the history of humanity. He recruits a team of scientists to create this groundbreaking technology. The team’s initial motivations were noble: they wanted to use the tech to communicate with patients with limited or no verbal communication. However, as time progresses and they reach nearer their goal with trillions of dollars on the line, paranoia deepens among the team and leads to betrayal among friends.
The initial plan to sell the invention to Evan McGowan, the richest man in the world, is derailed after Stone uses the technology against McGowan and learns of the latter’s desire to rule the world. Soon after, the invention becomes the focus of President Ronald Strump and the entire American government. Meanwhile, a young man named Stanley Lewis is out for justice against the man who killed his girlfriend and considers the invention to be his only hope to prove the suspect’s guilt. The race is on among all the parties to get to the technology before anyone else while the scientists attempt to prevent one group from taking control of the entire world.
I found the idea behind the story intriguing. Kane describes and warns against the amount of control one person or government would have over the whole world if something like this were to be developed. He begins with a very dynamic way of telling the story, focusing on each character and their backgrounds, until they are all brought together. Kane frequently uses narrative inside each of the characters’ heads that is rather amusing at times; using sarcasm and pointing out irony within a situation.
Unfortunately, the negative aspects outweigh the positives. There is not enough space for me to list every instance that frustrated me, so I’ll explain my top issues. The dynamic story-telling that pulled me in initially devolved rather quickly as the pace of the story both lagged in some places and rushed by in other moments. It felt like there were moments when the author maybe deleted some sentences or scenes and forgot to re-edit, leading to some confusing moments while reading.
The characters did not feel well-developed at all. Everyone had one main characteristic and every other part of their personality fell flat, except for Jon Stone who is morally infallible and can take down trained bodyguards at a moment's notice. He is also called “handsome” by every woman whose thoughts he reads, even when they are suspicious of him. Then there is the character of President Ronald Strump who brings an unnecessary political side to the story when it would have been just as, if not more, affective of a technique to know how a more realistic president would abuse his power. Instead, Strump throws a temper tantrum and fires almost all the White House staff in just a few paragraphs. This is added on to the fact that about a hundred pages prior to Strump’s introduction, the author stated the president was a woman, again leading to some confusing moments for me as the reader.
Finally, while I understand the motivation for the side story of Stanley Lewis going after the technology to prove a murderer’s guilt, it seems out of place. Without giving any spoilers, ultimately Lewis does not add much to the overall story. It seems like this would be an intriguing separate story for the author to explore.
Overall, I give this book 2 out of 4 stars. I found more than ten typos, excluding spacing issues, and believe this book has not be professionally edited, which is the reason for taking one star away. I took away another star due to all the reasons I’ve listed. However, I find the overall story truly interesting and would like to see what the author can do with this in the future.
There are a few moments of inappropriate sexual thoughts or actions, so I recommend this book for mature audiences. With that warning, this would be a good choice for any mature reader looking for a unique science fiction story. Overall, we should heed Kane's warning and all be a bit more hesitant in our desire for more advanced technology. Are we really ready for all the consequences of the development of Artificial Intelligence? We’ll find out soon enough.
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