4 out of 4 stars
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The year is 2058. The United States collapsed due to its inability to deal with an economic meltdown and social unrest. Nation-states ceased to exist. A number of powerful supercorporations took over the world. Human beings are no longer citizens of nations but rather consumers. The supercorporations control everything: education, work, health care, security, and information. As a result, they compete with each other for the consumers' loyalty by using any means necessary.
Agent Sliver works as a henchman for Fellrock, the CEO of World, Incorporated. He has done Fellrock's dirty work for the past fours years without question. A job is just another job for him until the day he decides to save Kelly. The empathy he felt toward her stirred feelings and memories about his mysterious past. The only thing he remembers for sure is that he wants to kill Ancarn, the CEO of Multinational. Where does Agent Sliver come from? How did he end up working for World, Incorporated? Why he wants to kill Ancarn with such fervor? What will happen once he starts questioning the status quo of a world run by supercorporations?
Written by Tom Gariffo, World, Incorporated: A Modern Dystopia is a science fiction, action thriller, and dystopian novel consisting of 286 pages. With an adrenaline-charged writing style, Gariffo portrays a futuristic and disquieting version of the world. More than that, he brilliantly captivates the reader with the depiction of a world that could become a real possibility for us.
My favorite aspect of this book was the contemporary and crucial themes Gariffo brings up in the story. A mediocre and partisan government constantly on deadlock over the economy and social issues causes the fall of the United States. Blind faith in globalization makes corporations stronger than nation-states. National citizenship is obsolete. People are just consumers of supercorporations that take care of all of their needs. A registry collects all personal data. Those who dare to question this status quo get a visit from the likes of Agent Sliver. Unquestionably, all of these themes sound eerily familiar to problems the United States and other countries face today. Reminiscent of George Orwell's novel 1984, this is the kind of book that puts the reader to think for days about the future of our world.
I also greatly enjoyed the characters of this book. Agent Sliver's murderous and cold-blooded abilities, line of work, past, and mixed feelings give him an interesting complexity. The reader gets to question the validity of this allegedly better world through his experiences. Kelly represents a long-lost world in which people used to give meaning to life. Franklin and Rex give the reader a clear vision of the high-tech we might have in the future. The Shredders symbolize those who dare go against the status quo.
Without a doubt, I rate World, Incorporated: A Modern Dystopia by Tom Gariffo 4 out of 4 stars. I liked everything about this book. In addition, I only found some minor grammatical errors, meaning that it was professionally edited. Gariffo excelled at creating a futuristic world that could become a reality for us. The whole story could pretty well serve us as a warning. Note that Agent Sliver is an assassin. Even though the action scenes are not gruesome, I do not recommend this book to sensitive readers. This book is perfect for fans of science fiction, action thriller, and dystopian novels.
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