4 out of 4 stars
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World Incorporated by Tom Gariffo is a dystopian fiction that predicts what could develop if current events continue. The subject of freedom prevails throughout the narrative and should strike a chord with every person. The freedom to manage your money however you want to, the freedom to think and say what you want, and even freedom on how you live and die. Gariffo interweaves all this and more into a story that not only is dramatic and compelling but also thought-provoking. If you love books that have sci-fi components, has suspense and is character-driven, then this one is for you.
Right from the get-go, the action begins with Sliver executing one of his missions in middle America. Who is Sliver? He is an agent who works for World Incorporated, one of the five supercorporations that regulate every aspect of humanity. With the supercorporations in control, access to education and jobs is universal, and crime and pollution have become absent. With this good also comes the bad. The supercorporations push consumerism in every area of life, even penetrating the religious domains. Flare-ups between supercorporations also happen intermittently over jurisdictions causing death and destruction. None of this bothers Sliver for he views it as just the way things are. He had ceased caring about anything except his intense hatred for a man named Ancarn and vowed to get his revenge.
Gariffo's talent shines in his world building and characterization. Some technology advancements are not as original, but the way he uses them in the story makes it exciting and fresh. Through his words, I could picture myself in that world, and I can see the beginning of these circumstances in today's time. The unraveling of Sliver's mysterious persona is one of my favorite features of this work. At first, he appears as a jaded cold, calculated assassin. During the progression of the story though, the author reveals other layers of his personality and life that make you change your mind about him. I went from recoiling from his behavior to being sympathetic and rooting for him.
I have a few small critiques of this book. One would be that the secondary characters were not fleshed out enough. The author portrayed Sliver so well that the other characters felt a little flat compared to him. I would have liked more depth in their thoughts and feelings. There is also a considerable amount of coarse language throughout the story, and due to Sliver's occupation, multiple deaths occur that seem callous. With the dark scenarios that develop the author tries to balance it out with some humor.
There are a few loose ends left in the plot at the conclusion which leads me to believe this is not the last time we will hear about Sliver and his journey. I for one am looking forward to reading further about him and without a doubt, I rate World Incorporated by Tom Gariffo 4 out of 4 stars. Even with the minor flaws, I thought this book was masterfully written and exceptionally edited.
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