4 out of 4 stars
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In World, Incorporated by Tom Gariffo, America (along with most of the world) is no longer a democracy, and is run by several large corporations. Sliver is an assassin for one of these companies and has no qualms with his profession until he meets a woman who changes everything. As he continues to carry out his missions while escaping a murderous robot and a warzone, he begins to question his assignments and his purpose in life.
The book was a rare combination of exciting and fast-paced as well as deep and thought-provoking. The action scenes were tense and well written. The dystopia that he created was really fascinating, and I enjoyed reading the news articles and seeing the effects of the Registry and the Reclamation on society. Even small details that were only discussed in a few sentences, such as the behavior of the Rem-Cons, really stuck with me and made me think about human nature.
I felt that the complex protagonist was well balanced with interesting side characters, including some robots. The author portrayed the robots in a unique way that went beyond just the typical portrayals of artificial intelligence. There were several mysteries throughout the book that kept me guessing until they were nicely resolved by the end of the book. The author did a great job of building on typical themes of dystopias while adding some new and creative ways that technology could be used to oppress citizens, and I appreciated how he included both obvious and subtle references to historic and current events.
It is really hard to find anything negative to say about this book. I really liked the only female character in the book and was disappointed that she didn’t play a greater role, such as the many times when Sliver went on missions while she was stuck waiting in his airship. I also would have preferred to see what society was like for the average citizen much earlier in the book, as it could have helped put the articles about how the government takeover occurred into perspective. These were truly minor points in an otherwise enjoyable and engaging book.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dystopia, science fiction, or action. Actually, I enjoyed this book so much that I’d even recommend it to people who typically don’t read those genres. The main character is morally grey, as he is an assassin (and not for the good guys), so I wouldn’t recommend this book for anyone who would be bothered by that. I really enjoyed the book and I’d definitely read another book by this author, especially one that takes place in the same dystopia he created. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
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