4 out of 4 stars
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Set in the not too distant future, World Incorporated: A modern dystopia by Tom Gariffo begins with civil strife. The governments of the world have become impotent. Big business, or super-corporations, soon take their place. These now begin providing upgrades in the infrastructure and all the benefits usually provided by government: safety, housing, food and health care. These businesses have also taken on developing the so-called third world. It all sounds good. In fact, at this point I wondered if the word dystopia in the title was a misnomer, but I should've trusted the author.
Action centers on one of these super-corporations, World, Incorporated. The main character is Agent Sliver, an employee of World. We gradually find that his mission in life is to follow orders...and those orders are to assassinate whomever Fellrock, the head of World, wants. He does his job well and without feeling. He travels from headquarters to assignments in a very advanced spaceship with stealth technology, a sick bay and room for one person.
On one mission, although he is successful, the intelligence he had been given was not complete. There was an undocumented girl there, the daughter of the insurgents just dispatched. Agent Sliver doesn't know why, but he takes the unconscious girl with him. His onboard computer disagrees with this decision, yet talks to her in Sliver's absence and learns her name. We find that Kelly was raised without any knowledge of the outside world, or how it has changed since her parents went off the grid. Sliver makes a file of news clippings available to her through the ship's computer. Kelly learns, as we do, when the world as we know it changed and how this new world came about. The writer has taken great care unfolding these events, and we are swept along with Kelly in fascination. It becomes very interesting to the reader as a few articles hit very close to home, seeming to parallel our own current events, and could even predict what might happen next in our own society.
This is a very enjoyable read. Thought provoking and entertaining from the beginning, one is not prepared for the twists and turns of the last few chapters. Fantastic reading from a great author! I especially enjoyed the attention to detail in the news articles Which added a great deal of credibility to the next phase of the story. I also liked how those articles did not come all at once, giving both the character and the reader time to absorb the implications of that news.
I give this 4 out of 4 stars. It is very well thought out, it leads us seamlessly down the road as we get additional bits of information. There are no obvious flaws or disconnects in character development, story line, or use of technology. It uses what is available in today's world and takes it to a new level of 'what if?' The thought and imagination that went into this book is incredible. I enjoyed it very much, and hope to read more from this author soon.
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