4 out of 4 stars
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World Incorporated: A Modern Dystopia by Tom Gariffo is a fast-paced, riveting novel that delves into what our world might be like under an economic evolution if the government was overthrown and became ruled by one super conglomerate corporation. What would that world look like? How could that feasibly happen? Might there be some actual benefits if the world was run like a business? What are truth and freedom as defined in such a dystopia? These are all ideas that Gariffo artfully imagines and intricately weaves in this gripping story.
Sliver, a survivor and soldier of the reclamation, works for one of these super- companies. After he rescues a potential victim of one of his assassinations, he begins to feel things he hasn’t allowed himself to feel in a long time. The deeper Sliver digs into the super-companies’ missions and infrastructure, the more he questions everything he knows.
I really enjoyed that this book made me think and question not only what the author was telling me, but also made me draw conclusions about our current political and economic climate. Just as The Hand Maid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood brings the reader into a strange world and makes them realize it’s not that different from our own, this book makes the reader think about how decisions and paths shape our future as a society.
I also really enjoyed the fact that because the background and history of this dystopia is given through news and archival records, the reader has to question the accuracy and what is true through the lens of these records. In a world where the entire government and all news outlets are owned by one entity, how can any one trust the news and public records? The elimination of checks and balances and of a free and open market negates the ability of accurate and open information. Truth itself becomes a tainted commodity.
I gave it four out of four stars because I thought every aspect of this book, from concept, to the plot structure, to the writing itself was well conceived and keeps the reader guessing. It was both intelligent and imaginative. I found myself quickly caught up in this alternate world and I wanted to know where the truth began and the deceptions ended. I wasn’t entirely sure who could be trusted and if there were clear-cut protagonists. I felt myself guessing and second-guessing what I knew, which was both infuriating and intriguing at the same time.
My only criticism is that I thought some of the minor characters like the girl he rescues and the cyber intelligence he reprograms could've been more fully developed. They had great potential as complex additions to the story, but I felt their history and potential were never really fully fleshed out in the story. Overall, I feel this book would appeal to readers who enjoy conspiracy theories and science fiction adventure stories with lots of plot twists that keep the reader guessing.
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