3 out of 4 stars
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Chip’s World: Complex #31 and the Caretaker is a suspenseful science fiction thriller written by Thomas Hill.
Dean Haggerty is a computer programmer at Cyber Network And Technology Agency (CYNATA), where databases of health chips are kept. People are implanted with computer chips at birth, for various reasons. The chips are constantly monitored, so that people would know when they need replacements and upgrades.
After a hacking incident at the office, instigated by a group of superfast former soldiers known as the sprinters, Dean is assigned as a caretaker at the Outpost Station at Barrier’s Edge, Complex #31. It is a vast, but empty, multi-story building at the northernmost border. Dean is quite unprepared for the dangers awaiting him at the complex, including an old foundry equipment for making control chips.
Unbeknownst to Dean, his transfer is ordered by the members of the Central Authority High Council of the New Nation, to get him isolated. They think that he knows too much, and that he is collaborating with the sprinters.
Meanwhile ‘Chip’, a master computer chip with artificial intelligence, and is connected to all devices in the entire network of the New Nation, sends messages to the members of the High Council. The messages decide the fate of the entire New Nation citizenry.
Told in the third-person perspective, this is an action-packed and a suspenseful book, about the possible future, where robots turn against the humans, whom they are initially programmed to protect. The book has a very promising premise, and the plot is presented, between narration of the present events and flashbacks. Action scenes are described in minute detail, and the settings are meticulously illustrated.
On one hand, the most important part of the book, for me, is the discovery of a conspiracy among the members of the High Council, against the unsuspecting citizens. It depicts leaders with low morals and no respect for human lives. On the other hand, what I like most is the unpredictability of the book. It keeps the story suspenseful.
Admittedly, this is an interesting and engaging book. However, some readers may find the numerous flashbacks confusing. Moreover, the descriptions of scenes are too detailed, that they sound unnatural, and some characters' behaviors may be deemed unrealistic, like an adult, married woman, without any psychological disorder, flailing her arms around, and jumping in circles at the train station. There are also noticeable repetitions of words resulting to redundancy.
The book has too many characters, who are mostly underdeveloped, except for Dean Haggerty, and it takes a great deal of effort to remember who is who and who did what. Furthermore, I find the ending inconclusive, leaving so many questions unanswered. Finally, there are too many errors within the entire book, including incorrect usage and typo errors (like You got you're work cut out for you and but I'm think I'm starting to lose it a little). What I like least, however, is the superfluous amount of details, which turn out to be irrelevant, and only serve to make the book longer than necessary.
I, therefore, rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is suspenseful and action-packed. I recommend it to fans of thriller and science fiction. Scenes of abuse, torture, and violence, however, may not be suitable for young readers.
Chip’s World: Complex #31 and The Caretaker
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