2 out of 4 stars
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The Faculty of Matter is a mind-twisting science fiction book by Carl Freeman. The book is set in the future where artificial intelligence (or alternate intelligence) has made great advances, creating a world where the possibilities are limitless.
Jay Maison discovers that humans have been lied to. He learns that alternate intelligence (AIs) are capable of lying and manipulation. This discovery happens when he uncovers that a defect in his DNA has been purposely hidden from him. This defect in his DNA allows him special abilities to control his subconscious mind and enter peoples dreams. All the while, earth is caught in the middle of an alien war. Little does Jay realise that he might just be the only hope for the survival of all the universes in existence.
At 443 pages, The Faculty of Matter is quite a lengthy book, and this might put some readers off. The author's seemingly borderless imagination is what kept me reading on. Many of the concepts in the book are mind-boggling; sadly, they are also underdeveloped. This may be due to the sheer number of ideas and substories within the book. It appeared the author had a dozen plots to explore and decided to cram them all into one book. There was so much going on that I found it hard to piece it all together at times, requiring that I turn back a couple of pages to remind myself where the plot was headed or to try to figure out what the significance of a certain scene was. At times, certain pieces of information were only clarified later. I hated this, because I felt like I was guessing what was going on in a few scenes.
On the positive side of things. I do believe science fiction readers will enjoy this book due to its imaginative exploration of technology, science, the universe, consciousness, matter, and dark matter. I was awed by the idea of cloning an individual, then downloading and uploading their memories and personality into a blank AI brain, and putting this brain into the clone.
Another positive was the successful use of the element of suspense. For example, Jay works hard to find fragments of his girlfriend's recurring dream, hoping it will uncover the person responsible for her parents' tragic death. As he got closer to solving the mystery, I became more and more engrossed.
Overall, the development of the story was engaging. Had the flow of events been improved upon, then this would have been a stellar book. Although I did not enjoy it completely, I think someone else might savour it. Thus, I rate it 2 out of 4 stars. I could have given it a rating of 3, but due to the awkward sentence structure and the number of grammatical errors, I believe a rating of 2 is fitting.
Faculty of Matter
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