Official Review: Sophistication by Matt Casamassina

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joshfee77
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Official Review: Sophistication by Matt Casamassina

Post by joshfee77 » 27 Jan 2019, 21:07

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Sophistication" by Matt Casamassina.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Sophistication is a sci-fi thriller by Matt Casamassina. A cloaked, hooded figure appears in the United States Senate in the Capitol building in Washington. Striding forward to the podium, interrupting the senator currently speaking, the faceless figure says: "In one month, your ineffective order ends. In one month, we take over." Before the security staff can react, the figure vanishes in a bright flash of electricity. People view online videos of the incident a hundred million times in the first two hours alone. Carl Brannigan, a basement-dweller in charge of internet rumours at the FBI, calls himself the "Unexplained Occurrences Division". One of the FBI's directors summons him to join the task force investigating the senate intruder. But what do Miyuki Mitsuraga, a young journalist, and Kevin Splinter, the quadriplegic son of a senator, have to do with the mysterious cloaked figure and its ominous warning?

This is one of the most gritty and addictive thrillers I have read for Online Book Club. It features great characters with plenty of depth, intriguing plot twists, advanced technology, and extraordinary feats, sometimes seemingly in complete defiance of science. In addition, Casamassina really knows how to hook in his reader, dragging you relentlessly through a 500-page book as if it were only 300 pages. I never lost interest at any point in the narrative, and I never lost the sense that the author really cared about his characters, plot, and subplots. I cannot stress enough that if you like powerful sci-fi thrillers, this is an absolute must-read.

The characterisation of the basement-dwelling Carl is strong right from the start, with plenty of human details such as his ageing face and unkempt suit. The strength and intelligence of Japanese video game journalist Miyuki are clear immediately when she outwits a 12-year-old boy who sends her an abusive email by uncovering his identity and calling his mother. Character development is excellent throughout the book, with human weaknesses and frailties explored as part of the various subplots. Also, the author explains character motivations in such a way that I could easily see both sides of the situation, even though humans consider the "Cloaks" terrorists right from the beginning.

There is some neat abbreviated description, such as: "Weeds everywhere. The steady rhythm of water leaking. Crumbled concrete. Splintered wood. Shards of glass. Broken tiles. Ruination." This sets the scene beautifully without writing long, wasteful sentences resulting in a bloated paragraph. Casamassina also incorporates a strong message about the deplorable current state of our world: crime, stupidity, corrupt politicians, waste, and inefficiency. He does it without being preachy, but it certainly makes you think where we might be as a species if we only had effective leadership not driven by greed, self-interest, and the lust for power.

The editing is also excellent, with only a few minor typographical errors and incorrect words used. Aside from these errors, I found nothing else to dislike about this book. Overall, Sophistication is an addictive read featuring great characters, amazing feats, and technology you must read about to believe. For this reason, I rate it 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend it to fans of both crime and sci-fi thrillers; however, be aware that it does contain a sex scene and strong graphic violence.

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Sophistication
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Post by Ever_Reading » 29 Jan 2019, 03:46

It sounds like Casamassina hit the ball out of the park with this one! '...great characters, amazing feats, and technology you must read about to believe. ' I mean, what's there not to love? I am reading this as soon as I get the time. Thanks for the superb review! :D
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Post by kandscreeley » 29 Jan 2019, 08:49

Surely everyone is aware by now that science fiction is one of my favorite genres. So, with this review, you've definitely hooked me. I can't wait to find out who the figure was, where he or she disappeared to and what happens! I will put this on my list for sure!
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Post by kdstrack » 29 Jan 2019, 10:00

Your high praise for the author's writing style is infectious! I would like to find out if the threat was executed or if he was thwarted. This book has strong characters and a great story line with a unique plot. Everything looks good! From your comments, I am sure this book will not disappoint! Thanks for your compelling writing - very enjoyable.

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Post by linham02660 » 29 Jan 2019, 14:06

Sci-fi and politics, sounds like I need to read it. there certainly seems like alot going on in it.Great review thanks.

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Post by Jessacardinal » 29 Jan 2019, 22:28

I love that you loved reading this book. Your review is very well written. Unfortunately, I have no interest in the sci-fi genre but you did a phenomenal job writing the review.
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Post by T_stone » 30 Jan 2019, 03:03

A good sci-fi book is definitely a must-read for me. It's one of my best genres. This book has everything to make me interested in reading it: good plot, great characterization, and advanced tech. I'm definitely this one out! Thanks
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Post by joshfee77 » 31 Jan 2019, 22:47

Ever_Reading wrote:
29 Jan 2019, 03:46
It sounds like Casamassina hit the ball out of the park with this one! '...great characters, amazing feats, and technology you must read about to believe. ' I mean, what's there not to love? I am reading this as soon as I get the time. Thanks for the superb review! :D
Thanks! Yeah, just an all-round excellent read for sci-fi fans. Enjoy!

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Post by joshfee77 » 31 Jan 2019, 22:50

kandscreeley wrote:
29 Jan 2019, 08:49
Surely everyone is aware by now that science fiction is one of my favorite genres. So, with this review, you've definitely hooked me. I can't wait to find out who the figure was, where he or she disappeared to and what happens! I will put this on my list for sure!
Yeah, a really riveting sci-fi story, just beautifully executed in every way. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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Post by joshfee77 » 31 Jan 2019, 22:52

kdstrack wrote:
29 Jan 2019, 10:00
Your high praise for the author's writing style is infectious! I would like to find out if the threat was executed or if he was thwarted. This book has strong characters and a great story line with a unique plot. Everything looks good! From your comments, I am sure this book will not disappoint! Thanks for your compelling writing - very enjoyable.
Thanks. Definitely a great read if you like sci-fi thrillers. Couldn't have enjoyed it any more than I did!

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Post by joshfee77 » 31 Jan 2019, 22:53

linham02660 wrote:
29 Jan 2019, 14:06
Sci-fi and politics, sounds like I need to read it. there certainly seems like alot going on in it.Great review thanks.
Heavy on the sci-fi, less so on the politics, but plenty of action all the way through. Thanks!

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Post by joshfee77 » 31 Jan 2019, 22:56

Jessacardinal wrote:
29 Jan 2019, 22:28
I love that you loved reading this book. Your review is very well written. Unfortunately, I have no interest in the sci-fi genre but you did a phenomenal job writing the review.
Thanks! I like sci-fi and this book was brilliantly done. Loved it.

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Post by joshfee77 » 31 Jan 2019, 22:57

T_stone wrote:
30 Jan 2019, 03:03
A good sci-fi book is definitely a must-read for me. It's one of my best genres. This book has everything to make me interested in reading it: good plot, great characterization, and advanced tech. I'm definitely this one out! Thanks
Yeah, I highly recommend reading this if you enjoy sci-fi. Thanks!

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Post by gen_g » 01 Feb 2019, 01:44

I loved how you described the pace as "dragging you relentlessly through a 500-page book as if it were only 300 pages"! This sounds like a really well-constructed novel, and I would definitely like a chance at reading it. Thanks for the brilliant review.

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Post by Cotwani » 01 Feb 2019, 12:12

'I never lost interest at any point in the narrative, and I never lost the sense that the author really cared about his characters, plot, and subplots. I cannot stress enough that if you like powerful sci-fi thrillers, this is an absolute must-read.'
This summation makes me realize what I will enjoy in this book - everything! Thanks for the anazing review!
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