4 out of 4 stars
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Golden Cord of Arram, first in the Golden Cord Trilogy by Walt Runkis, is a terrifying look at what reality could be. This book depicts a world where everything is failing. Most jobs have been mechanized, meaning most of the population is out of work. The government is blindsiding the public with layers of red tape, meaning nothing they say can be trusted. Even the streets are not safe. The Yuendi commonly hack into the electronic road signs and reverse the direction of traffic on the street, causing accidents and jams that take hours to clear up. The Yuendi is an organization that claims responsibility for events on a multitude of scales, from simple traffic issues to terrorist attacks. No one knows who they are, or even if they are an organization or just individuals.
The pacing of this book was excellent. The point-of-view jumped around between a few different characters; however, it was always clear what was going on. This movement of the point-of-view allowed Runkis to build suspense and kept the story moving. It also allowed for the development of each of the main characters. I feel like all of the major characters were well-rounded.
Grammatically, this book was also excellent. I only noticed a few minor issues that did not impact the readability. It appeared to have been professionally edited.
My favorite part of this book was the underlying conversation about society. The main characters were fighting against corruption. The society was set up in a way where no one could be trusted. The police put out reports that were pages and pages of nonsense in order to convince the public they had nothing to hide. It painted a terrifying picture of how the future might look if the majority of blue-collar jobs are made obsolete by machines and technology.
Overall, I rate this book a perfect 4 out of 4 stars. The plot was compelling and fast-paced. The book also struck home with its commentary on society. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about government conspiracies and corruption. I would caution against younger readers due to some violence in the book. I would also like to mention that this book is a bit unsettling at times because it depicts a future that might come to be a reality; if that type of speculation is unnerving, this is not the book for you. However, this is both a terrifying yet fascinating read that I highly recommend.
Golden Cord of Arram, first in the Golden Cord Trilogy
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