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Perfect near future sci-fi

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-04-30

‘Pattern recognition’ has been one of my favourite books, and I think this matches it. Interesting characters with complex motivations, and lots of small, almost throwaway details that place it in a believable world almost (but not quite) exactly like our own.
Manages to be an engaging cerebral thriller without a lot actually happening - which I would normally find quite tedious - but here it seems to work, like it did in ‘Pattern recognition’.
One of the few fiction books that’s ambivalent about AI - not shown as good or bad, apocalyptic or a saviour, but something that could be either (or both). Also includes one spectacular dig at US and UK politics that I did NOT see coming.
Highly recommended.

Interesting hidden side of WWII history

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-09-16

Very interesting and compelling study of how drug use in Nazi germany impacted the outcome of the war. A hidden side of history we definitely didn’t learn about at school...
Some of the points (particularly the downfall off Hitler) are a bit laboured, less objective, and a bit more grotesque than the story probably needed.
Overall a great listen, and recommended.

Good listen, severely let down by the 3rd act

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-09-16

Very interesting premise, and a great start. Ending got so ludicrous I wasn’t able to finish it. Great listen for the first 90% or so, though.

Very engaging, but more like a history book than expected

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-05-13

As suggested by the title, I was hoping for a more high-concept ‘how to survive in medieval England’ - I.e. how a modern day person might be able to integrate, survive and even thrive in another age. Even the description of the book, and the intro, suggested this.
Instead, it seems more like a regular history book - albeit a solid, rounded and well written one. The only real difference it’s written in present rather than past tense.
This distinction of ‘living’ vs ‘dead’ history is mentioned several times throughout the book, as if the aim is to be taken seriously by historians. While this is a noble effort, I think I might have preferred the more speculative version.

Interesting near-future political thriller

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-01-12

Interesting premise, and a complex but solid story. Plenty of interesting world building, multi-layered political maneuvering, and plot twists that could have fallen very flat, but I think the author pulled it off.
Only downside for me is that none of the characters were particularly likeable. For a story with an overriding theme of redemption, this isn’t necessarily a problem (start off hating a character, and then grow to like them....), but I never really got there.
Still - good listen, and a solid 4+ stars.