My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Review: Systemic

Systemic Systemic by Chris Lodwig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Narration was pretty good, but not great.

So I basically knew what I was getting coming into this story after exchanging a few emails with the author. As advertised, this is a "just straight up, earth-bound, nothing super-natural, AI, mind control sci-fi" that I requested less for the entertainment value and more for "exploring the human condition and/or our evolution as well as any vision into how our tech might evolve." On this the author delivers a solid, well researched story with four (4) converging POVs (including the AI itself). The first part of the book is really setting the stage and world building. This is where a lot of authors get the tech so wrong it interferes with the story ... not here. There was just enough to impress, but not enough to bore; however, the story may seem to drag here for some readers/listeners because of the limited action (it is a long build-up). What was really interesting was how the AI/System evolved into the ultimate arbiters of the truth (surprisingly apropos in our current politcal climate). The second half of the book certainly picks up the pace until you get a fantastic (and somewhat unexpected) ending that requires you to think about what the AI's role ultimately was (and who were the good guys and who were the bad guys). This book is designed from the start to make you think about things ... which is why I really enjoyed it.

This title is also currently available on Kindle Unlimited ...
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#feeaudiobookcodes #audiobookboom #systemic

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.