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, March 14, 2024

Review: Day After Infinity

Day After Infinity Day After Infinity by J.F. Lawrence
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book: ***
Performance: ****

Welcome to the Ryanverse

By the author’s own admission, this story was inspired by Taylor’s Bobiverse series … in fact, it was perhaps too derivative to stand on its own merits. Instead of a human consciousness downloaded into a virtual environment … the author keeps the meat sack and adds a rather irritating AI whose sarcastic humor was generally hit or miss for me. Add in a few nanites and the ability to clone so that you can ignore the inherent human frailties and you are ready to pilot your very own von Neumann probe that gives us our very own Theseus Boat debate … which seems silly when you consider how often cells replicate and die within the human body.

Regardless, the story opens in a quasi-dystopian future after an apocalyptic AI war where the MC (Ryan) basically sells himself to one of three (3) interstellar colony projects headed to Tau Ceti. Apparently, as a result of his previous stint as a medical experimental subject perfecting the cryofreeze tech, his nanites (controlled by his secondhand AI riding shotgun in his head) are super effective in regenerating damaged tissue (aka regeneration factor), making him a near perfect candidate to be a “failsafe” or backup crew member, despite his lowly status, young age and humble beginnings (because picking on the underdog is a tried and true method of building an empathic connection to the MC). What follows is a virtual torture fantasy i(aka training simulations) that is primary designed to show how tough Ryan is (and slowly “upgrade” his human parts until he becomes the Borg and foreshadow his future) making the first half a very slow start.

We come back to the Bobiverse plot in the second half and Murphy makes sure Ryan must pick up his role as a failsafe … and some of the science inconsistencies become more obvious … but as the action ramps if it is also easier to ignore them. This is also where we reintroduce the bad guy … a rogue/insane AI (come on … you had to see this coming right? ref the Ai war and the Bobiverse? There are a few interesting twists as the story follows what by now should be a fairly predictable plot so it was the narration that actually kept it entertaining (and where the frat boy AI … called AL … calmed down enough to be less aggravating). Of course … the emotional drama ramps up as well in order to make the finale pull on heartstrings … and hide the plot holes that would otherwise had be large enough to drive a truck through. For those who miss the Bobiverse, this is a fun diversion.

I was given this free advance review/listener copy (ARC) audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#DayAfterInfinity #FreeAudiobookCodes #KindleUnlimited

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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.