Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Razor King

Moore, T.W. (2015). Razor King. Los Gatos, CA: Smashwords.

Adult / Adult for YA / Sci-Fi

I gave this book 4 of 5 Stars

The year is 2080, the setting a very bleak environmentally ravaged earth where mankind has quit trying to "rebuild, refurbish, or replenish."  The world went to war over water, and the surviving population is now controlled by the computer systems INFINTOR and MYKRONS, who have artificial intelligence (AI) that seems to be evolving. Through a network of micro surveillance cameras, the systems see all and in order to protect the people, no one has privacy of any kind. The internet has been taken away from average citizens, for their own safety.  As the systems get more powerful, a renegade force called The Underground is attempting to take back control, but it terrorizes the night by harvesting organs and selling them on the black market (to the many people needing transplants due to the increased cancers and illnesses happening from the depleted ozone) to fund its rebellion.  The story pits Captain Matagon, the champion of the AI systems and the law against Razor King, the champion of The Underground and its brilliant leader, Dr. Ozso Rukur.  As conditions get worse, the lines begin to blur: which cause is good? which is evil? can evil be used for good -- or vice versa? 

In a book that's sometimes reminiscent of Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (upon which the movie Blade Runner was based), author T. W. Moore has written an imaginative, highly technical story of a future that seems realistic and possible.  Moore provides extremely detailed scenarios of the states of technology, transportation, security, and medical advances that seem reasonable, though admittedly this reader isn't qualified to assess the legitimacy of any of the scientific verbiage and found it easiest -- and most enjoyable -- to read and accept what was presented.  

In addition for Moore's ability to imagine and describe the technological aspect of this future world, he gives readers some richly drawn, very human characters. Captain Matagon, in particular, is fully fleshed-out as the flawed hero. Despite working for INFINTOR, Matagon has devised all kinds of ways to live under the radar and privacy invasions and though he admits machines are smart, he deems himself smarter.  Readers will see Matagon's character grow, particularly in how he views the engineered Genetics (like Philip Dick's androids).  

Author Moore is an excellent story teller and writer, and he connects all the loose ends so that most of the readers' questions get answered. The main plot of Matagon's quest to destroy The Underground never waivers, but along the way are numerous sub-plots, twists, and turns and a particularly satisfying epilogue. Towards the end, there's a bit of a deus ex machina, which is then explained away by previously undisclosed information from Meeksagon, Matagon's brother. It seems this could have been better handled by planting some seeds earlier so that the event wouldn't have seemed so contrived.  Also, there were about a dozen errors (wrong words, misspelled words, dropped words, etc.) that could easily be fixed with another editing pass. 

The book will have appeal to both adult and young adult audiences who are SciFi / Tech fans.  Sensitive readers should be aware that there is violence, often bloody, but it's not overly graphic. There isn't any swearing and sex happens but isn't described at all. 

Thank you to the author for providing me an eBook copy in exchange for my honest review -- the only kind I give. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: T.W. Moore is a former free-lance columnist for the Portland Press Herald, Maine’s largest newspaper, and author of "I Love Today – Musings From New England". He lives in Maine. Connect with the author on FACEBOOK

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