Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it’s a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street.
Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the State. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling A.I. in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets. The stakes are high, no less than first claim to entire worlds. If he declines the honor, he’ll be switched off and they’ll try again with someone else. If he accepts, he becomes a prime target for sabotage. There are at least three other countries trying to get their own probes launched first, and they play dirty.
The safest place for Bob is in space, heading away from Earth at top speed. The way to get there is to do what the State wants. But to get to that point he will have to survive everything from foreign saboteurs to guerilla raids. If he manages to live through launch day, there’s still a good chance the other probes will be armed and focused on eliminating competition the old-fashioned way.
And Bob will find out that the universe contains entities even more unfriendly than the competing probes.
What a premise! Sounds fun, right?
This book, according to the intern at Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency who contacted me and offered it to me for review, is first being turned into an audiobook and then an ebook. Therefore, no buy links. It’s not even on Goodreads yet…I just checked.
However, I can see where this would be a great audiobook. Having it read aloud might give it more character. While I found the setup interesting in the first few pages, the dialog between the characters was without much context. Most of it did not flow well for me, and without a little bit more help from the author to understand why his mother talks so…differently — why characters say the things they say — I struggled to take it seriously. I realized why this was being turned into an audiobook. It needed a little more. Intonation. Context. Something.
Or, who knows, maybe I’m reading the audiobook version? Do they do that? Do they edit a book so that it reads better for the audio version? I don’ t know.
But that’s another reason I stopped reading. I don’t usually do ARCs. And without a 100% certified finished product I wasn’t comfortable doing more. But if this was a radio play I would be all for it. I could see that. But right now, as a text, I wasn’t willing to go on.
I think I could see myself picking this up once it is published in print (if that is ever) to see if the MS is different from the one they sent me, but until then I’m going to suggest it as an audiobook. Which I am not really into. I don’t have long car rides or walks I go on. It comes out September 20th on Audible. I really wish the agency had sent over buy links. But I do have a link to the author’s website.
I recommend this blog post: Writing Redux. He seems like a cool guy.
Post updated 9/24/16 for cover and link.
I was given this ARC in exchange for an honest review.