Title: The Path
Series: Tag Series #1
Author: Peter Riva
Genre: Science Fiction-Cyberpunk
Source: Given for review for an honest review
RATING: 4 STARS!!!
All life on earth is about to be terminated by an entity as old as the galaxy itself. To make matters worse, Simon has broken everything already.
In a future world that is run by computer systems and that is without want, how can a man find his role? Then, if the very computers he works on to try to make them more human suddenly try to kill him, revealing a secret so vast that it affects every living soul on the planet, can that man be a hero?
These are the questions that face the stumbling, comic, and certainly flawed Simon Bank. His job is to work with the System’s artificial intelligence, making it fit more perfectly into human society so that it can keep the country running smoothly. But when the System threatens the peaceful world he knows, Simon suddenly must rush to save his own life, as well as the life of everyone on earth. Forced to reassess everything that he thought he knew, he is caught within circumstances way beyond his control.
Simon’s only hope is to rely on intellect and instincts he didn’t know he had, and on new friends, not all of them human, to change himself and all humanity. And he doesn’t have much time.
~MY THOUGHTS~Going into this book, I was a bit skeptical. I had never read anything in the "cyberpunk" genre, and I'm fairly new to sci-fi in general, so I'm just starting to get a feel for that genre and what to expect. So, with this being new territory for me on already unfamiliar ground, I was worried. But I had no reason to be. The Path grabbed my attention from the beginning and didn't let go until I was finished.
This story was an unconventional like for me. The narrator of the story, Simon, had a unique way of telling this story. And at first I was a bit on the fence. I had seen other reviewers say how hard it was to get into the story because of the narrator and sometimes choppy way the story flowed, but after a few pages, literally maybe two tops, I loved the narrative and the way Simon was showing me. It almost made the experience more real. I'm not sure if it can be classified as 'stream of consciousness' or not because I am not well read on that type of writing style, but based on the definition and what I have heard people describe it as, this almost seemed to be like that. Simon would jump from one thought to another, sometimes with connectivity, sometimes the thoughts having nothing to do with one another. And I loved it. And like I said in the beginning of this long winded paragraph, it is kind of strange for me to like this type of style, me needing a lot of structure while reading. So props to Peter Riva for making this book so damn enjoyable that I was able to adapt my reading to fit the narrator and the story!
I loved the different aspects of the System. We learn in the first chapter or so the different changes that America has gone through since the Purge. And it's fascinating. I think that was my favorite part of the story, the different new aspects of America. One of the most interesting is how the Government works. It's all about what the citizens want. And that goest for every aspect of this world, not just the Government. The citizens essentially control the weather, when and how much they work, what they do, kids, everything. And that part of the story was my main draw.
On the flip side to that, the "technical" talk kind of went over my head. I still thoroughly enjoyed the story and the plot and had to know what was happening at all times. It just took me a bit to grasp different parts of this world because of that. Thank goodness for the glossary at the back of the book. It helped explain a lot of the different parts that weren't explained in the book.
Another kind of negative I found was the lack of remorse in the beginning. I kind of felt like the "weather abnormalities" and what happened because of it was kind of just barely talked about. And Simon didn't really seem all that bothered. Maybe a little rattled, but not enough not to go to work directly after getting off the NuEl...maybe that's just me. But I did find myself thinking about those first few pages a lot throughout the book and tying the emotions together.
I enjoyed the aspect of a computer turning on the narrator. And that isn't a spoiler, it's essentially on the back cover/blurb. What isn't on there is the awesome ride this story takes you on to get to the end. And I won't divulge secrets, but seriously do yourself a favor and read this.
This book is packed full of twists and an interesting world. I enjoyed finding out what was going to happen almost as much as I enjoyed learning about this new America. I felt like this book stood well on it's own, but at the same time I am thrilled to continue on with the series!
Peter Riva has worked for more than thirty years with the leaders in aerospace and space exploration. His daytime job for more than forty years has been as a literary agent. He resides in New York City.