Thank You very much to the publisher – Doubleday for the review copy.
Release date: 12 07 2018
Price*: Kindle £9.99 (GBP)/ Paperback £7.99 (GBP)
Kindle $13.27 (USD)/ Paperback $22.64 (USD)
Pages: ~ 352
My rating: 7/10
You can get this book here:
What I learned from this book: That we are watched all the time, on the streets, in the shops or even online…
Description of the book: Welcome to the Freemee lifestyle app: They can give you confidence, power, fame and all the friends in the world. But what will they take in return?
When a teenager is shot dead after chasing a criminal in the street, investigating journalist Cynthia Bonsant is led to the popular social media platform Freemee, a competitor to Facebook whose lifestyle app claims to give you everything you need to succeed in life.
But there is someone who warns against its evils: Zero, the world’s most-wanted activist, known for exposing the toxic truths behind social media giants and their pursuit of total control.
As Cynthia gets closer to unraveling the evil mastermind behind the Freemee site, she herself becomes a target. But in this world of hidden cameras, data glasses and hyper-smart phones there is nowhere to hide…
How this book made me feel: Living with a complete geek, I learned to love technology. It is kind of mesmerizing how technology is taking over our lives, that is why I was very intrigued by the blurb of this book. After reading the book, I am kind of petrified of how much of our personal data is actually collected without our knowledge… Or maybe because of our ignorance?
The protagonist in this novel is Cynthia, a single mother and investigative journalist, who lives in London. I really liked, how realistic the main character was, she is kind of old-fashioned when it comes to technology, and all the new findings really leave her confused. Also, I liked Cynthia’s personality, I think she was really curious, brave and adventurous. The Author offers a huge variety of characters in this book, representing different sectors and different perspectives, and in some places, I found it difficult to identify who belongs where, but to my luck, there was a handy list of characters at the back of the novel, which helped me.
The narrative was really thought-provoking. Elsberg highlights many aspects of data collection and usage, which really got me thinking. The story is told from multiple perspectives, and that kind of kept my interest going. To enjoy this book, you have to like technology, there is a ton of terms and IT processes being discussed, so if you not into computers, this book will not make sense to you. 🙂 I loved that author chose different settings in this book, incorporating his native town – Vienna. Also, I think, that the author used his knowledge of advertising and influencing people very smartly, and I bet, that the search for smart glasses will increase after reading this book. 😀 (Because I am definitely going to search 😀 )
I enjoyed author’s writing style, for me, it was understandable, action-filled and constantly changing. The whole book was fitted into eight chapters, and for me, they were really long. Even though every chapter shared multiple events, it still kind of dragged to me a sometimes… 😦 (I love my short chapters!) The ending rounded up the story very nicely, but there are so many unanswered questions, that it is kind of bugging me. 😀 I really liked The Circle, and I think with a good director, this book could be a superb movie.
So, to conclude, It is a very well crafted story, which feels kind of futuristic, but when you think about it, most of the things are already happening in one form or another. It is filled with smart characters, plenty of action, and I think it is kind of a wake-up call for all of the people, who are glued to their gadgets and the internet. So, “Hey, parents – do you know what your child is up to? “ Do read this book to find out why, and I hope you will enjoy it. 🙂
About the Author: Marc Elsberg is the pseudonym of Marcus Rafelsberger. Marc was born in Vienna, Austria. After 20 years as a creative in advertising in Austria and Germany Marc turned into a bestselling novelist. His thrillers BLACKOUT and ZERO were translated to more than a dozen languages and sold a million copies worldwide. His new thriller HELIX is out now (2016, German and Polish editions, more to come). BLACKOUT and ZERO were awarded “Science Book of the Year” (category entertainment) in Germany in 2012 and 2014 respectively. The books also made Marc a sought-after speaker and dialogue partner for business and politics. Currently, he lives and works (mainly) in Vienna, Austria.
Website – http://www.marcelsberg.com/ / Twitter – @Marc_Elsberg
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