Lots of sci-fi twists and turns, some more believable than others, lead to a galvanizing finish.

Game Over

From the A Series of Ends series , Vol. 1

The latest novel by Edgington (Immortal, 2016) features a rogue artificial intelligence and a virtual reality world holding 12 billion trapped souls.

In a bid for immortality, humanity creates a virtual reality world called Elisium and downloads billions of people into it as digitized versions of themselves. Elisium is managed by an AI called Sibyl, who has been given complete control by the human programmers. Unfortunately, as Elysium’s population grows and power consumption spikes, Sibyl begins redefining what she considers acceptable and reconditioning or deleting people who don’t meet that standard. Ekko Everlasting is downloaded into Elisium, his memory wiped to avoid being flagged a dissident, with the task of tracking down the real-world location of Sibyl’s computer core so that she can be killed or reprogrammed. Ekko enters the No-Life tournament, a competition in which failure results in the actual death of the losers, so that he can get close to Elisium’s elite. After a few initial wins, he qualifies to enroll in The Test—the biggest and most mysterious tournament Elisium has ever seen. Along the way, he meets fellow player Sylirin Yukionna and becomes determined to save her, despite the risks. The story is sprinkled with decision points in the style of the Choose Your Own Adventure series, in which the reader can select which action Ekko takes. Unfortunately, this mechanism doesn’t work very well in an e-book, where it’s more difficult to flip around to different sections, which is probably why Edgington uses a very limited version in which the wrong decision leads to instant death. The plot seems a bit contrived (is it really plausible that the humans don’t know the location of a computer holding 12 billion people?), but the persistent reader will be rewarded with a terrific surprise ending.

Lots of sci-fi twists and turns, some more believable than others, lead to a galvanizing finish.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9976733-2-6

Page Count: 286

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH

While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

Did you like this book?

more