A small group of rebels in the near future plans a dangerous mission to liberate the population from behavior-controlling nanochips in Cramer’s (Generation M, 2014, etc.) sci-fi tale.
The end result of a global war in 2036 was billions dead and a quarter of the planet uninhabitable. To salvage what remained, the United States and Russia formed the Collective, a 12-person council to govern the world. Bulgarian technologist Dr. Nicholas Petrov then developed a chip that was embedded into people’s heads to control behavior and emotions, which led to world peace. But there are some who want to think and do as they please, which will be nearly impossible with the forthcoming V7 chip (due in 2055) that will transmit individuals’ thoughts to the Collective. The mission for 18-year-old Jerusalem rebel Raissa is to assassinate Petrov and counter the chip’s effects by transmitting the devourware program. She’s working with devourware writer, Christian Ashminov, whose M-code—which powers the nanochips—Petrov stole years ago. Their assignment ultimately connects them with Caleb Saunders, a researcher at the Collective’s NanoArtisans in Boston. Unfortunately, Raissa and Ashminov may not have enough time: The diabolical Petrov has already implemented a scheme that could end with a higher death toll than the war. Cramer’s novel abounds with revelations, starting with why only Caleb hears Petrov’s voice speaking to someone named Adam. The cast is dynamic, like Raissa, for one, who believes she lost her family in a missile strike. Petrov’s ultimate objective entails a good deal of exposition, which precipitates an ardent albeit conspicuous biblical allegory. But this hardly dampens potent scenes such as the nanochip maintaining elation for parents who have just lost their child. There are also myriad displays of Raissa’s extensive combat training: “She threw a roundhouse punch…her knuckles connected above the bridge of his nose, unleashing torrents of blood through his nostrils.”
A twisty and exhilarating dystopian romp.