As humanity succumbs to a vast mind-control conspiracy, Jake Travissi suspects that reality may no longer be on his side in the finale of Davison’s (State of Union, 2102, etc.) God Head Trilogy.
This third installment doesn’t hold back, opening with nothing less than the nuclear destruction of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Islamic fundamentalists are practically the last holdouts against the Consortium, a mid-21st-century conspiracy of techno-elites out to implant civilization with Internet-linked computer chips. The Chip enhances physiology and perception and instantly connects people with the rest of mankind—but it also means that the Consortium can “hack” them and turn them into mindless slaves, exile them to a sham reality (à la The Matrix) or even order them to die. Jake, an LA lawman with a strong sense of right and wrong, relentlessly battles the Consortium to the point of allying with religious terrorists. The villains find him a source of fascination because he alone managed to resist and override his Chip programming early on. Now, a nanotech-based virus is seeding Chips worldwide into people and animals. Jake, along with a few fellow resistance fighters, flees to the only untainted realm left: the independent colonies on the moon. There, he aims to fully activate his Chip for a last stand against the Consortium’s ultimate cyberweapon—a ruthless, sadistic artificial intelligence named Constantine, who controls billions of human minds simultaneously. As our hero survives one narrow-escape cliffhanger after another, he begins to wonder if can he trust his reality at all—or if his experiences are creations of Consortium puppet masters. A story that began as a cyberpunk police thriller has, across three volumes, zoomed out to become a mind blower of Olaf Stapledon–esque dimensions, ruminating on robot ethics, futurism, and what it means to be human and have free will. (Davison even manages to express the Consortium’s point of view in a disquietingly attractive manner.) Action fans, meanwhile, will find a body count in the billions. As long as readers don’t mind this final installment’s deus-ex-machina conclusion (in a very literal sense), they’ll certainly appreciate its uncommonly forceful grand-canvas sci-fi storytelling.
A high-density wrap-up of a diverting cyber-sci-fi trilogy.