“In any number of locations around the world the unthinkable was happening: traffic management systems were malfunctioning causing a multitude of accidents; payrolls were paying the wrong amounts; bank accounts were being frozen for no apparent reason; heating systems were coming on at the wrong time and power grids were inexplicably going on and off line. All of these apparently unrelated events were happening at the same time undermining the basic fabric of modern society’s way of life.”
What on Earth do you buy a man that has everything he could ever want? A Gulfstream G650 business jet aircraft? Got it. A sports franchise? Got it. A ranch to do some hunting? I have a few. How about a key to an alternate reality that controls every facet of the world? A world that Fortune 500 corporations, heads of state, federal infrastructure and normal citizens utilize on an everyday basis. Whoa!!!!! I could use one of those. Through this gateway you are lead to the information super highway where if you don’t come prepared you risk certain death. Like the last man on Earth any sign of presence in his realm will put you right in the cross heirs.
Jack Hunter is the owner of Meta Enterprises, a billion-dollar corporation in the data mining and analytics industry. Becoming bored of money Jack became obsessed with owning all the data in the world because in the end, aren’t we taught as children that knowledge is power? His main priority is establishing a presence and creating power and influence in the world of big business and central governments. His pursuits left him an immoral megalomaniac where observing market trends, global economics, and other measures became more unnerving for a control freak like Jack. After years of product development he wholeheartedly believes that he has come across the answer to one of the biggest problems he has ever faced. With the help of his right hand man and muscle behind the hustle Sergei Stanski, his primary information eechnologist Felix, and business associate Kirsten, Jack is about to take the world over, whether he, or the world are ready for it or not.
Max Prior or “Thatcher” was at one point a graduate in Business Studies, now if you know Max like I know Max then you would realize that a change of career would be occurring at a more expedited pace then the anticipated ten years. Upon graduating he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the armed forces. Traveling around the world over the years provided him an opportunity to become a respected naval officer for the special boat services. A few years removed Max has owned Falcon Services Limited, a close protection security business that charges an exorbitant rate reflecting its service. Unfortunately Max’s business gets a little more personal than he would like when his younger sister disappeares after an impromptu trip to Monaco.
This book is a very fast paced and a no nonsense thriller that I quite enjoyed but I know will not be widely-accepted by everyone. The author’s passion for the covered subjects is tangible but not one that many will gravitate towards due to the nature of the material. To me it reminded me of a 21st century blend of Stephen King’s short story Trucks and Orwell’s 1984 with the unpredictable nature of the unknown and the possible presence of a person manning the controls like Earth was his very own chess board. It is incredibly detailed into the virtual world, algorithms, military strategy and artificial intelligence. It’s rather funny because often times throughout the book, the less technically-savvy characters ask the more IT involved characters to speak plain English when it comes to advanced features, it felt like this would have been a conversation I would have had with the author. I get the feeling after completing this story that the author wrote the book that he wanted to write and like his lead antagonist stuck to his guns. This story may be one that readers may be hesitant to read because the author challenges them to expand their frame of reference. If the reader goes in with an open-mind and embraces the fact that there is a great story with an array of well-developed characters than you will also gain a clearer understanding of the potential grand-scale danger involved with a heavily technology-reliant society beyond being “unfriended” on Facebook.
“The global media companies were having a field day picking up the more calamitous – and in their opinion, newsworthy-events. With every passing hour there was another headline: last night’s mid-air catastrophic plane collision competing with an oil tanker running around; a nuclear reactor going critical; public transport systems failing to operate. All these events so far unexplained, no one had joined up the dots.”