Charles Soule brings his signature knowledge—and wariness--of technology to his sophomore novel set in a realistic future about a brilliant female scientist who creates a technology that allows for the transfer of human consciousness between bodies, and the transformations this process wreaks upon the world.
Inside a barn in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a scientist searching for an Alzheimer’s cure throws a switch—and finds herself mysteriously transported into her husband’s body. What begins as a botched experiment will change her life—and the world—forever…
Over two decades later, all across the planet, “flash” technology allows individuals the ability to transfer their consciousness into other bodies for specified periods, paid, registered and legal. Society has been utterly transformed by the process, from travel to warfare to entertainment; “Be anyone with Anyone” the tagline of the company offering this ultimate out-of-body experience. But beyond the reach of the law and government regulators is a sordid black market called the darkshare, where desperate “vessels” anonymously rent out their bodies, no questions asked for any purpose - sex, drugs, crime... or worse.
Anyone masterfully interweaves the present-day story of the discovery and development of the flash with the gritty tale of one woman’s crusade to put an end to the darkness it has brought to the world twenty-five years after its creation. Like Blade Runner crossed with Get Out, Charles Soule’s thought-provoking work of speculative fiction takes us to a world where identity, morality, and technology collide.
Charles Soule is a #1 New York Times-bestselling novelist, comics author, screenwriter, musician, and lapsed attorney. He has written some of the most prominent stories of the last decade for Marvel, DC and Lucasfilm in addition to his own work, such as his comics Curse Words, Letter 44 and Undiscovered Country, and his original novels Light of the Jedi, The Endless Vessel, The Oracle Year and Anyone. He lives in New York.
This is one of the hardest reviews I’ve had to write because this book defies description, and it’s just so GOOD. First of all, it’s science fiction and presented in a way that anti-speculative fiction readers will still find completely approachable. There’s tons of suspense, some fantasy, great characters...
I don’t want to go into the synopsis because I’m too scared to give away any of the juicy details. It’s a book that begs to be discussed with your friends, one perfect for book clubs. I can imagine it being universally-loved by fans of all genres. I found it unputdownable and riveting. If you haven’t read it yet, find the time to put Anyone on your shelf. You won’t regret it!
Q: “What can I do for you?... Anything for Anyone.” (c) Q: ... there is a secret at the heart of the flash, and the world should know about it. (c)
Wow. That was chilling! Q: ... a company called NeOnet Global released the technology that allowed the transfer of human consciousness from one body to another. These days, most people called the company Anyone, and the tech it gave the world was the flash. (c) Q: He was smart, unlucky, and, thank god, a terrible shot. (c) Q: The first of the Two Rules of the flash: if one dies, both die. The second: no multiple jumps. If you’re in a vessel, you can’t move to a second without flashing back to your prime first. The Two Rules. Hardwired into the flash from the day Anyone released it to the world. To prevent abuses. (c) Oh, seriously. Q: “I like how it feels... Giving up the control, knowing that anyone riding me in a darkshare probably has a pretty dark reason. Most of the time, I wake up back here, no idea what I was used for. There was another me out there, doing crazy things, I don’t know what. It’s a rush.” (c) Q: Darksharing was hellish no matter where you did it—but hell had circles, and some were deeper than others. (c) Q: Hard to think of a smaller, bigger sound. (с) Q: He balanced her out—a one-man aromatherapy session. (c) Huh, did hat hubby smell that much?
Gabriella White, a brilliant neurologist and scientist who’s searching for a cure to Alzheimer’s, is at the very end of the funding for her research project. In her frustration, she recklessly pushes the power for her lab equipment, a neural stimulation system, to the maximum … and accidentally finds herself in her husband Paul’s body in their nearby house, holding their beloved 11-month-old daughter, who they call Kat or Kitten. Shocked, Gabby drops Kat back into her crib and runs back to the lab, where she finds her own body in a comatose state. She’s not at all sure whether she’ll be able to switch her consciousness from Paul’s body back to hers.
In the very next chapter, it’s twenty-five years later, and it’s clear that Gabby’s botched experiment, now called “flash” technology, has completely transformed our world, in both good ways and bad. When a flash takes place, the flasher’s original body is unresponsive and the flashee’s mind essentially checks out completely during the entire time the flash is taking place, and has no recollection of any events that happened while the other person’s mind was controlling their body. A young woman named Annami is venturing into the illegal world of darkshare, where you let an anonymous person renting your body for a period of time in exchange for a cash payment. Annami knows that the person renting her body can use it for almost anything — sex, crimes, even murder — the only limitation being that if her body is killed, the person whose mind is in her body will also die. It’s one of the two immutable Rules of flashing (the other is that your mind always needs to return to your original body before jumping to a new body).
Annami is driven by a compelling need to earn a massive sum of money quickly for a secret purpose. At the same time, she’s hiding from a gang led by a man called Bleeder, who have been searching for her for several years. To make matters worse, Annami’s first darkshare goes south in a big way: instead of her body being returned to the den where she started, she wakes up in a strange room soaked in blood, next to a dead body, with a killer in the process of breaking into the room to take her out.
Anyoneis the second novel by Charles Soule, a comic book writer whose first novel, The Oracle Year, also featured a fascinating science fiction premise, a suspenseful plot, and a brisk pace. Anyone is a dual timeline novel that shifts between Gabby’s story in our present day and Annami’s in the future (eventually, of course, the loop is closed and the threads converge). Under the contract she signed, any invention Gabby comes up with is owned by Gray Hendricks, the private investor (read: ver y rich loan shark) who funded her research, but Gabby completely mistrusts what Hendricks will do with her invention if he finds out about it. So she lies about what she’s found to her manager at Hendricks Capital, trying to hide her invention, but it’s clear that somewhere between now and twenty-five years from now, something goes wrong with Gabby’s plan. As a result, reading Gabby’s part of the plot felt very much like waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Like Blake Crouch’s Recursion, Anyone is a suspenseful SF thriller about a mind-altering, world-changing technology, with lots of twists and turns in the plot. Anyone does lag somewhat in the middle, but overall it’s an exciting story that sucked me in for an entire evening and into the late night, until I was finished with the book. The characterization felt more successful than in The Oracle Year, although Soule still has a penchant for greedy, soulless villains. Anyone also contains more significant racial and sexual diversity; it feels natural and melds well with the plot (which isn’t always the case). My main complaint is that Anyone didn’t quite stick the ending, which is abrupt and has some major logical holes in it.
Anyone has a deeper side as well, exploring themes like privacy, greed, and individual identity. Soule also put some serious thought into how this flash technology might change our world: migrant work, surgery and military operations are transformed by the ability to put an expert into someone else’s body on the other side of the world; people rent celebrities’ bodies for a brief thrill; and it’s easy to take a vacation in a distant land in someone else’s body. There’s also the dark underbelly: international prostitution is made ridiculously easy, darksharing is another form of selling yourself, and there’s the lurking risk of body-snatching (both temporary and permanent).
Soule asserts that there have been positive effects on our world as well, like correcting climate change, but never really explains how that particular phenomenon occurred. I did really enjoy a brief segue into how the world of sports is transformed by the ability to feature exhibition matches between old, retired superstars who are playing their sport in a younger athlete’s body.
Overall, Anyone is an intense and absorbing techno-thriller that balances oppression and darkness with sympathetic main characters and a hopeful outlook.
I received an ARC of Anyone from HarperCollins and Wunderkind PR for review. Thanks so much!
This book started strong, with perfect pacing but, around the twenty-five percent mark, something just snapped. The plot clumsily tripped on its own feet-
-And fell flat to the ground, losing my interest in mere pages. I desperately clung to any interesting bits because I didn’t want to DNF this, especially because I DNF-ed Soule’s other book. But I hung on and I am (kind of) glad I did.
So, what’s this book about? One fateful day, Gabby White flips a switch, a simple action that would change the world as we knew it. A bright flash of light later, Gabby finds herself transported into her husband’s body. What started as a big oopsie will soon become revolutionary technology that some will do anything to get their hands on.
Twenty years later, the Flash has taken over the world with almost everyone using it and those who won’t or can’t being dubbed “The Dulls”. People can now switch bodies or rent out there own for anything and everything from sex, drugs, and crime to much more nefarious deeds.
We follow Gabby, her husband Paul, and their daughter in the past as they fight for the rights to Gabby’s accidental breakthrough. And we follow AnamniAnahmi?. F**k it. I don’t remember her name and I don’t have my ARC with me (i’m writing this at Starbucks) so let’s just call her A. We follow A, who participates in a black market version of the Flash which is called Darkshare.
I got very attached to Gabby and Paul. Mainly Paul, who made it onto my fictional crushes. I don’t claim to know why my brain crushes on who it crushes on. mOvInG oN! As I said, I got very attached to the Gabby/Paul plotline while I could not find a single f**k to give about A’s plotline. So much so that I skimmed all the A chapters.
Now, I do want to note that the ending was superb. Had the whole book been like the ending, it would have earned a solid five-star rating. The ending did such an incredible job of wrapping everything up in a presentable and alluring bow. Unfortunately, pretty packaging doesn’t make up for a crappy gift.
Overall, the first and last five percent of this book was splendid and the science fiction was extremely creative and astounding. Unfortunately, this book also suffers from a nasty case of “Saggy Middle Syndrome”. The middle would warrant a one-star rating but the beginning and end would warrant a five-star rating. And so, the obvious choice is a solid three stars. Better luck next time, Charles Soule. I believe in you!
Bottom Line: 3 Stars Age Rating: [ R ] Content Screening (Spoilers) - Educational Value (0/0) ~ Positive Messages (1/5) - [Some positive role models, but they have very limited page time.] ~ Violence (5/5) - [Murder, gore, fights, body horror] ~ Sex (4/5) - [Bodies are rented out for sexual activity] ~ Language (4/5) - [F**k, sh*t, b*tch, d*mn] ~ Drinking/Drugs (4/5) - [Painkillers, alcohol] Trigger and Content Warning - Loss of a loved one, Seizures, Concussions, PTSD, Anxiety, Murder, Racism Reps: [Female inventor (kind of?)] Cover: 4/5 ~ Plot: 2/5 ~ Characters: 4/5 ~ Publication Date: December 3rd, 2019 Publisher: HarperCollins Genre: Science Fiction/Thriller
[9/24/2019] - I just noticed that my ARC cover is significantly a lighter blue than the Goodreads cover
Who would you be if you could be anyone? I can tell you I’d really like to be Charles Soule and have written this book. ANYONE is an intense, superbly crafted, edge of your seat thrill ride. I loved the execution: two slowly converging storylines that collide in the most spectacular way, not to mention the most dedicated, hardcore character I’ve read in a long, long time. You really want to read this one.
"It's harder to hate someone if you can be them. Not impossible, but a little harder."
Most of us are familiar with the saying about walking a mile in someone else's shoes in order to understand and empathize with them. But what if we could walk in someone else's body? What if we could transfer our consciousness, literally experiencing the world through their eyes? Would we stop seeing superficial differences such as skin colour and ethnicity? Would we be more compassionate to those who are less able-bodied? Would we be ourselves or the other person or both? Would we live more freely in another's body?
In Anyone, Charles Soule addresses these questions. A brilliant female scientist has discovered a new technology that allows consciousness to be "flashed" into other people's bodies. Those like me who reject the idea of an immaterial soul will need to suspend their disbelief for this book. At first I struggled with the impossibility of "flashing" but then decided to just accept it as the fictional idea it is and go with it.
The book shifts back and forth between the "past" when Gabrielle White first discovers the technology, and the "future" where flash technology has changed the world. Many of the changes are for the better such as that people have overall become less racist and sexist, and greenhouse gases from carbon emissions have drastically lowered due to people no longer needing to travel much (fancy a trip scuba diving off the Great Barrier Reef but you live in New York City? Simply visit your nearest flash center, lie down, and your implanted i-Fi system flashes "you" into a waiting body in Australia).
Annami is a young woman with secrets, a woman who desperately needs to make money, a lot of money. Fast. She rents her body out on the darkflash, where anyone can rent another's body for any reason at all, no questions asked and no guarantee that the person will be unharmed. It's a lucrative business and the only way for Annami to make the kind of money she needs, so she puts herself at great risk. As can be expected, something goes wrong and bad people come after Annami... but she's after someone too.
This book is an exciting ride through a criminal world. Sure, this kind of technology is impossible, unless you accept the idea that we have some sort of immaterial soul that can survive outside our bodies. Soule tried to play both sides with this book, allowing people's minds to be free of the brain but then showing how the mind would be affected by a different brain and different body. Thus material and immaterial at the same time. I struggled with the inanity and impossibility of this in the beginning but hey, it's fiction and doesn't have to be plausible or doable.
I liked how the story makes you wonder how people would see each other if we could jump from body to body. If we could experience the world through the eyes and brains of others. Superficial judgments would probably become meaningless: "If you can't tell who's inside the skin of the person you're talking to, maybe you can't judge them so quickly based on the color of that skin. You have to judge them based on who they are. How they act."
Anyone points out how people's experiences in life and how they are treated is due in large part to the bodies we're born into. Our scientist and discoverer Gabrielle White is a Black woman who is treated much differently when she is inhabiting the body of a white male. As she explains to her husband in the beginning of the book when she first discovers flash, "I am a mother first, then a scientist, a wife, and a black woman. People in my field, people in the grocery store, people in general -- they see that list backward. Maybe they don't see anything at all past the first thing -- a black woman." That is much changed when flashing becomes commonplace. Though most people want to flash into a young attractive body rather than an old fragile one, attributes like skin colour and even gender diminish in importance. People are people, no matter their sex or ethnicity. Any brain of anyone in the world could be inhabiting any body. Are you going to treat someone badly because they have brown skin when it could be your mother or sister inside that body?
My biggest issue with this book is trivial -- instead of italicizing words, they are underlined and it bugged me. Not a big deal though; perhaps the author has a quirk where he doesn't like italics or he just wanted something different for his book. Dunno. Like I said, not a big deal and I got used to it.
I wouldn't call this science fiction because it's not very scientific and the technology never is explained in detail. Of course it wouldn't be though because it's impossible. Poor science fiction but awesome speculative fiction. Like I said though, you gotta suspend your disbelief and just go with it. You'll be glad you did; it's a fun and exciting ride!
Science fiction/speculative fiction is not a genre that I am attracted to. I’m more of a realistic fiction sort of gal. Charles Soule’s “Anyone” is fantastic. His characters are realistic. He incorporates good drama. How he thought of this idea, and thought it thoroughly through, well that’s amazing.
Gabrielle White is the strong, steadfast protagonist who is a scientist working on a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Her project is funded by a wealthy businessman. Gabby’s home and workplace (a barn that has all her equipment where she administers her test runs) is all owned by a millionaire businessman. As the story opens, she’s running out of money and time to make her breakthrough. Frustrated, she throws caution to the wind and accidently creates a technology that can transfer one person’s thought essence into another person’s body. In other words, she figured out a technology that could make it possible to “be” someone else.
She realizes the potential this technology could have on society. She wants to hide her findings so she can control it so that the technology doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, specifically the businessman who is financing her experiments. She sees it as a way to create empathy, to literally walk in someone else’s shoes. She sees the social impact as well as medical impacts.
As expected, evil businessman learns of the potential technology and ruthlessly uses Gabby’s family as bargaining chips. And the story become complicated.
The story jumps to twenty-five years from now and the reader learns that the technology exists, and the world is significantly different. Author Soule really thought through what could be done with this idea, how it would change the world. He writes the shady side of the technology well, educating the reader how something with great potential can cause immense harm when in the wrong hands.
It’s a crazy story that becomes a major page-turner thriller. I am amazed at the different ideas and the clever situations Soule created. The characters are well developed and even the futuristic ideas are realistic. This is supposed to be made into a movie. I will watch it!
This is the sort of mind-blowing, thought-provoking thriller that will not only have you on the edge of your seat, it will have you thinking in a very different way about our identities and what makes us who we are. This is truly one of the best books of 2019 in my opinion, and I’m referring to all genre!! I have been recommending this and buying copies for everyone I can think of, because it is a rare blend of socially impactful and truly outstanding fiction.
The story weaves back and forth between two narratives—the story of a scientist named Gabby who accidentally invented the Flash, and the story a few decades later of a mysterious young woman named Annami who is on a covert mission to reveal the dark underbelly of the technology and hopefully put a stop to it. I found both narratives equally compelling to read, though Annami’s is a bit more action-packed, and Gabby’s is more intellectually driven (at first).
When Gabby is seeking a cure for Alzheimer’s and accidentally flashes herself temporarily into her husband’s body, she is torn between the terror of finding herself in another person, and the scientific curiosity of what this discovery could mean. One aspect to Gabby’s character that is particularly relevant is that she is a black woman, and because of that, Gabby’s mind instantly goes to the social implications of this discovery: is it harder to hate someone for outward characteristics if anyone could be behind the physical façade? Could this technology reduce racism and classism? Could it make people more tolerant?
A few decades later and we see what the Flash has become. Regulated and legal now, there are two foundational rules about the Flash: 1. A person has to return to their host body before flashing to a new vessel (no flashing between vessels); 2. If one dies, both die (when you are in another body, if either your body or the one you are in dies, both of you die). These are paramount to maintaining order with the Flash, and preventing people from using it for bad reasons.
But as Annami shows us, there is a very dark side to the Flash. A sort of underground lawless market where someone for a price can use a body anonymously for any purpose they choose. And as we learn, there may be even worse things happening than that. Annami is on a mission to expose the problems with the technology, but to do so she needs to make money and fast. So she begins to rent her body out on the darkshare…
There are so many fascinating and dark characters in this book! From the woman who runs the darkshare location that Annami is using, to the financer of Gabby’s research, and a bunch of others who I won’t name because I don’t want to spoil it!
This book was truly unputdownable and definitely one of the best books I read this year. Thought-provoking, edge of your seat, thrilling concept, and excellent execution! Thank you to Harper Perennial for my copy. Opinions are my own.
Anyone is a dazzling technothriller romp into a near future world where anyone can become....well, anyone else.
Driven, obsessive neuroscientist Gabrielle White has nearly exhausted her funding to research a potential Alzheimer's cure that manipulates a patient's neural signals with laser light patterns, when an accident sends her consciousness tumbling through the aether and directly into her husband's body.
If only she can figure out how to get back to her own body and somehow bring this technology to the masses, all the while keeping her discovery secret from the shady Detroit underworld figure who financed her research.
The story intercuts between Gabby's struggles in the present and a dystopian 2040s New York where a young woman named Annami hustles up some cash renting out her body to anonymous strangers on the illegal "darkshare" market. In this world, nearly everyone spends part or most of their daily lives in someone else's body.
Why fly anywhere when you can instantly "flash" into a waiting host who is already there? Take a nap while you rent out your body to workers from developing nations who put in an 8-hour shift and split the wages with you. Passports, immigration controls, biometrics, and identity theft etc have become obsolete concepts. The only way to prove your own identity is by memorizing verbal passphrases, which is also how you transact with merchants to buy stuff.
This is the sort of novel that will have you reflecting on some of its intriguing concepts long after you finish reading. It calls to mind certain other extraordinary SF works like Kiln People.
Soule's brisk and suspenseful prose kept me riveted all the way to the end, apart from a slow chapter that detoured into a contrived romance between Annami and Soro. Otherwise, the pacing is phenomenal and the ending works, though it was slightly unsatisfying as I had hoped for a more outrageous twist...
Charles Soule outdid himself with his new techno thriller and I was completely hooked from the very first chapter.
I had a pretty major book hangover when I finished and couldn’t get the story out of my head for a few days.
Anyone switches back and forth between current day and 25 years in the future and focuses on tech that transfers consciousness into another human. The possibilities of what could happen using this kind of tech are endless and Soule hits on so many uses that made my head spin, both ethical and seriously non-ethical.
I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough and just when I thought I had everything figured out, Soule would hit me with another crazy mind-blowing twist.
This genre is one of my favorites and I was not disappointed. In fact, I’d put this book in the top 3 of my 2019 reads. I read and loved The Oracle Year, but Anyone definitely tops Soule’s first book. Well done!
*Thank you so much to NetGalley and Harper Collins for the advance copy!*
Ahoy there mateys! It is with a sad heart that I have to make the first read of the year walk the plank. I really didn't want to start out 2020 in this way but alas. I was very much looking forward to this read as I enjoyed the previous novel I read by the author and the crew has been saying good things about this one. When me library hold came in just in time for the new year, I thought it was a sign of good things to come. Blast!
The problems started from the very beginning. There be two timelines in this novel and the transitions between them were jarring and confusing. The technology in this book deals with "the flash" where ye can put yer consciousness into another person's body. Cool if creepy. In the past timeline, ye follow the scientist who created the technology, Gabby. In the future timeline, the flash has transformed society. Ye follow Annami who is using the dark sides of the technology for revenge. The illegal uses of the flash were the most interesting.
In addition to the awkward time shifts, I ended up hating Gabby. I was sympathetic to her situation at first. She is running out of money, is desperate for her project to work, and the loan sharks are coming to get her. I get that she wants to maintain control of her experiment but she shouldn't have signed for that loan. Once the action ramps up, Gabby makes one bad decision after another and continually puts her family in danger. Her pride is annoying and misplaced. She wants to change the world in any way she can (doesn't matter) and she also wants EVERYONE to know her name. Aye, she be smart but she has no common sense.
While the concepts of the flash were interesting, I found meself asking too many questions about inconsistencies and ramifications of the technology. I understood that it had changed the world but the plot seemed to have holes and too many coincidences for me. The tech never felt real but seemed more like something out of a bad sci-fi channel made for tv movie. The more I discussed the technologies possibilities with the First Mate, the more problems I found and the grumpier I got.
And I hated the twist through the entire ridiculous ending. The book is split into multiple parts and I liked two and three the best. I get the book's appeal but it didn't work for me. To the sharks it goes. Arrrr!
As soon as I found out that the main character was a female Ph.D. scientist, I needed a copy of Anyone like my life depended on it. And that synopsis? This girl was sold.
Dr. Gabrielle “Gabby” White is a Ph.D./M.D. cognitive neurologist who is desperately trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. Following the birth of her daughter Kat, Gabby decided to stay home and pursue her research by converting her barn into a state of the art lab, which is privately funded by Hendricks Capital while Paul continues his tenure track position as a music composition professor. Gabby finally reaches her breaking point when the funds for her research is essentially depleted, and she has no groundbreaking results to show for. In a last ditch effort, she uses the last of the funds for one final experiment…one where she ends up transferring her consciousness to Paul and controlling his body. With this incredible breakthrough, Gabby must find a way to hone this technology as well as hide it from the greedy hands of Hendricks Capital.
Fast forward 25 years, and the flash technology that Gabby developed has become ubiquitous in society. People can pay to transfer their consciousness to anyone at anytime, and it is 100% legal. As with all “good” things, the black market finds a way to exploit this technology by giving rise to darkshare dens. These are places where people can rent bodies for all matters of insidious activity…for a price, of course.
"During that time, Annami would be unaware, and her rider could use her body for whatever he or she wanted, anything at all. Drugs, sex, crime…anything." – Anyone
The chapters alternate between Gabby and the development of the flash technology and 25 years in the future, which follows our other main character, Annami. I was completely enthralled with Gabby’s timeline for constructing this technology and the science behind it. I’ll be honest, I definitely had several science nerd moments. There were times that I could wholeheartedly relate to Gabby as a scientist who has been caught up in the grunt work of research and both the highs and lows that you experience. That being said, I also enjoyed Annami’s timeline and the consequences of the world that was forged following the implementation of the flash technology. We are always in search of cures to so many different ailments and diseases, but that future gives a glimpse of what could potentially happen when science crosses a line that society isn’t ready for.
I absolutely tore through this book and read it in one sitting. The pacing of this story was spot on, and I honestly couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. This multifaceted story focuses on so many important topics such as race, identity, ethics, and morality; just to name a few. There were so many twists and turns throughout the story, and the way the two timelines come together was spectacular.
Overall, Anyone is a masterfully written and compelling sci-fi thriller that takes you on a wild ride. I honestly can’t recommend this one enough!
Thank you to Harper Perennial for providing an ARC for review. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.
I was hesitant to pick up Charles Soule's upcoming release, Anyone because I really didn't enjoy The Oracle last year. However, I heard nothing but fabulous things about this book so I decided I'd venture into Soule's world of writing one more time. Anyone takes place between two alternate timelines, following the creation of "the flash"—technology that allows its user to transfer their consciousness into another person's body, while the host's unconsciousness basically turns off. While the story was intriguing, the early timeline with the forging of this technology was a lot more compelling than the world after. Needless to say, that is my personal opinion and both timelines were still written masterfully.
The journey in which the two timelines end up meeting together was a wild ride and it was also vastly original. I absolutely loved seeing how each moment unfolded as I turned the page. The action in this story is jam-packed and it includes a lot of interpersonal relationships. My main gripe about this story was that it was probably 100 pages too long. We start off very fast and fun, but it dips about halfway and gets a bit drawn out. If the story was tightened up a bit, this would've been a surefire five star read for me!
Overall, Anyone is a fun science-fiction novel that will definitely entertain and draw crowds of fans. The way the story wrapped up was spectacular and unexpected! I think this book has also stapled Charles Soule as the next Blake Crouch of sci-fi thrillers. If you enjoyed Recursion, you'll enjoy Anyone.
Having very much enjoyed Charles Soule’s debut The Oracle Year, I simply could not wait to get my hands on his new novel, and I’m pleased to say I was impressed once again. Not only that, it appears he has outdone himself by writing something even more unique and mind-blowing, if you can believe it. Ratcheting up the excitement and knuckle-blanching action, Anyone is a relentless sci-fi thriller that would also make any fan of Blake Crouch or Black Mirror feel right at home.
Told through multiple timelines, the story first takes us inside a barn in Ann Arbor, Michigan where brilliant neuroscientist Dr. Gabriella White is on the verge of a breakthrough in her Alzheimer’s research project. Unfortunately, her funding is also about to run out, leading Gabby to throw caution to the wind and risk it all in an act of desperation. To her horror, after experimenting with her equipment in a way she’s never had before, she finds her mind mysteriously transported into the body of her husband Paul. And thus, “flash technology” was born, a process which allows an individual to transfer their consciousness into another person’s body, a process which would change the world forever—for of course, no discovery this big can stay buried for long.
In fact, its effects could be seen right away, as another timeline of the story takes us twenty-five years into the future and use of flash technology is rampant. Gabby’s original vision for her invention, which was to help society heal divides and increase equal opportunity, has largely been lost. Now anyone with enough money can rent a body for however long and whatever reason, and anything the law won’t allow can be circumvented in the thriving black market called the darkshare. So long as there’s demand, there is certainly no shortage of people offering up themselves as vessels for someone else’s “out of body” experience.
One of these individuals is named Annami, a young woman who is willing to risk the darkshare if it means making money quickly. Everyone knows flash technology can be dangerous if you allow someone you don’t know to use your body. When a person flashes their mind into someone else, their own body lies in a dormant state. The person’s whose body is being occupied, on the other hand, their consciousness goes somewhere in limbo, in a process no one can really explain. Once they return to themselves, they have no recollection of the entire period their body was being occupied. Sadly, Annami learns this the hard way, when following her darkshare experience she awakens to the scene of a bloodbath, with no idea what her body had been used for.
At first, it’s anyone’s guess what these two timelines have to do with each other. Gabby’s thread mainly deals with the origin of flash technology, and as you can imagine, that’s one journey fraught with peril and suspense. Not only is Gabby bewildered by her own invention, struggling to understand it through haphazard experimentation, she also gets in trouble with some powerful people by borrowing more money than she can pay back. I enjoyed her storyline so much, it was almost irritating the way the narrative kept bouncing back and forth between the present and the future, when all I wanted was to find out more about Gabby. Don’t get me wrong; Annami’s story was intriguing too in its own way, mainly because we got to see how life in the future has altered by flash technology. Not too surprisingly, there’s a lot of misuse and corruption, and Ammani’s world reminded very much of a Blade Runner style dystopian.
Still, the complete lack of connection between the two timelines grated on my nerves—at least at first. But as the plot developed, as both threads starting coming together to form a bigger picture, that was when the real fun was unleashed. And that’s the genius behind this novel. It takes a bit of patience and commitment, but if you’re willing to give it the time it needs and watch it unfold, it will reward you in a big way. Even when you’re on alert for clues and you think you know where the story is going, you might be surprised. This one is full of unexpected twists and turns, and so much of what you read will floor you with its sheer imagination and creativity.
Speaking of which, flash technology can be a bit confusing to grasp, and that might be my point of criticism. Much like in The Oracle Year, the concept behind of Anyone relies on the reader to suspend their disbelief and not ask too many questions, working best as “what-if” novel. If what you want are explanations based on hard science, this probably won’t be for you, but if you’re looking for a suspenseful, fast-paced sci-fi thriller with a unique and innovative premise, I think you’ll find this one will bend your brain nicely and get your pulse racing.
Audiobook Comments: It seems like every other book I listen to these days is narrated by Emily Woo Zeller, but I’m certainly not complaining! I loved her voices for all the characters (especially since there was so much body swapping), and it was impressive the way she switched between Gabby and Annami’s parts, making the transitions seem smooth and natural. I’ll always be a big fan of her work, and I thought her performance in the Anyone audiobook was fantastic as always.
Without entering into spoiler territory I can state that this is a thrilling, twisty-turny story that explores the world-upending implications of the accidental development of a radical new technology and a whole slew of unintended consequences.
Absolutely recommended, particularly if you already read and enjoyed The Oracle Year (though this book is by no means a sequel or even remotely related to it).
This was my third Sci-Fi this year and I have to say I am a big fan now of this genre. Each book just keeps getting better and better! ⠀ ⠀ This one took me two days and completely sucked me in. I was a little bit confused and overwhelmed with what I was learning about in the beginning but that changed very quickly. The articles in this book helped summarize what had officially been going on ever since the Flash was created. ⠀ ⠀ Insanely as this book was I can definitely see someone trying to gain control over the world and immortality like Hendricks tried to do with the Flash. This was a great read and very fascinating to get a glimpse into a world that could have been if this creation was actually invented. ⠀
This book shows so many life lessons and similar experiences we are facing today in the world. It's scary to think, how real this could actually be someday if ever brought into the wrong hands. The world is so big but the universe is endless..
this was REALLY fantastic! This was honestly what I was hoping from "Recursion" by Blake Crouch - it was so unique and fast-paced and interesting. I really love how well Charles Soule writes female characters (and all characters honestly) so respectfully and well. I also love how he makes such great social commentary while also being wicked entertaining.
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: A thrilling and completely entertaining read from start to finish, Charles Soule once again knocks it out of the park with Anyone.
Anyone is a December release that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get to by the end of the year, but I’m so glad I decided to pick it up. I had so much fun with this story! Charles Soule wowed me last year with The Oracle Year, and now he’s surpassed himself with this futuristic tale of body swapping and corruption. Anyone reminded me a lot of Recursion by Blake Crouch, partly because both stories deal with a search for the cure for Alzheimer’s, but also because they both have fast-paced, tension-filled and addictive plots that make it hard to stop reading. Blake Crouch fans do not want to miss this book!
The story jumps between two different timelines. Twenty-five years in the past, we are introduced to cognitive scientist Gabrielle “Gabby” White, who is working on a cure for Alzheimer’s from the barn on her property in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Gabby has applied for funding through a shady company called Hendricks Capital, which agrees to give her the thousands of dollars necessary to develop her idea, but in exchange, Gabby is forced to sign away all rights to any scientific discoveries she might make. When the story begins, Gabby is about to run out of money, even though she’s very close to success. With enough for one last blast of electricity, which is crucial for her experiments, Gabby is startled when something goes wrong with her equipment and she suddenly winds up in her husband Paul’s body.
After the initial shock, Gabby realizes that she’s about to change history with her discovery: the ability to transfer a person’s consciousness from one body to another. Gabby is able to reverse the experiment and go back into her body, but she and Paul know they must keep this amazing discovery a secret from Gray Hendricks, the owner of Hendricks Capital. This is
discovery, after all, and she knows it will ultimately be worth billions.
Twenty-five years later, the flash, as Gabby’s technology is called, is a part of daily life for millions of people. NeOnet, or “Anyone” as the company is called, controls and monitors legal flashes that have changed lives around the world. But there is an illegal and unmonitored type of flash called the darkshare, where people give up control of their bodies in exchange for thousands of dollars a pop. The catch? In the darkshare, you don’t have any knowledge or control over what your body is used for. In this underground world we meet a young woman named Annami who is about to use darkshare for the first time. Annami is desperately trying to raise a large amount of money in order to participate in an upcoming auction, but when her darkshare session goes terribly wrong, she finds herself on the run. Annami knows a secret about the flash that she wants to share with the world, but in order to survive long enough to do that, she needs to outwit the men who are after her.
These two timelines gradually converge in some shocking ways, as we learn about the history of the flash’s development and the ramifications of its use in the future. There are a lot of surprises in Anyone that I don’t want to give away, so that’s all I’m willing to share in this review. I had so much fun trying to guess the connection between Gabby and Annami, and although I did
of guess part of it, I was completely surprised by the rest! Soule does a great job of keeping the reader guessing, which makes this book nearly impossible to put down.
I found both timelines to be equally entertaining. I loved the scientific experimentation, the failures and successes, that Gabby experiences in her research, as well as the situation she finds herself in when she realizes she’s probably made the discovery of the century. Gabby understandably wants to keep control of that discovery and shape its development herself, rather than turn it over to a man who might choose to take it in another, more sinister, direction.
And Annami’s storyline delves into straight-up thriller territory, full of danger, violence, and some very exciting chase scenes. Annami is much more than she appears to be on the surface, and it was a blast getting to know her secrets. She’s also extremely smart and knows the ins and outs of flash technology so well that she seems able to outwit just about every shady character who is trying to kill her.
The idea of flash technology is fascinating, and the author has created a detailed world where people can do such things as flash into someone else’s body in another country for a vacation, for example, without having to take a long airplane flight. The company motto is “Be anyone with Anyone,” and that’s exactly why it’s so appealing. A vigorous economy has grown around the technology, which has made life easier and more exciting, although there are rules, of course. One unbreakable rule is that if one body dies during a flash, the other body dies as well.
I do have a couple of minor complaints. First, the science part of flashing is never thoroughly explained, so you will have to suspend your disbelief for parts of the story. This didn’t really bother me that much, because the story of Gabby and Annami is so engaging, but those who love their sci-fi on the hard side might have issues with this. I also found parts of the story to be a little confusing. The idea of body swapping is enough to make your head spin to begin with, but there were times in the story when I mixed up the characters because of this swapping. Also, the action in the last third of the story is
and you do have to pay attention to keep up with it.
But despite these minor quibbles, Anyone is that rare story that not only offers up a thrilling plot, but gives readers a lot to think about as well. There is plenty of food for thought as Soule explores the various pros and cons of flash technology. My favorite SF stories are the ones that ask lots of questions about the morality of future technology while letting readers come to their own conclusions. Anyone does that brilliantly and also gives readers a whopper of an entertaining story. This is a must read for fans of science fiction thrillers!
One emerging popular topic in sci-fi and speculative fiction is the notion of a detailed neural map of a person being used or abused to create new concepts of immortality, or to create distributed intelligence across a fluctuating group. This theme has been used in Cory Doctorow's Walkaway, in Neal Stephenson's Fall, and now in Anyone, the second text-based novel by graphic novelist Charles Soule. Soule's first effort at a traditional novel, The Oracle Year, had a fascinating story line, but character development suffered in places. The new novel represents a step forward by developing interesting protagonists - and not typical heroes, by any stretch. The book is a bit unnerving from the opening pages because the characters often display that Game of Thrones quality of being both angels and scoundrels at once. They are scarcely stereotypical characters, though the flash-hacker Annami bears some resemblance to Blade Runner or Neuromancer characters.
Sure, there's an apparent source of good and light battling a global demonic force that has developed the newest type of social network - a brain-sharing technology that allows humans to transfer their consciousness to other people's bodies for a finite period of time. In theory, the technology's inventor, a scientist from rural Michigan named Gabrielle White, should be our Joan of Arc, though White's obsession with keeping her technology from the hands of corporate barons makes the reader slowly begin to wonder if the ethical choices would be any better if she were in charge. Soule is subtle in showing that heroes can have deeply-rooted problems, and we do not easily move to suspect either White or Annami of motivations that might be less than pure.
Soule brings us to the obvious conclusion that shared-consciousness platforms will have the same problems as any technology platform - since they were invented and perfected by humans, they still will be subjected to the whims of the ruling class that always end up taking control of everything. In fact, we begin to almost get annoyed with Gabrielle White for her naivete: no, the people will not rise up if they are only given the truth; instead they will choose to forget as long as the technology barons provide them with a soothing toy lulling them to sleep with an illusion of species solidarity.
Given Soule's appropriate level of gentle jadedness throughout the book, it is interesting that he chooses to end it with an epilogue of hope. Somehow, it appears that the worst tendencies of the technology managers are foiled, and we all learn to expand as a species by experiencing a oneness across all bodies and cultures and genotypes. Aw, c'mon, Charles, hope is for dopes! These are humans we're talking about! Everything will not be all right in the end, because we will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and screw things up royally. It's in our DNA.
The book also suffers from a less-than-satisfying explanation of the technology behind "the flash," as neural patterns will not be replicated by mere moire patterns from lasers. The problem is, Soule would have a hard time explaining multi-layer convolutional neural networks, even to those well versed in cognitive neuroscience, because when you get to multiple hidden layers and "controlled hallucination," even the experts who build the damned neural networks can't explain how they work. Nevertheless, the book engages in some magical hand-waving of the "Well, it's very electric and dangerous" variety.
Despite these minor quibbles over neuroscience-for-dummies and a fairy-tale happy ending, I found this to be a great read, and a significant leap forward from his first novel (which was fascinating in its own right). I'll be reading Stephenson's significantly longer and more convoluted novel The Fall next, and I'll look forward to comparing the two works.
Anyone is a sci-fi thriller written by Charles Soule.
I’ve first read Soule through his works on comic books. His experience as an attorney led him to write, for example, memorable runs on Daredevil and She-Hulk for Marvel. In spite of having heard a lot of good things about The Oracle Year, it seems I never made the time to get to it before his new novel came to my attention.
Anyone has nothing to do with law and attorneys. There are some attorneys in it, and a few harsh negotiations of rather brutal contracts, but it’s foremost a speculative sci-fi thriller, narrated through different timelines, mainly two, and the third person point of view of several characters.
Fifteen minutes into our future, Gabrielle White is a neuroscientist. She obtained funds from a venture capitalist, on not very good terms, to research a cure for Alzheimer through light waves. She wants to change the world. The money is almost gone, and she has nothing to show for it. She spends the last of it in a final Hail Mary experiment, and it fails. The seal of the tube containing Wilbur, the diseased lab rat, isn’t perfect. Light from her high power laser filters out, drawing mesmerizing patterns on the ceiling of her makeshift lab/barn... and she wakes up in the body of her husband, holding their infant girl.
Gabrielle White changed the world.
25 years in the future, the flash has been made commercially available by a company nicknamed Anyone. As their marketing states, anyone can now be anyone for a few minutes or for days. Consciousnesses jumping into vessels on a pay per minute basis. Endless possibilities. Society has been utterly transformed by this innovation. The planet has been saved in the process. However, any technological advancement can be abused. If most people use the legal « lightshare » network system, anonymous renting of bodies also happen through the way less legal « darkshare ». Servers and nodes not owned by the NeOne Net corporation. Crime has changed, as well. Light or Dark, two rules are embedded in the system : if one dies, both die, and you have to return to your prime body before being able to do another share.
Annami is a young girl who starts using the darkshare after having quit her job at NeOne Net. She knows secrets about the flash. She has revenge in her mind. And, even if chased by Neone’s security goons, she has a plan. To enact it, she needs a large sum of money. Renting her body on the darkshare is a good way to get it. However, after her very first share, she wakes up in a room with a dead body, and a killer after her.
Charles Soule does a great job at weaving two thrillers together, set in two different timelines. One directly following Gabrielle White’s invention and her efforts to steer it in the right direction, and the other following Annami on her revenge quest. Of course, as we learn more about the events of the past, the two timelines converge towards an explosive finale. Each alternating chapter is written with fast pacing, and are equally fascinating. You never feel the need to skim over a timeline to get back to the other. The writer creates a compelling gallery of three dimensional characters, with well defined motivations, even if some of the antagonists can be comic-booky at times. But, we all love to hate a good villain.
This is a book that also brings quite a few philosophical and societal questions. What would entail the sudden appearance of such a technology in our lives ? Charles Soule guides us towards a variety of topic to ponder, both good and bad, while never losing the plot and pace of his story. The ending is perfect.
Now, I really have to make time for The Oracle Year.
Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton and Netgalley for the ARC provided in exchange for this unbiased review.
This sci-fi story, just published on 12/3 (get it immediately) should be voted BEST sci-fi/thriller of the year! I am even putting it above Recursion by Blake Crouch and I also loved that book! If you loved Recursion or Dark Matter, I think you should read this book immediately!!! One of my all-time favorite stories and here's why:
I love the idea of being able to be "anyone" - and this book is set in a future where that can happen via transference of your "consciousness" into another body altogether. The book "flashes" (lol) back and forth as the technology is being created by Gabby White (present time) who goes through hell to bring her invention to the world, and also the "future day" through a young woman named Annami, who is an ex-employee of the company that runs the flash world wide, who is trying to take it down for abuses beyond anyone's imagination.
The whole premise of being able to switch bodies, is so amazing. Think of being able to flash into another person who is on the opposite side of the world? Someone completely different from you; someone of a different sex, age, race, economic class, etc?? !! The book definitely discusses Gabby's hope for her invention to teach the world to truly SEE one another for what we are, not what we look like. Imagine not being able to judge someone on their looks anymore, Gabby muses. It would be a world changing event! But just as she knows the many ways it can be used for positive change, she also knows the secrets of the company that runs it.
This book had me turning pages until very late last night. I could not put it down. Such a well written story with characters that are so many moral shades of gray, a storying plot that has you racing through chapters to find out what happens next as each character's perspectives endure horrific things to bring their goals to fruition.
I see all you other bookstagrammers out there with this book! Get to reading people! This book is fantastic!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Anyone tells the story of how a new technology is invented and takes over the world using alternating timelines. Dr. Gabrielle White is trying to cure Alzheimer's when she accidentally discovers how to transfer a person's consciousness into another person. Dr. White's research is funded by a startup capital firm called Hendricks Capital. This discovery is clearly monumental, but Dr. White knows that Hendricks Capital owns a significant part of her research. How will she keep that information from this greedy firm until she can claim it as all her own?
25 years in the future "the Flash", as the consciousness transfer is called, has taken over the world. People no longer travel via normal means, they just Flash into a willing vessel. The Flash has been created with "rules" and a legal way of using the technology. However, there are plenty of people who are willing to use the Flash for nefarious purposes. Annami is desperate to make large amounts of cash and needs to do it fast! She decides to become a vessel for the darkshare which is a black market way to use the Flash.
These two timelines alternate until they collide.
Anyone really had serious potential. The first half of the book was fantastic and I loved the concept, but the second half fell flat. There were loose ends and a couple of scenes that we just unnecessary.
Though the concept is what kept me engaged with this book, the story was not much for me to stay and continue reading.
--- I am going back to all the books I read, never reviewed because I AM A USELESS HUMAN. :/ (no I am not, I know)
#AnyoneBook was my second read of the year.
The concept was amazing and at par, I thought I would be invested and maybe even eat the book, however as appetizing as it sounded, it was confusing, jarring, awkward time shifts, annoying and to put it in just simple words, boring (not to hurt anyone’s (you see what I did there?) feelings :P
The technology in this book deals with "the flash" where ye can put yer consciousness into another person's body.
Real cool but also very creepy, wouldn’t this be the best at the moment? :P
Anyway, the two timelines in this novel and the transitions between them were jarring and confusing.
Our main character was not someone I ended up liking at all, she DUMB. Please. Don’t be dumb if you are a scientist? Use your common sense, yo? no? Ugh okay.
“Inside a barn in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a scientist searching for an Alzheimer’s cure throws the switch—and finds herself mysteriously transported into her husband’s body. What begins as a botched experiment will change her life—and the world—forever…Over two decades later, all across the plant, “flash” technology allows individuals the ability to transfer their consciousness into other bodies for specific periods, paid, registered, and legal. Society has been utterly transformed by the process, from travel to warfare to entertainment; “Be anyone with Anyone” the tagline of the company offering this ultimate out-of-body experience.”
Intriguing concept, right? Set in Ann Arbor, Michigan? GO BLUE! Could this be another sci-fi favorite? Could I really be a fan of science fiction?
Unfortunately, this did not work for me but let me tell you why…
If you’ve been following me awhile and have read a handful of my reviews, you’ll see that they are filled with emotion. I lead with my head in life but when it comes to books it is ALL HEART. So, when I read a book, I need some sort of emotional connection and that can either be to the characters or the plot. After finishing Anyone I was quite frustrated. I wasn’t sure how I felt. Had I even enjoyed reading it? Although slow to start the second half did have some good twists and turns. At the end of the day I just wasn’t invested and I think the ending is what did me in. I was left without an emotional tie to the characters.
There have been countless 4-5 star reviews so I’m calling this one just not for me. That’s completely fair. Not every book is made for every person. You know I’ll always speak my truth and I always appreciate the time you took to hear me out.
Dr. Gabrielle “Gabby” White, a cognitive neurologist has but one last chance. Go big or go home. Her funding for her Alzheimer’s research has dried up and nothing to show for. Through this last act of desperation and last glimmer of hope, she made this last test in her hi-tech lab Inside a barn in Ann Arbor, Michigan funded by Hendricks Capital, to make it count. And boy did she do it. Ladies and gents, let me introduce you to the Flash!
It is when Gabby ends up transferring her consciousness to her husband Paul, a tenured music professor, and was able to control his body. With this incredible breakthrough, Gabby knew having this technology in the wrong hands like Hendricks Capital could be a huge mistake.
The chapters alternate between Gabby and Annami 25 years in the future, where the use of the Flash is rampant with black market use for those willing to have their bodies used for lots of money.
I absolutely enjoyed and loved this book! The moment I picked it up, there was no putting this down. I loved the premise of the story and the thought provoking themes this book covered such as the morality of the flash, racial identity, and the question of how ethical the use of Flash is for the public. The pacing is spot on and more concepts were introduced in just the right time that will keep your fingers turning those pages.
Days after reading this book, I am still discussing this book with my book friends and wanted questions answered. This is an amazing sign of how I loved this book!!
Thank you to Harper Perennial for a copy of this book.
What if you could drop into the body of anyone you wanted? Wanted to become Bill Gates for a few hours? How about a movie star or a rock star? With the technology developed by Anyone this fantasy has become a reality.
Anyone is a sci-fi book asking for an adaptation (don't worry one is in the works) with alternating timelines. One is making of the flash technology that allows individuals to transfer their consciousness into another body. The other timeline is twenty-five years in the future where Anyone and their flash technology is used commonly between individuals.
It's hard to say too much about this book without giving anything away. The first half for me was a little slower and I preferred the "present" timeline compared to the timeline of the technology's creation. It felt a little more action packed for me but I know a lot of people didn't have a preference of a timeline and enjoyed the entire book immensely. As a scientist there were some lines that made me roll my eyes. Overall this book made me want to keep reading late into the night. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves Blake Crouch and the t.v. series Black Mirror.
I received a copy of this from the Publisher in exchange for my open and honest review.
I truly enjoyed The Oracle Year, Charles Soule debut novel that dealt with tech and the future. That is why I was so stoked to get my hands on a copy of Anyone. It was one of my most anticipated reads for 2019. Sadly, I did not connect with Anyone.
Anyone is told through multiple and interconnecting narratives. The first narrative takes place in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the lab of Neuroscientist Dr. Gabriella White. White is about to break through to a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. But, instead of finding a cure to Alzheimer’s, she discovers something else, something more powerful and changing for the human race as a species. Anna discovers something that she aptly names The Flash, an ability to remove oneself from your body and transport you to another body. She discovers this by transporting herself into the unsuspecting body of her husband, Paul.
The other timeline and narrative takes place 25 years into the future. We are introduced to the character Annami. Annami is a woman desperate and willing to trade her body away to earn money. She dark shares. This means she allows her body to be taken over by anonymous people to do anything they want. The price is high, but so are the repercussions for Annami. We start with her character waking from a bloodbath and someone trying to kill her, and she has no idea why.
For most of the novel, the reader has no idea why these two narratives play back and forth. For me, that was one of the significant weaknesses of the story. I did not care about either protagonist in any meaningful way. The characters I thought were more interesting, Paul and Soro, where refrigerated. I had no idea why Soule even introduced these characters if they were going to be treated as used tissue and thrown away. Another detractor, this is a personal thing, I disliked both Anna and Annami. Both of them had this tense desperation about them that was offputting — desperation in the face of intelligent decisions.
The story itself was cool. Soule does well in writing intense sci-fi/mystery plots. Much like Oracle year, the tech twists in this story were remarkable. It had a very Cryptonomican/Altered Carbon feel to it. But the lack of connection between relatable characters and the fresh plot grated on me. I almost DNF’ed this but kept going because I knew he was going to tie it all together at the end. In the end, I rated this three stars for a cool story, but my connection and enjoyment stopped there.