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Optimal

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  41 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Kindle Edition
Published August 27th 2020
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Average rating 4.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  41 ratings  ·  8 reviews


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beentsy
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Terrific story

Excellent storytelling. Nods to Sherlock Holmes, the Kobayoshi Maru scenario, and all the joys and horrors of modern day life - pandemics, conspiracy theories, social media ills. Loved this book.
Graham
Oct 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this. Similar premise to Chris Lodwig's great "Systemic" but considerably darker once the secrets of the system are revealed. There were some unanswered questions, especially about the police, and the end was set up so there could be a sequel although I'm not sure one is planned.

One minor niggle: A/B testing was described as being related to machine learning; it is not.
...more
Brett Friedman
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent.

This book grabs you and won't let go. It's simultaneously fascinating and terrifying, and should be read as a warning.
...more
Tim Mcgregor
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
JMB takes his time with world-building and character development and he doesn't set his characters into motion until 70% in. When he does, you know the characters and the world well, it is gripping and a lot of fun. Intelligent science fiction. Recommended to me by Linda Nagata of Inverted Frontier fame in her newsletter. I loved it and it had a strong PKD vibe, intriguing and mentally stimulating. Give it a chance and you won't be sorry. ...more
Axel
Nov 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Renndi frekar blint í sjóinn en oftar en ekki er það bara fínt. Hafði lesið aðra (fræði)bók eftir sama höfund þar sem hann kortleggur öfgastefnu (Extremism - mæli með, bókinni þeas). Þessi er hins vegar skáldskapur, sci/fi/dystópíu-stemning með vísanir í raunveruleikann, þann sem við erum stödd í um þessar mundir. Núna fer þessi umsögn að nálgast allsherjarvitleysu. Allavega, þetta er bók sem greip mig frá byrjun og alveg til enda. Óhætt að mæla með, held ég.
Scott Whitmore
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The punch of this book sneaks up on you, as the story develops and the layers of this seemingly perfect world are peeled back. At several spots I was reasonably sure how a plot point would resolve, only to be surprised to discover not only was I wrong but the revealed answer was so much more interesting and thought-provoking. The prose is fluid, the characters have great depth, and the premise fascinating and more than a bit frightening.
Peter Tillman
Linda Nagata liked this one a lot: "Optimal is a very smart, very well written, near-future utopia/dystopia in which everything in life is monitored and all your needs are anticipated–and mostly fulfilled–as you follow your AI-generated prompts through each day. Really, don't miss it! Highly recommended." -- from her newsletter. She's been a pretty reliable source for recommendations, and it's a $3 ebook, so I'm likely to give it a go. ...more
Sabrina Adelaine
Jan 12, 2021 rated it liked it
Some interesting ideas

Good ideas and interesting developments along the way. It’s not very deep but it is a fun adventure. Timely quarantined read.
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J.M. Berger is the author of Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam and coauthor (with Jessica Stern) of ISIS: The State of Terror. He is a fellow with the Counter-Terrorism Strategic Communications Project and a nonresident Fellow with the Alliance for Securing Democracy.

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