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The development of the neurochip requires everyone to record every aspect of their life into a lifelog. You can't get insurance, open a bank account, or hold a job without one. Surveillance has become a way of life in the US and the government continues to crack down. Dr. Cole Westbay has been a driving force for BioNarratus, maker of the neurochip that revolutionized the world. When his company is accused of being behind a series of recent deaths, Cole investigates to clear their name. Instead he ends up attacked, with no memory of recent events and his neurochip destroyed. In the process of trying to figure out who is behind his attack, he ends up losing trust in everyone he loves and is forced to rely on a group of strangers living off the grid. As he pieces his life back together, he finds himself the target of every news agency in North America and the centerpiece of a government cover-up. Can he stop them from killing more innocents before they shut him up permanently?

400 pages, Paperback

First published January 25, 2021

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About the author

Hieronymus Hawkes

3 books145 followers
Hieronymus retired in 2018 after flying jets for the Air Force. He has a B.S. in Economics from the US Air Force Academy, and in 2015, he completed an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, which inspired him to publish his debut novel, a sci-fi thriller that explores futuristic technology and nuanced personal relationships. Hawkes has broken the sound barrier, won poker tournaments, and owns several guitars that he can't play. Now he instructs young pilots in the art of flying, writes fiction and poetry, and sings badly in his car.

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5 stars
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217 (45%)
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34 (7%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 64 reviews
Profile Image for Donna Munro.
Author 35 books313 followers
March 15, 2021
Hieronymus Hawks has developed a world that is a kin to our own, with the inevitable immersion of screens and technology taking over most of our lives. People wear virtual disguises, interface with the doors and elevators through chips, and have their lives recorded on lifelogs. Cole is a gifted man working in a powerful corporation at the cutting edge of the chip's design and programming and he's discovered something very wrong in the programming. Something deadly.

I enjoyed this book, though it isn't my normal genre. The reason I enjoyed it so much was that it wasn't over the top tech. It was a true natural progression from where we are now. Though Cole is a gifted man, he's not some super perfect hero. He has doubts and relationship problems. He needs help and he seeks it. That's realistic.

What I really loved was the competent women in this book. There are five very competent women, who are friends or lovers. Cole respects each of them for their strengths even when he's in conflict with them. None of them are throw away sirens or damsels. Any trouble they are in is of their own making and they acknowledge that.

I don't give 5 stars for many books, but I with I could give this one a 4.5. It's not perfect, but it is a really good read and worth the time.
Profile Image for Rose.
2,031 reviews39 followers
March 6, 2021
Effacement is a well-written and carefully plotted sci-fi thriller. Everyone in this novel must be outfitted with a chip, and without one, you are not able to get certain things, like a bank account or insurance. When Dr. Cole Westbay wakes up one morning, he is disoriented and bloody, and he discovers that his chip has been removed. His Lifelock-or what records all of his activities-has been disabled, and this is the crime of Effacement. Cole can't remember anything that happened in the preceding days.
As Cole struggles to determine what happened, he asks his fiancée, Tesla, a software programmer who created the code, to help, but she becomes evasive. Their friend, Max, is also secretive. Max's uncle is a higher-up in the company, so Cole continues to search for answers. Cole meets Eva, an attorney, and her friend, Kasia, and they help Cole.
Cole is being chased by Phil Chestnut, an assassin, because he knows too much. The software update that was recently installed is killing people, but it is much deeper than Cole ever imagined.
If you enjoy sci-fi thrillers, this would be a good book for you.
Profile Image for Katheyer.
1,587 reviews17 followers
March 13, 2021
“Effacement” by Hieronymus Hawkes is a highly intelligent futuristic techno/dystopian thriller, that showcases the downside of relying on technology a tad to much. In society were everyone is chipped everything depends on the recordings of your lifelog; whether you need insurance, health care, any kind financial transfer (including home, job or a back account) or just want to be part of society, your chip will enable to, until it doesn’t. BioNarratus, the developer of the Vitasync neurochip that took over all aspects of society, has come under scrutiny, due to some recent deaths linked to the chips. Dr. Cole Westbay, the main scientist behind the chip’s development, is tasked with the investigation to clear the company’s name, only to wake up with no memories and a destroyed chip after a sudden attack.

Westbay is now on the run, trying to find his attackers and the ones behind them, as well as the truth over BioNarratus role on the events, and stumbling on conspiracy of governmental proportions. Living out the grid and relying on strangers, Westbay fights to uncover the truth to even have a chance to rehabilitate himself, stop the killings and survive at all.

This is a very well-written book, all the more thrilling, just because it could just be the depiction of our future society, with an both absolute realistic and captivating plot. This is the story of humanity struggle between reaching a state of social perfection and the protection of individual rights. A fantastic well-constructed techno-thriller with credible and relatable characters, that manages both to entertain and challenge the reader perspectives at the very same time.

Profile Image for Pegboard.
1,751 reviews9 followers
March 12, 2021

Effacement by Hieronymus Hawkes is the kind of science fiction that feels too close to home at times. Cole Westbay knows the importance of neurochip that syncs everything and everyone together, his company makes them. When he digs into what is causing inexpiable deaths, he is suddenly the target. Going outside the protection and watchful eye of the government is scary and a necessity in order to find out what is going on behind the scenes.

I found Effacement a maze of complex events leading to an impressive ending. Hieronymus Hawkes advances the United States about twenty-five years and the fear of government controlling everything about our lives is here. It is a crime to be disconnected from the center server. Everything is in your chip; you are basically helpless without it. At least that is what Cole thought until he went off grid. The story is fascinating and terrifying at the same time.
Profile Image for Valery.
1,334 reviews50 followers
March 8, 2021
Brilliantly plotted and skillfully written, Effacement by Hieronymus Hawkes is a great book that will fill you with unease. In this story, everyone must be outfitted with a microchip; much of life is impossible without it. You are not allowed to open a bank account without one, and other basic necessities of life are much more challenging. Dr. Cole Westbay must figure out what has happened to him after one morning he wakes up bloody and out of it. His chip has apparently been removed. This forms the basis of the story and propels the plot nicely. Without a chip, he cannot be tracked, and therein lies the problem and crux of the story. With technology having a huge impact on our daily lives, it is not improbable that something like this could happen. A sci-fi thriller of this type feels all too real as many aspects of the world seem to spin out of control. Effectively, this is one book that holds your attention all the way through. Highly recommend.
Profile Image for Stacy McKitrick.
Author 15 books224 followers
February 23, 2021
Interesting story. I received this book free from the author. I had read an earlier version of this story back when I was the author’s critique partner (way back before I was published), and he mentions me in the acknowledgements (awwww!). If you like futuristic stories, give this one a try.
1 review
February 3, 2021
It's always a fun ride when you start a book that grabs you from the get-go and doesn't let up until the end. Throw in some funny and engaging characters with a sexy game of Scrabble and I'm ready for book #2! H. Hawkes has written a fast-paced, technology-driven, futuristic, thriller. For a first novel, this is excellent pickings! Imagine a world where social media is not only all-encompassing - but required by law. This is the world where we find Cole Westbay, an engineer who developed the Vitasync chip that connects humans directly to the internet, on the run from the law, a murderous douchebag, and a rather unpleasant fiancé. The story unfolds as we see the aftermath from the rather violent forced removal of his chip - which places him in the unfortunate state of being a law-breaker. In his quest to figure out what happened we meet some snarky women, shady dudes, and root for comeuppance of certain people. This is my kind of story with characters I relate to in a future that isn't hard to imagine.
Profile Image for Christina F.
106 reviews3 followers
March 23, 2021
Effacement by Hieronymus Hawks is a fast paced futuristic science fiction novel. In this story everyone’s every move is recorded and they all have a neurochip in them. Life as it used to be is no more. This chip is needed in order to open doors, elevators, even open a bank account and every move is recorded. Cole is a smart man and partly behind the development of this neurochip and starts to question some recent deaths. He doesn’t get too far into his investigation as to what is happening before he wakes up with no memory of the last few days. He must figure out what is happening, why can’t he remember anything? What were the last few things he did before he was attacked and who attacked him? Who can he trust? I really enjoyed this novel and found myself routing for Cole throughout and questioning everyone else’s motives. This novel really makes you think and wonder if we aren’t heading for something like this in our future!
Profile Image for Grady.
Author 51 books1,890 followers
March 7, 2021
‘To this we’re coming…?’ – A brilliant debut novel!

West Virginia author Hieronymus Hawkes earned his BS in Economics from the Air Force Academy and his MFA in writing poplar fiction from Seton Hill University. Retired from the Air Force and Air Force Reserves as an expert pilot with thirty-two years experience, he now turns his attention to writing fiction and poetry. EFFACEMENT is his debut novel publication. His stories are also available in the anthology THE SECRETS OF HARROWGATE VALLEY.

Hawkes sets the tone of his new novel with his artwork on the books cover – trying to make sense of the aspects of science that invade our psyches is a fine visual ping to arrest our interest! And a brief note in the book’s opening prologue stirs our interest: ‘The Director of Intelligence had handpicked Phil to execute the assassination plan. Discretion went without saying. Now that things were going off the rails, something had to be done. The question was, could they keep the profile low enough to prevent it form blowing up in their faces? The way Phil saw it they had two choices – quietly fix the code or burn it all down and distance themselves from the fallout. Spending millions of dollars didn’t qualify as doing it quietly in his mind. He made a decision…’ This degree of suspense follows every page of this engrossing new novel – science fiction far too proximate to reality!

The story is engrossing and entertaining while producing a sense of terrifying possibility as to the probability of the concepts Hawkes presents is this futuristic drama. While all of us note the increasing evidence of social media, bitcoin, artificial intelligence, the use of robotic techniques in surgery, and all the other tough to understand ‘advances’ that distance us from one-on-one human interaction, the author pushes the possibilities of chip control from our cell phones and computers into an even greater degrees of proximity and control.

The story outline suggests the drama: ‘In the future, serious crime has all but disappeared. With the advent of BioNarratus's Vitasync neurochip, recording every aspect of your life has become the law. Without it you can't get a bank account, medical insurance, or a job. Unbeknownst to Cole Westbay, a government agency is bent on using the neurolink tools he helped develop to target and kill potential enemies. Before he can act, he wakes with his neurochip destroyed and his recent memory wiped. In a fight against the clock, a renegade caretaker and an enigmatic attorney become his new allies. With their help he tries to discover why he's being targeted by a single-minded government agent and stop to more innocents from being murdered, before they shut him up permanently.’

In a non-top speeding manner Hawkes delivers his story with the ease and facility of experienced writers. This book demands our attention and posits the arrival of a genuinely gifted author. Very highly recommended.
Profile Image for Nature Vallie.
3 reviews
March 15, 2021
I decided to give this science fiction book a read as one of my close friends highly recommended it. It isn’t my usual genre but I did really enjoy it! it wasn’t too over-the-top with complex terminology, which for me was good. It was actually funny at times and the characters really were engaging. Although it was fast-paced it was easy to get to grips with and not confusing as I find some sci-fi books, and this is another reason I enjoyed it. The plot I found to be well planned out and interesting, although it did leave me a little uneasy at times as this is sometimes how I imagine the real world could be in the not so distant future! A great read that totally surprised me. 5 stars.
Profile Image for Grymm Gevierre.
146 reviews5 followers
March 15, 2021
What a frightening take on surveillance! I don’t know what stands out more, the concept and technology in this great piece of fiction, or the fact that it’s entirely plausible that we are heading in this direction as a nation. Hawkes takes a Black Mirror-esque concept and pulls it into a whole novel that embodies the sci-fi thriller.

We’re one technological leap from this book being our reality. Things are safer in this novel. The universe created has traded privacy for security, which has made most of its citizens complacent. When something serious happens, like a murder, it’s so out of place that it is unbelievable. Cue Cole Westbay, a brilliant man thrust into extraordinary circumstances. The character isn’t what you’d expect. Sure, he is relatable, logical, and smart; but he’s also lost his memory and his log that keeps track of his everyday actions is cleaned out. He’s essentially alone as he struggles to figure out his problem; the people closest to him become cagey.

This is a pretty great book, and it isn’t oversaturated with tech jargon as you might see in other realistic universes created for sci-fi. Hawkes is a skilled writer and put a lot of care into this novel and it shows.
Profile Image for Karen M.
625 reviews20 followers
September 24, 2021
Some may think this story is very futuristic but the reality is microchips connected to your brain may not be all that far off, as scary a thought as that is. So, I think this is a science fiction story and not dystopian because microchips are already in use today.

We microchip our canine friends. It is a way of identifying dogs when they are lost or stolen so why not people? Of course the story goes far beyond that concept of identification for all, although it is already being done in Sweden for purposes of identification, medication, allergies etc. with a subdermal chip with a unique identification number. At this point in time there are still concerns with using subdermal chips but science is always progressing.

Now, this book is so interesting because it takes the chip implantation way beyond subdermal. It’s also a really good story of the dark side of becoming too dependent on technology and innovation. It’s like when the power goes off and you realize you can’t charge your cell phone but hey, that dinosaur of a landline is still usable. See?

I like a book with well-drawn characters and a storyline that’s different and this book has both. Big Brother is not only watching you but recording your every moment through your lifelog. People are so used to their lives being scrutinized that they seem to forget it is happening until people start dying. Are the chips in their brain involved? Why it is only certain people are dying? This is what Cole Westbay starts to ask himself and we have the beginnings of a great story.

I won this book in a First Reads giveaway. Thank you to the author Hieronymus Hawkes..
Profile Image for Angela.
4,731 reviews59 followers
August 18, 2021
4 Stars

Effacement by Hieronymus Hawke is a very intriguing and thought-provoking story- a bit of a techno thriller with dystopian, sci-fi, and cyberpunk elements that gave this story a bit of an edge.
It has a futuristic feel- but it’s not so far removed from our ‘reality’ in so far that it had me believing that we could well be headed in this direction ourselves. It certainly gave me pause for thought- which added a few ‘chills’ to the story along the way.
Society has embraced technology to the point that everyone has a ‘neurchip’ implant that interfaces with every aspect of people’s lives. A person’s daily life can’t operate fully without one. From recording lifelogs, banking, purchases, and healthcare, to simply catching a cab- the neurochip facilitates it all. But when a series of deaths are linked to the neurochips, it places the company responsible for revolutionising the world with the neurochip, firmly in the spotlight. Cole Westbay, the leading scientist in the chip’s development is assigned the investigation to clear the company’s name. A task that becomes that much harder when he is attacked and his own neurochip is destroyed. What happens makes for a captivating read!
There is a lot going on in the story, but the author choreographs all the elements quite cleverly. There are times, though, that the story gets a bit ‘wordy’ which disrupted the flow a little for me- but that was a minor issue and didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the book.
Looking forward to exploring more of Hieronymus Hawkes’ work…

Thank you, Hieronymus Hawkes!
Profile Image for Jantine.
679 reviews44 followers
August 16, 2021
Only a couple of weeks ago Goodreads blacked out for me, and I realised I had my whole to-read-list on here, and nowhere else. Panic struck a little. Obviously that was nothing compared to what Cole, the main character of 'Effacement', went through - but for me it was something that brought the setting of this book a bit closer to reality. Already we are practically nothing without our phones. When I go to the gym, I need a chip to log in and use everything, and my fitbit helps tracking my pulse. We usually pay everything digitally. What if everything was combined in one chip, and one day you wake up with that chip removed? What if that chip is used to kill people?

The setting being so close makes this book very interesting. I had a great time reading it, but also that nagging feeling that comes with great plot lines like the one of 'Effacement'. The only thing that made it a bit slow for me sometimes, especially at the start, is that there were too descriptive parts about how the chips and the interface worked. Especially since we all have experience, not with chips, but with smartphones and such, I think it would have been better to let us as a reader fill in these parts ourselves.

I received a free copy through Netgalley, so that I could write an honest review.
Profile Image for Jenni Bishop.
3,395 reviews35 followers
August 21, 2021
Effacement by Hieronymus Hawkes is a sci fi dystopian thriller. It makes you wonder how far off we are to facing the same sort of thing in the future. I feel we are definitely headed that way if not already almost there. This is Hieronymus’s debut book, and it is well worth the read. The plot is complex, clever, and well executed. I was fully immersed in this compelling fast-paced story where technology is the power player. The characters are all well-fleshed out. Conspiracies, forgotten memories, on the run, danger, drama, thrills and so much more is what you get as you journey along with our MC.

Hieronymus world building is interesting and intriguing and keeps you on your toes in this futuristic tale.
683 reviews5 followers
August 30, 2021
Cole Westbay is a man living in a digital society with a neural interface the same as everybody else, in fact, he was the one who designed and created it, Vitasync received such a positive reception that now everyone has one and it is connected to a worldwide neural network where every citizen uploads their every thought, feeling and action into a lifelog. This neural chip has been integrated so seamlessly into everyday life that as the US Government reorganised and recognised this, they chipped away at the freedoms and liberties the general population had and they accepted it and as time progressed the lifelog became a necessity instead of a luxury, this is something that Cole didn’t agree with at all, but he couldn’t do anything about it. As Cole settles into his work at BioNarratus, he is called into his boss’s office where he is given a promotion and even though it is taking him away from the lab work he loves, he accepts it, but when the work becomes extremely demanding, especially as a file to do with untoward deaths which have been suggested that the Vitasync may have been dysfunctional and the causes of the deaths, so he finishes his most important work and them works on boards to try and find links between the deaths and what he finds is the opposite of what he wanted.

One day Cole wakes up with a splitting headache and none of his usual visual overlays are active, in fact, none of his technological advances are active and he has lost his most recent memory, he has no idea how the blood in the back of his head got there, or why when he sits up, his house is a complete mess, it has been ransacked and he fears he has been robbed. He feels so disconnected from everything that it takes some time for him to process his new situation, it also means that he can’t call anyone to check in with them, so in order to call the police, he has to visit his neighbour in person, it is awkward, but is a means to an end. As he waits for the police to arrive, Cole thinks about how different the world around him looks without his neural interface chip, he feels extremely disconnected and his anxiety is through the roof, but when the Officer eventually makes his presence known, it isn’t in a way that Cole expects and the fact that his lifelog isn’t active lands him in hot water and he is arrested.

As Cole starts to try and figure out what has happened to him and why, he ends up feeling like he can’t trust those around him, so after having to see a doctor about the wound on the back of his head, he goes into work to figure out what he was working on and see if he can pin down a timeline for the last couple of days. It isn’t until he manages to become somewhat connected thanks to a second hand interface system that he realises how being disconnected may not be such a bad thing after all, especially when he is mobbed by reporters until help arrives from a group of people who prefer to remain off the grid. Will Cole be able to figure out who was behind his attack and work out who he can trust out of those he is surrounding himself with, or will he end up more permanently disconnected in the process? This is a dystopian sci-fi adventure which creates a world that doesn’t feel too distant from the one we are living in now while discussing the pitfalls of technology in such a way that it really makes you think and keeps you intrigued all the way until the end when the conclusion is revealed.
September 27, 2021

Engrossing thriller that makes you think about the larger issues that are beginning to be faced with the hyper connectivity of our society. I’d like a sequel please!!
Profile Image for LilliSt.
179 reviews4 followers
December 8, 2021
4 Stars - Smart near-future Sci-Fi

Effacement takes place in a somewhat dystopian near future when everybody is required to have a lifelog that records every second of your life just to be able to be part of society, and for this most people have a chip implanted that is run by a software of one company. So, it is not difficult to imagine, just how convenient it would be to use such a chip as a weapon against members of society that maybe do not agree with the system they are living in...
We experience the story through the eyes of Cole, who is working for said company and finds himself in the middle of quickly escalating events after starting to look into the reasons for some mysterious deaths that start occuring after the latest update to his company's software. He finds unexpected support and allies in a group of people who question the system of total surveillance and starts reconsidering his previous perspectives on life as well.

The prose was functional rather than beautiful, but served its purpose. Hawkes has a propensity for short sentences and for using people's names repeatedly, which can make for somewhat clunky reading. (E.g. Cole did x. Then Cole thought y. Etc.) This did detract from the experience for me as I do enjoy beautiful writing to go with my gripping story. However, the story did make up for this. I thought that the plot was well constructed and plausible, the pacing was good.
The characters were mostly well developed individuals and their relationships felt realistic.

While it was not really central to the plot, I felt like the relationship between Tesla and Cole was captured absolutely brilliantly. The dynamics of a narcissist in a relationship and how they make the world conform to their wishes using their charisma was absolutely spot on.
I was less of a fan of Eva, who could have been a fantastic counterpart to Tesla by being considerate, caring and interested in the people around her. But she was just a little too perfect, too competent, too brilliant, which for me actually lessened her appeal. The insta-love Cole felt for her is also a bit of a cheap plot device, I think.

However, the standout character was Cole himself, who is a fundamentally good, decent guy who would describe himself as hard-working but boring. I did not find him boring at all, actually I enjoy it immensely to meet good guys in stories who do not buy into any macho narrative of how guys are supposed to be like. Hawkes also worked out very well how Cole starts to question his previous life after events rip him out of his usual routines. His thoughts about slippery slopes and slowly eroding civil rights of citizens who are kept happy and entertained as a distraction rang absolutely true.

For me this was a very solid, smart and enjoyable read. Recommended!

I have received a review copy via NetGalley and voluntarily provide my honest opinion. Thank you very much!
Profile Image for Wes.
27 reviews
September 23, 2021
Surprisingly good book! Actually couldn’t put it down.
Profile Image for Hikes in Rain.
132 reviews4 followers
April 24, 2021
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway, for which I am very grateful. The following is my unbiased and unsolicited review.

I usually cut an author a little slack on the first novel; I've done a lot of technical writing in past careers, which isn't the same but does give me an appreciation of the monumental task of constructing a good novel. Mr. Hawkes does not need that slack. This is a tight techno glimpse into the not-so-distant future, where you can control your surroundings literally with a thought, via an embedded chip, which also records all aspects of your life. You can download a memory, and experience it as though it's real. (But then, what is reality??).

This ability is so useful and efficient, it's become mandatory. So, what happens when you suddenly don't have your chip? And no memory of how it got gone?

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Character building was solid, resulting in believable folks with which you can sympathize. World building is similarly tight, and seems frighteningly close at hand. The whole premise is logical, and believable. I look forward to Mr. Hawkes' next efforts.
Profile Image for SaviLeeLind .
564 reviews12 followers
August 30, 2021
This Sci-Fi Thriller is full of suspense and the most unexpected twists and turns. This futuristic story captured my attention, and had me on edge from start to finish. It raises a great deal of question about our dependence on technology, and the role humans may one day play as things advance.
Effacement takes places in a complete digital world in which everyone is equipped with a chip that is in a sense the essence of your existence and attached to every aspect of your life. This chip records every aspect of your daily life and daily functions require its use. When Cole the chips creator is attacked and his chip removed it begins a downward spiral of events. With his memories erased he becomes wanted by the law, and must go to extremes to clear his name. This book will keep you on your toes, and will be worth every page until the end.
Profile Image for Robbyn Perkins.
43 reviews3 followers
August 30, 2021
This is definitely a good sci-fi read! I love the futurist tone that it sets. Everyone in the world is forced to wear a chip, which records every aspect of the characters’ lives. Without one, the characters are not able to have a job, bank account , or medical insurance. One day Dr. Cole Westbay wakes up, only to discover that his chip has been removed.

I really did enjoy how the action and adventure unfolded in front you so effortlessly and I found myself lost in this futurist, fantasy world. I would have loved to see a little more depth to the characters, but in this plot and story-line it served this book wonderfully.
Profile Image for Lorralei Hoerner.
652 reviews16 followers
August 30, 2021
When it comes to Sci Fi genre, this is not my normal genre of book I typically read but I am so glad I did read this book. Cole Westbay has to find out what happened to him when he wakes up one day bloody. Everyone in the story must be micro-chipped; and when this event happened, his chip was removed, memories lost. Cole is the developer of this micro-chip and now with his chip removed, he must piece back together who would do this and why. This is a complex story but very well written. I couldn't imagine a world where people are required to be micro-chipped to do anything. But I feel like this would be in our reality one day for sure. Very well done Author Hieronymus Hawkes.
Profile Image for Hazel.
1,113 reviews1 follower
April 27, 2021
Quite a plausible future.

This is a great read. The complex story is seamless with so much to think about. This could easily be our future... and it is terrifyingly believable.
It is the law everyone must have a chip and a LifeLog. Without a chip you cannot open a bank account, get a job, rent a flat or really do much of anything. It alters your brain chemistry on request, it saves your memories. It does everything.
Years later people are losing what it means to be human. Until people start to die. When the man who co-founded the company starts to investigate Cole Westbay is attacked, his chip removed and memories of what he wss doing are lost. But is that enough to save him?

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
1,400 reviews10 followers
August 30, 2021
WOW! This book immediately grabbed me and I couldn’t put it down. This author is new to me and I thoroughly enjoyed the thrill ride this took me on, in part because it is a highly plausible scenario. It made me think and consider current events as well as implications of next developments. If you want a thought provoking read that will keep you on your toes, this is a must read.
Profile Image for Tatyana.
33 reviews3 followers
August 30, 2021
My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

I was a little skeptical of this book at first. Some sci-fi books tend to have the same themes. But this book was quite surprising. It was planned out very well in regards to the story line. I love the accept of it being no so in the distant future. The society and how it functions in this book are all but too real! Fantastic.
Profile Image for Ashley Dover.
134 reviews2 followers
August 29, 2021
Dr. Cole Westbay has helped develop a chip that is used as a monitoring device for surveilling people. The chip is implanted in the back of the head and records the life movements of each person that has the chip embedded. With degrees in biology and chemistry and a master’s and Ph.D. in biochemical engineering, Cole has always dealt with the biological and chemical parts of the implant. He leaves the coding up to people like his girlfriend, Tesla.

When Cole wakes up after an assault and realizes his chip is missing, his life takes a turn that he never anticipated. He has to step back from being constantly connected to the virtual world that he has helped to develop. His assault leads to him being charged with effacement, not being connected to the network with a Vitalink. His memory is gone from the days before his attack, but with the help of others and piecing together the obtuse reactions of those he’s closest to, Cole goes off the grid to stay away from his company and the FDF, the Federal Department of Fidelity (a compilation of Homeland Security, NSA, TSA, Immigration, and a handful of other smaller agencies).

With the help of an anti-chipping group, Cole has a lawyer and a place to stay off the grid. He still doesn’t know fully who attacked him and what the involvement is of the people he was closest to while working on the Vitalink chip. Can his lawyer and the pieces of memory he gets back keep him from going to jail? And will he be able to fill in the blanks before it’s too late?
Profile Image for Kerry  carr.
1,358 reviews15 followers
August 16, 2021
This was a really good book. It was gripping and a real page tuner but at the same time really quite scary. With today's society and modern technology you can actually imagine a world like this where people all have chips in their head that controls everything from turning on their TV, speaking to people without actually talking and even being able to administer medication to themselves. The chip also is a recording device that records a person's actions 24/7, 365 days.

So what happens when the chips start to fail? When people start dying with these chips it's Cole job to find out why. Is it something to do with someone messing with the chips so that Coles company gets bad reputation or is it simply a bad batch of patches.

Cole thinks he's found a link, however his life is turned upside down when he is drugged and his own chip removed. Now alone with no aid in this technological world Cole needs to learn who he can and can't trust as well as learning to live and face the reality of real life not a virtual one.
While on his journey to find out and remember what happened to him it is also a race against time. Can he figure everything out or will he be silenced by the people trying to destroy everything Cole and the Company have created.
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166 reviews1 follower
August 17, 2021
Effacement by Hieronymus Hawkes is a sci-fi thriller that is an amazing book to read.

The development of the neurochip necessitates that everyone keeps a lifelog of their activities. Without one, you can't acquire insurance, create a bank account, or work. Surveillance has grown commonplace in the United States, and the government is cracking down. Dr. Cole Westbay has been a major factor behind BioNarratus, the company behind the world-changing neurochip. Cole examines his firm when it is accused of being involved in a string of recent fatalities. Instead, he is assaulted, his neurochip damaged, and he has no recollection of recent events.

In the course of figuring out who is behind his attack, he loses faith in everyone he cares about and is forced to rely on a gang of strangers who live off the grid. As he reassembles his life, he discovers that he is the target of every news organization in North America and the central figure in a government cover-up. Can he stop them from killing more innocent people before they permanently silence him?

I loved this story and the concept of it as well. I loved every page of it. Every chapter was exciting. This is the first book that I have read from this author, I cant wait to read more.
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