Orphaned and disillusioned, Diana Gutierrez-Adams is on a routine military assignment when a domestic militia kidnaps her and her team. She learns from her captors that her cryogenically-frozen grandfather is at the center of a high-stakes caper to steal technology for greed and great fortune. Challenged by the conspiracy and pulled by emotions she doesn’t fully understand, Diana begins a rescue mission that will change her life.
Set in 2049 America -- a world where the elites make all the rules and artificial intelligence enforces them – the real danger is that the technology will be lost in the ensuing chaos. With her life under threat, Diana is forced into a desperate bid to escape, taking with her Gabrielle, her soulmate, the one person she knows she can trust.
To evade a devious enemy one step ahead of them at every turn, Diana and Gabrielle must outsmart the global monitoring system that tracks their every move. On a trail littered with the dystopian remains of middle-class America, they will come face-to-face with an artificial intelligence that threatens the future of all humankind.
What happens to her is unexpected, perhaps miraculous – an adventure that embraces all her hopes for finding her true self and her place in a world dominated by powerful elites and even more powerful artificial intelligence.
A Brooklyn-born, recovering businessman, John Calia has been a naval officer, banker, entrepreneur and consultant. He began writing his blog “Who Will Lead?” in 2010 attracting more than 120,000 readers. The five-star rating of his first book – a business fable titled “The Reluctant CEO: Succeeding Without Losing Your Soul” – inspired him to keep writing. His fascination with artificial intelligence and its impact on society inspired him to write “The Awakening of Artemis.”
This is a standard political action-adventure novel involving the usual different levels of the US administrative and military conglomerate, demonstrating the various ways ambitious individuals can screw up the system by inserting their own personal agendas. It’s been done before many times, so the author must attract our attention through interesting characters and a creative plot. This story does well on both counts.
Diana, the main character, is a great reluctant hero. She’s got the chops, but she doesn’t necessarily have the motivation, because other elements of her complex character get in the way. This creates all sorts of internal conflict, which in turn affects the interpersonal conflicts, the love story, and the main plotline.
While the action is going on, the other characters are back in the big city hatching their plots, which are so complicated that at times I couldn’t remember who was a good guy and who was not. Which, I suppose, is the idea. However, there were too many powerful, driven women who weren’t that different from each other, which made the story difficult to follow.
There is a good amount of well-described conflict, but this is definitely a book that leans towards female readers, with lengthy sections spent hashing through the interpersonal conflicts and their internal causes.
Tony Russo, the love interest in the book, is a breath of fresh air. A man of principle and action, he despises the manipulation and evil he sees around him but manages to maintain his sense of honour despite the muck that clings to everyone.
The setting is a believable but not intrusive deteriorating future America, with a goodly dollop of sci-fi security and armament technology integrated nicely so that those who don’t understand the acronyms can understand what is going on.
Given these strengths, the book should deserve a four-star rating. However, it also seems proofread but not edited. So no spelling mistakes, but the sentence structure is often long, convoluted, and erroneous enough to distract us and sometimes even interfere with our understanding of what is happening.
The second paragraph contains two examples of the “Going to the store, a deer crossed my path,” type of error.
And I know it is considered good writing to slip small background and setting details into action sentences in order to shorten exposition, but the technique can be taken to extremes. “A drone pilot, Captain Diana Gutierrez-Adams was about to fly her first combat mission when she was thrown across the room.” Four separate ideas in one sentence.
So, much though I enjoyed the book, I can only recommend it for people that don’t really care about the writing, as long as the characters are sympathetic and the plot is interesting.
This review was originally posted at Reedsy Discovery.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The good: Calia creates a near-future world that includes plausible applications of many technologies that are in development today complete with a description of how these technologies may shape society. The focus is on the negative impacts and how these can be leveraged by an overreaching government and power-hungry bureaucrats to become intrusive and controlling. He includes many strong characters including a number of powerful women and explores he interplay between these personalities. He is sufficiently descriptive without bogging down the story with too much detail. The action is quick paced and tension is maintained throughout the story. He does a good job of wrapping up the story lines in the end. The book is worthy of a read based upon these attributes.
The others: The book would greatly benefit from a heavy edit. The spelling is correct but there are a large number of grammar and sentence structure errors that distract the reader from the entertainment value of the story. I did not give the book a five-star rating because of these errors. A second issue is related to style. Calia tends to lecture on the potential negative impacts of technology and their contribution to emergent political trends. A more entertaining way would be to merely tell the story and let the reader develop their own conclusions.
The Awakening of Artemis by John Calia is quite the story! Right up my alley with the scifi and I always love a well-written speculative fiction. I couldn’t get enough of this book and wanted more as soon as I finished the last page.
I really enjoyed the writing. Sometimes scifi can be a little too scientific, that it loses me. This isn’t the case here. I felt like I was there, in the story, watching it all unfold. I loved getting lost in this one.
Overall, an excellent read. Lots of unexpected twists and turns with great characters, too. I am really looking forward to more from this author.
Thank you to R&R Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this on the tour. All opinions are my own and unbiased.
Diana is sent to retrieve her grandfather from cryogenic storage. John Calia has created a future world that is eerily similar to ours. His characters could be our neighbors. What scares me is his use of AI. I see more of it everyday and wonder if this way lies chaos. John Calia in The Awakening of Artemis has given us a mystery with AI as lead rolls. I liked it but I also choose to see it as a warning of possible things to come.
I'm not much of a book reader, more of a Podcast or Netflix person but the book was a good read and I finished it in a few days, I have a lot of half read books so that says a lot. It is more a Science Future book than Science Fiction, it is easy to see how the world could end up as envisioned by the author. I think you will enjoy it and it will make you think a bit.
This is a well-written, well-researched novel with hidden depths and meaning. If you want a very accurate glimpse of the future, this is a must read! I was hooked by it, and I just needed more. Absolutely fascinating!