Navy Seal Mitch Downing is hit by enemy fire in Iran in 2014. But he survives, and realises there was a reason that he lived. Move on six years and he’s discovered how to invisibly access all human knowledge via inSyte, and also look into people’s hearts and minds.
It may sound the perfect piece of technology, but in Syte it has its dark side that Mitch has to fight. It also reveals to him that his lover Kate’s father is an evil man, who talks about family and Christian values but covets money and power. He’ll stop at nothing to get it. He’s already introduced Chesler, a dark evil presence, into the equation. Although he’s the bad guy, he’s interesting and we see into what makes him act the way he does – the personal idea of justice that he has and that motivates him.
It takes a little while to get into the story since the necessary background has to be covered, but once it gets going, like the technology it’s based on, it’s unstoppable. It’s an exciting, unpredictable book. There’s a lot of violence, but it fits into the scheme of the world that’s depicted. It’s a modern but harsh one. The technology described is feasible. We’re all very familiar with computers, social media, smartphones and so on these days, it doesn’t actually seem that big a deal for it to move on to an inSyte sort of level. As Kiser said in an interview:
I was in a business meeting in 1999 and the customer asked me some questions and they weren’t quite important enough for me to fire up my laptop (which took about 5 min in those days) so I said I’d get back to him. It struck me that it would be nice to have access to the info on that laptop unbeknownst to the customer. That would be sort of cool, make me seem pretty smart.
As time went on, I realized that’s really inevitable with the internet. There are glasses you can buy today – so called visual headgear – that let you watch content on your ipod. Maybe while you’re on a plane. Obviously you can also view info on your smart phone. Let’s say voice recognition software improves and the glasses get smaller. Say the glasses become contact lenses. You get the picture. It’s just a matter of time before you can get online anytime, all the time, and you’re doing searches based on a question asked of you. Or just by thinking about something. So you would search the net the way you search your memory. That’s the high concept and from there I developed the conflict to make the book (hopefully) interesting.
If you want an unput-downable read that will make you think (as well as avoid people matching Chesler’s description for the rest of your life!) then I urge you to read this sensibly priced, extremely entertaining and provoking novel.
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