Oh, what a fantastic sci-fi thriller! I absolutely did not expect this book to be so well drafted with an easy-to-understand writing style.
I started this book with trepidation as a lot of sci-fi thrillers, that I have read in the recent past, had neither sci-fi nor thriller. But this book surpassed all my expectations, and I had an absolute wonderful time reading it. The story was great; it dealt with Virtual Reality and its repercussions on life and religion.
The protagonist, Alex, joins the company city, Eridu, as a Comprehensive Software Designer, where the perk of the job is the virtual reality world called the Lobby. The worlds of the Lobby soon grow, so does its actions, and one day while enjoying in the the Lobby, Alex’s close friend dies of a heart attack in real world but is soon found to be alive in the virtual world of the Lobby with his consciousness intact. And chaos reigns on Earth….
I loved the way Taylor Kole has described the worlds in the Lobby, each is wonderful and unique. The Lobby which initially has a single entry at Eridu for the uber rich to enjoy, soon goes global with multiple access areas in every major city of Earth. No physical disability of the real world is reflected in the virtual worlds of the Lobby. There are no limits in achievement here. The worlds are endless and the people inside boundless. Sounds like a gamer’s utopia which, with the death of the friend, soon becomes an entry to immortality in the virtual world.
The author, Taylor Kole, has written the novel in a realistic manner, dealing sensitively with the problems which technology brings. Addiction to technology, mortality of technology, conflicts of religion to technology, and beliefs of the leaders to technology. Every technology which makes life easy or different has its effect on morality and religion, and the author has expressed the consequences of such a virtual world captivatingly.
I was riveted to the book the whole time when the death and transfer of consciousness or soul, leads to pandemonium amongst the people and governments, with suicides, terrorism, global struggle. And with only Alex having the key to overturn the turmoil of Virtual Reality.
Taylor has etched his protagonist Alex, very well from a next-door, cute, young boy to debonair, suave yet likable man, who develops the virtual world further for fun, yet it leads to addiction with devastating effects. His disbelief and helplessness at the consequences are so genuine. His relationships to the other characters are very charming and kind. The love story between him and his wife, Rosa is beautiful and deep. I loved Alex totally.
The first half of the book was devoted to the development of all the characters and the worlds, and the second half to the impact and reactions of death with transfer of ‘soul’. I wanted the story to move a bit faster, more suspense, more thrill. But in saying this, I would add that every chapter flowed well on to the next, even the preaching and the actions of the zealous lot were well understood. And the entire credit for a tight well-paced novel goes to the author.
And the finale was mind blowing. Throughout the book, I tried to figure out how the author would end such a story seeped in dilemma, and believe me, he shocked me. The ending was definitely unexpected.
The book left me thinking for a long time as to what would I prefer: finite life on Earth with problems or infinite limitless life on the Lobby…
My rating : 4.5 stars
About the Author
Taylor Kole has been writing fiction for ten years. He loves to read, dissect story, and contemplate the impact of written words on the world. He has been mentored by a playwright in Oregon and accomplished teachers and authors in Nevada and New York. A successful small business consultant, avid reader, animal lover, he is a big fan of Koontz and Crichton. Now he is often found working on his next novel.
Programmer Alex Cutler earns riches and fame by taking the Lobby, a virtual reality world, mainstream. When his best friend dies while connected, and continues to be spotted in the Lobby, society learns a person’s consciousness can transfer to the ever-expanding paradise. Suicides follow, then resistance, global terrorism, nations near war.
Alex is the only person who can set the world right, if he will abandon everything he’s ever valued and loved.
Publication date : 30th November 2017
Publisher : Self
Language : English
Available on Amazon
A provocative Sci-fi thriller