Chris Malone (@CMoiraM)
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)
“The train carriage is filled with people gripping their phones as if their lives depend upon them. Ironically no one is making an actual phone call; it is all internet and social media. Glancing over the legs of the passenger seated across the aisle ahead of me, I marvel at their deft fingers, swiping as if born with the skill.”
Pause for a minute and imagine if our mobile phones, tablets, consoles and computers couldn’t be trusted.
Ok stop screaming, it’s not real, (yet) or is it?
This is the world foreseen/dreamt up by novelist Chris Malone in her kick-ass tech thriller #stoptheglitch. If you want to test your tolerance for how bad things might get – take this trip with the believably resourceful Robin who fights to survive in this nightmare scenario. Aided by some and crossed by others, this oh-so-near-future tale where tech in unreliable and cannot be trusted mixes MPs with codenames (Miranda) with a plucky bunch of conspirators: Glyn the intrepid educator, Thomas and Maria, the brave survivors, the cheerful little Poppy, Gid, the ferocious, Eva, the peace-maker, Nathan, with youth and ingenuity on his side…
There is also a tangible sense of threat – you think cybercrime won’t affect you? Imagine if it wiped your entire data history, finances and all... Mix it all together and you get a fun and fascinating read which romps along at a good pace.
I asked Chris for her thoughts about the book and publishing it in this covid-tastic world we find ourselves in. She said:
'Following the publication of #stoptheglitch, readers have said they like the way in which the pandemic is referenced, but doesn't dominate. As we all rely increasingly on tech solutions to lockdown challenges, #stoptheglitch is particularly relevant.
I have been busy writing a sequel, now complete at the draft stage, which focuses on action following #stoptheglitch and further develops the dynamic between Robin, and Miranda. Imagine post-pandemic campaigners, isolated communities connected by an ethical competitor to Amazon, a hijacked general election, and a heroine who realises she has been living a lie. That's a taste!'
As a parent of two boys in their early 20’s I know that they would be devastated if the digital realm that currently provides so much of our entertainment, communications and work suddenly glitched out. It’s bad enough if our Wi-Fi goes down for more than a minute at home!?
But maybe, just maybe there is more to life? How long would it take to put our dependence on modern tech aside? It’s a question that forms a good basis for this mystery that traverses the UK from Oxford to the wilds of Wales.
Malone writes with clear, business-like prose that is easy to digest but will often leave you pondering what you just read for some time afterwards. #stoptheglitch is a read that will appeal to anyone looking for a book that will entertain and make you want to find out what happens next.
Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:
ööööö (5 - fear the glitch)
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