In a post-apocalyptic future, humanity survives within a single city run by a shadowy benefactor known only as The Family. Each week, the death lottery claims more lives and Gerry Cardle, head of the lottery, inexplicably finds himself next on the list. Something's wrong with the system. A deadly artificial intelligence has breached security. Gerry has just seven days to live. Forced off the grid, Gerry has to do the unthinkable: willingly leave the city. What he finds in the abandoned lands will shatter his perception of what it means to be human. Everything he had been told before was a lie. In a deadly world of conspiracies, Gerry has to sacrifice everything he loves in order to save it, and time is running out.
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"A futuristic western."
The book was well narrated. While the characters are interesting their motivations and reasoning don't make much sense. The overall story is easy to understand but not simplistic or well thought-out. Too many questions were left unanswered as to why characters do the things they do, which leaves the story lacking.
Never the less, it is entertaining.
"When you read Neuromancer but don't know what a computer is."
First, I love post apocalyptic sci-fi. I love cyber punk. I really love post apocalyptic cyber punk. This book got my hopes up, then made me go, "What?"
At times it felt like the technical jargon was being used as magic, without really reflecting what technology is. I understand attempting to use a visualized inner space as a narrative tool is imperfect, but at no point did I really understand how this version of the world was supposed to work. It killed the immersion.
Which may not have been terrible. The narrative moved jarringly quickly, and the characters motivations seemed to change based on completely incomprehensible timelines and reasons.
Basically, when the story ended, I didn't really even understand what it was about.
The book started with a lot of potential but veered off fairly quickly. The mad max imagery is ok but every place the main characters went to the boss was some super-arrogant prick.
Coupled with the discovered abilities of the main character, the rambling story line made it difficult to suspend belief and I lost interest with an hour still to listen to.
"One challenge after an other…"
Mzny challenges face a highly intelligent person in an Alternate future, faced with an alternate reality he had grown up unaware of..
SO MUCH DATA, SO MUCH POSSIBLITY
This is fast paced and very, very tech, almost overly so. Everyday conversation is most likely going to have words related to computers, even if they are talking about going to the bathroom. I personally could not get into it, but I do see where several people will like it. I could not connect to the characters and it was too much to fast for me. Someone just about dies or does die every five minutes. It begin by reminding me of Clarke's, City of The Stars, only as if it was written by William Gibson. It will probably make a good B Movie.
I will not continue the series.
"An interesting dystopian technothriller"
3.75 out of 5 stars
Sometimes a book hits you at the right time. And sometimes it hits you at the wrong time. I've had this happen to me on numerous occasions. When I first started Code Breakers: Alpha I had a really hard time getting into it. It was a confusing techno-world that I should have loved. So, instead of forcing my way through it and giving it a sub-par review. I decided to back-burner it. This might be the first time I've done this and gone back to the book and enjoyed it more. I'm glad that I did because I've been wanting to read this series for quite some time.
With that disclaimer out of the way, Code Breakers Alpha tells the story of Gerry who runs the lottery. Sadly, this isn't a lottery you want to win (any time I hear of a lottery that's not good all I can think of is the movie The Island [one of Michael Bay's best movies IMHO]). There is a lot going on with lots of undertones of "The Family" and a dystopian world that isn't all that it appears to be.
As I stated above. I had a really hard time getting into this book. But after taking a step back and just trying to enjoy the flow of the story -- everything started to fall into place. And soon after that Gerry (and the book) started to all makes sense to me. The book picked up and honestly I didn't look back.
The story itself was really enjoyable. I've read other stories like this with similar stories and similar protagonists but it was still nice to look at this another way. Barnes is a great storyteller and I just think that Code Breakers Alpha struggled from the first book syndrome that some first books have (I might have made this term up). An author has to explain who people are and why they do the things that they do -- but do that without confusing the reader or going into too much detail. It's a tightrope to walk and sometimes you fall.
The narration was done by Marc Vietor who does a great job. He made this book easy to listen to.
Overall, Code Breakers Alpha was an intro story that definitely had its moments. It's not a perfect book, but most aren't. By the end of it, I was glad that I'd read it and that there were more books in this series. I will definitely be continuing Code Breakers.
I was given a free copy of this book which has not affected my review in any way.
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"Good but not great intro to an interesting world"
This book depicts a post-apocalyptic future where humankind has been devastated by war and a small remnant lives inside of a dome. The main character Gerry finds himself targeted for a death lottery and must flee for his life.
The world-building in this book is very done when it comes to technology..it describes a world post-computers in which everyone and everything is networked and artificial intelligences coexist with humanity. The descriptions of the world and its history were a little less done and generally only mentioned in passing.
As far as characters, Gerry has advanced coding and hacking skills and much of the book details his learning about his abilities and the mystery of where they come from. I found the three main characters to be very intriguing although their backgrounds and history remain mostly clouded and they don't always meet their potential (Petal).
Plot-wise I found the story to be quick paced and enjoyable, but not without faults. There was a twist with one of the characters near the end that I think fell flat and ultimately threw away what investment the reader had in it. And many times the characters did things without much explanation or motivation. Some mystery is good but too much is just annoying.
Ultimately though it was a good introduction for a series and engaging enough to be worth the read.
I listened to the audiobook and think the narrator did a great job.
NOTE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
"it was entertaining at least"
The guy who reads it makes a decent story come to lifein a captivating way. If ypu like cyborg, apocoplitic, philsophical science fiction, listen to this - its entertaining.
Anyone who knows Bladerunner, The Matrix and other well known stories won't be surprised by this plot.
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