If I was having to fly to New Zealand, I'd take this book - it would entertain me on the long flight and inevitable delays. It is undemanding, entertaining and full of holes. A confection that attempts to merge '1984' with Lara Croft, with a bit of 'pulp fiction' violence thrown in. The basic premise - that mass surveillance can be used for control and subverted for evil - isn't new, and the protagonists who support or oppose this view in the novel are just presented and the listener is asked to believe. There's nothing about how or why this near-future dystopia came into being and only the sketchiest exploration of motives. The characters are pretty conventional, with the stereotyped 'baddy', the love interest sub-plot, and the guy who sees the error of his ways and sacrifices himself for the just cause (etc etc - you get the idea). The premise that massive computer systems linked between the USA and London can track individuals is fine, but people escape this simply by travelling to 'the third world' - lightweight even for today, let alone the future.
I enjoyed the narration, a well timed, skillful read, with a light US accent, the narrator taking a run at cockney and various other accents without falling over too much. The book itself is pacily written, so it is a bit of a page-turner and I was keen to listen to the next chapter, only to groan sometimes at the sheer predictability of the characters and plotting. The best parts in my view are episodes when the characters adventure into different realms - here some truly imaginative stuff takes place, entertaining and fresh.
So - overall - in my view a good holiday 'read'. Be prepared to be entertained, but not challenged, suspend your disbelief and go for a gallop along paths that often sound pretty familiar; above all don't actually think about the story else it will unravel. If you get really bored you can play 'guess what Maya (=Lara) is going to do next'. Then read or listen to "1984".
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