It's been 20 years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global microdemocracy. The corporate coalition party Heritage has won the last two elections. With another election on the horizon, the Supermajority is in tight contention, and everything's on the line.
With power comes corruption. For Ken, this is his chance to do right by the idealistic Policy1st party and get a steady job in the big leagues. For Domaine, the election represents another staging ground in his ongoing struggle against the pax democratica. For Mishima, a dangerous Information operative, the whole situation is a puzzle: How do you keep the wheels running on the biggest political experiment of all time when so many have so much to gain?
Infomocracy is Malka Older's debut novel.
I found the story very engaging and enjoyed it a lot, however I never could quite get immersed in it, mostly because of the narrator's constant mispronunciation of the Japanese names (which make up about half of the characters), as well as fairly poor attempts at various accents.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Feels like diving headfirst into a mash-up of early Neal Stephenson (think Snow Crash) and William Gibson (think Neuromancer or Pattern Recognition). Good fast clean cyberpunk fun with just enough twistiness and interesting reality to get your brain going.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
older takes you on a wild unforgettable ride! best book of the summer! str8 up!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Lots of great character development. Lots of great context setting. Very good narration. Just not enough happening.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Infomocracy by Malka Ann Older is a science fiction and political thriller set in the future where an entity, called Information, controls all information and search engines. In this world, government has transitioned from nations to micro-democracies, with many different kinds of governance, corporate and otherwise, over small population Centenals. The story follows a few different characters with intersecting paths during a turbulent election period. Ken works for a campaign, trying to elect his employer and government in different Centenals and gain a majority standing. Mishima is an operative for Information, trying to see trends in the data and keep the spread of information as clean of corruption as possible. As the election season progresses, these two characters’ paths intersect many times as potential corruption slowly comes to light, creating a storm for the information and political world.
At heart, this novel is a political thriller, but it’s filled with technological advances that fit a science fiction story. While the storyline may seem confusing or dense at first, ultimately, I found it incredibly thought-provoking. The characters could have been more complex. In addition to the two main characters, the story is also told from the perspective to 3-4 additional characters. But the real focus of the story is in the world building, the dynamic progression of the election season, and how the different players interact with the changing political landscape. The details in the world building are fantastic and the characters’ brief sojourns in different Centenals bring each into clear and fascinating focus. and the supporting characters, residing in different Centenals and around the world, further fill up the story with rich detail and complexity. The Information entity and how it is incorporated into the daily lives of the people was especially fascinating and reminiscent of reality. The story-line is fast-paced, action-packed, and highly unique. I have never read a novel like this one and I really enjoyed it.
The narration by Christine Marshall was fantastic. Her fast pacing voicing was perhaps a little challenging to decipher on occasion, but the pace of the story calls for fast speech. Ultimately, she did a great job. The production quality was good as well. I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys fast paced political thrillers and science fiction.
Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.
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9 of 12 people found this review helpful
It's ironic that this is titled "Infomocracy", since one of the themes in the book is too much information quickly becomes no information, but at the same time the book immediately throws so many concepts and characters at you it's hard to follow or even find the plot. The main theme and action eventually become clear, but there are so many themes that are alluded to and never explored, so many ideas that are brought up and never explained, that the actual story gets lost and it feels more like an "over-your-head" lecture with some cardboard characters thrown in now and then.
I believe the narrator tried to add some excitement by reading at an uncomfortably fast pace. Instead of creating excitement she is on to the next idea before the first one has had time to "land." I might have enjoyed the book more if it was read at a slightly slower pace. I can just barely recommend this book, but only in print.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The book is predicate don an interesting technological concept. As far as the rest of it, it may have been the performance, but I wasn't gripped throughout the story, possessed only and slight concern for the characters, and took my time finishing it. This may be a book that is better read than listened to. If you have the Audible credits to burn, you won't regret the choice, but if there's something you're desperate to read, choose that.
While this book includes all the elements that I look for, I had trouble staying awake. There are interesting characters, action and a unique story, but still, this is a book about politics.
Great political foreign affairs exciting novel! Great understanding of cultural nuances and political challenges. Really enjoyed it!
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
This book might be better for hard cop. It is very convoluted and you almost have to take notes to keep up with the names and relationships. Pay attention to the character "Domain" (hope I'm spelling that right) because who he is matters in the end. But half way through, the characters/plot/setting all take shape and you don't want to stop listening.
What three words best describe Christine Marshall’s performance?
Articulate, varied, interesting.
Do you think Infomocracy needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
No thank you.