All life on Earth is about to be terminated by an entity as old as the galaxy itself. To make matters worse, Simon has broken everything already. In a future world that is run by computer systems and that is without want, how can a man find his role? Then, if the very computers he works on to try to make them more human suddenly try to kill him, revealing a secret so vast that it affects every living soul on the planet, can that man be a hero?
These are the questions that face the stumbling, comic, and certainly flawed Simon Bank. His job is to work with the System's artificial intelligence, making it fit more perfectly into human society so that it can keep the country running smoothly. But when the System threatens the peaceful world he knows, Simon suddenly must rush to save his own life, as well as the life of everyone on earth. Forced to reassess everything that he thought he knew, he is caught within circumstances way beyond his control. Simon's only hope is to rely on intellect and instincts he didn't know he had, and on new friends, not all of them human, to change himself and all humanity. And he doesn't have much time.
I received a free copy of the audiobook for an honest review.
The Path is futuristic science fiction in which the premise is intriguing but I got lost and confused quite a bit during the first half of the book.
The main character, Simon Bank, has the job of trying to cause problems in the computer system that runs everything from the weather to how much food you are allowed to eat. He is told that he's working on a dummy, parallel system and that the online system learns from the interaction with him and many others who have the same job. Simon finds out the hard way that he's being lied to. The system becomes sentient and the world as they know it is at risk.
There were times when the story was suspenseful and it did make me laugh out loud once or twice. It also had many twists but I felt like too much time was spent in the system, in the first half of the book, explaining how things worked.
Jonathan Yen was a good narrator. I was able to differentiate between the characters' voices. I don't think I would have been able to finish this book if I had been reading, rather than listening, to it. He was able to keep my attention for the most part.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
The Path is one of those audiobooks that I pick for no real good reasons. The cover doesn’t give a whole lot to go by, as you know, I tend to judge books by their covers. However, the summary makes this sound like a very interesting advanced dystopian society that will be brought to it’s knees.
In The Path Peter Riva was able to create a fascinating and half way believable near future society were all is well. People only work when they want to and do what they want to do. Basically all of their needs are taken care of by the computer system that controls everything.
The first half of the story mainly takes place inside this computer system with Simon, our protagonist, “plugged in”. Here he is able to interact with the system and instantly create programs to do his bidding. The second half takes place in the outside world, where Simon is now on the run. Full of action scenes that didn’t do anything for me.
Where my problem was with the, to me, overly explained computer programming language. After a while I got board with it all. They there was the dialog of the system itself. Very dry and again hard to follow.
If you want a techno babble filled story that will heavily rely on your imagination to picture what is happening. This unique take on a technology driven dystopia will make you happy.
The performance by Jonathan Yen was good but not great. He tried to give some of the characters their own voice, yet it was still difficult to know, during conversations, who was talking. Yen did change the pacing very well, when the story needed it.
I can only imagine how difficult it was to keep things interesting when most of the story was technological jargon. And a dialog from the computer system that was even more difficult to follow.
All in all there are no huge complaints nor are there any striking highlights from Yen’s performance. I believe that he did the best that he could with what he had to work with.
Audiobook provided for review by the publisher.
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6 of 10 people found this review helpful
The Path is a very powerful story.
No, I don't mean that it is going to change your life if you read it, more it conveys a world that could very well become reality. I certainly won't see it in my life time, but future generations may just face this.
The characters are fairly well defined and their interaction believable. The bond that formed between Simon and System was not unlike that between a parent and child.
There is however quite a lot of technical jargon and dialogue which many will find does not hold their attention, and at times I found myself tuning out when there seemed to be dialogue and detail that could possibly have been left out.
The narrator Jonathan Yen did a good job, however at times it was difficult to distinguish who was supposed to be talking.
For lovers of science fiction and dystopian, you might like to give The Path a try.
narrator makes a good book great. bravo! must listen to his other readings.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
In the near future a coder finds more than he bargained for within the system
4.75 out of 5 stars.
In the future; you get to do whatever makes you happy. If you’re an incredible programmer, you will program. If you want to go to space, you’ll go to space to help out. Everyone is happy, everyone is helping out the greater good. Simon Bank is one of these people, he goes through the system trying to cause chaos – “teaching” the system and its coders where there are errors or could be issues. He thinks he is working on a secondary system and not effecting the actual system – but he learns that may be mistaken and he finds out another bombshell while in there trying to see what he has done.
The narration on this book was done by Jonathan Yen. Yen provides great narration throughout and helps the story progress through some of the more mundane and detailed parts. I found myself really enjoying listening to Yen’s narration of this book almost as much as I was enjoying the book itself. The audiobook was another one that I think will add something to the book instead of taking something away. If you get a chance, pick this audiobook up, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Riva writes at a fast pace but allows you to feel like you are right there in the action. Simon’s point of view was interesting and I was drawn in quickly to him. Once you get further into the story – it gets really confusing for a little while and feels like it is never going to end. Push through! I promise, the ending was unique and unexpected for me. I really thought I had pinned down how this book was going to end, and I was dead wrong.
You can tell that Riva has had experience in some of the fields that he writes about because there is a great amount of detail given to explain different things within the book. I love stuff like that, where you can tell the author has done his research.
This book has some big turning points, and to write a more in depth review would be a spoiler, and I don’t want to give away anything big.
Throughout the book, I knew that there was a second book planned, and I flip flopped numerous times while reading on whether I was going to want to continue in this world. But, by the end I definitely will be eagerly awaiting the next book in the TAG series.
I received this book from iRead Book Tours & the author for free in exchange for my honest unbiased review.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
It’s a well controlled world with the System in charge of everything from world finances to the weather. Politics is more for entertainment and so the humans can feel like they have a modicum of control than anything else. Skeptical Simon Bank knows this, and like nearly everyone else he knows, he’s OK with that. But then a small tornado hits downtown and it’s too much damage for it to be completely swept under the rug. Plus Simon actually witnessed it and he has the skills and position to figure out what went wrong.
Now the story did hit a slow patch early on. There’s plenty computer geek speak about outdated languages and such. I am pretty sure there were some hidden jokes in there, but they went right over this biologist’s head. I’m glad I stuck with the story because once you get past this slow part, the story picks up. There’s talk about how the human life has been extended hugely and people can have a certain number of biological kids and after that they can special order synth-children. They basically have a pre-programmed end date, but behave and act just like real kids. These bio-tech bits interested me the most.
Simon and a few friends (such as Markerman) suit up and take a dunk in the pool. Mary hangs back outside, ready to assist or pull them out if need be. This is where their special suits allow for a swifter connection with the system, letting them navigate it in an almost Matrix kind of way. Throughout the book, Simon uses this interface a few times and I found the tech to be very interesting. He has to take a certain drug to speed up his nerve response in order to interface with the System via the pool. When someone comes out of the pool, they can let it wear off or take drugs to slow their responses. I do like me some fun and cool tech in my SF stories. And it gets more interesting when Simon comes across an entity within the System. Yep, we’re talking Artificial Intelligence people. Awesome!
Now this new entity at first behaves a little badly and Simon has to think and act quickly to keep his comrades safe. Then the entity kind of clings to Simon. So Simon starts to teach this entity (who we come to know as Apollo) about The Path. Basically, Simon is trying to the teach Apollo some basic rights and wrongs. The Path becomes a subject that is discussed at length at several points throughout the tale. Sometimes the repetition, while realistic for teaching a fledgling entity, slowed the story again.
Now a little oddity is that Apollo has a secret pet name he/it picked out for himself – Peter. Yep, the same name as the author. Whenever an author does this, I get caught up wondering why – Ego? Inside joke? Just for fun? So every time I heard ‘Peter’ in the story I was immediately pulled out the story for a few seconds to contemplate this once again. Basically it was a distraction.
So the tale continues with more action and a deeper worry than the sudden accidental birth of an AI entity. Simon and Apollo have to go into hiding while still trying to figure things out in order to save the world. They have plenty of people after them, most of who want things to remain the status quo. The last quarter of the book was the most entertaining because everything was coming together and there was action. Cramer, and agent of Control, shows up pretty early and is a bit of a wild card. He definitely feels the need to be in control and Simon isn’t sure he can convince Cramer to help him, or at least, to not hinder him. Cramer is also the source of much of the action throughout the tale.
Most of the cast in this story is male. There are a few secondary and tertiary female characters. Mary is the most prominent one and gets to do the most. Even the AI Apollo gets deemed a ‘he’ by Simon. I would have liked a better representation of the ladies.
This book had some pluses and minuses. In the end, I am glad that I stuck with it. The ending is one of those great big concept idea endings. I really enjoyed how we started off with a small localized issue, how it then got bigger, then even bigger, and then the grand finale concept. The author has left the door open for a sequel.
I received a copy of this audiobook at no cost from the author (via the blog tour company iRead Book tours) in exchange for an honest review.
Narration: Jonathan Yen did a pretty good job. The entire tale is told from Simon’s point of view so mostly it is his voice we hear. He had a good, distinct voice for Apollo, sounding a bit clipped and proper. There were a few speaking females and Yen’s female voices were distinct and believable.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful
Is there anything you would change about this book?
The ending was a bit of a let down
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
What three words best describe Jonathan Yen’s performance?
easy, good, supportable
If this book were a film would you go see it?
mmmmm, not sure, I'm often disappointed by film versions of books.