Book Review: Open Source by Anna L. Davis.
I met Anna L Davis at the DFW Writer’s Conference in April 2016. I was her wrangler on behalf of the DFW Writers’ Workshop, the ones who put the conference on every year. I’m ashamed to admit it, but the opinion I formed of her does not fit the type of book she’s written. She doesn’t look like a cyberpunk. She doesn’t act like a cyberpunk. She doesn’t talk like a cyberpunk. I absolutely had to read the story this non-cyberpunk mundane had found inside herself.
My prejudicial attitude fell flat on its face once I finished the last page. The old cliché about books and covers bonked me upside the head.
Anna L Davis wrote a cyberpunk tale!
Ratings: (poor, average, or good):
Writing was good.
Background information was good.
Character Development was good.
I’ll admit the beginning bored me, but it wasn’t because the story was slow. It was because it broke my preconceived notions on the tech. After reading Peter F. Hamilton’s take on this type of technology, and the brighter future it promised, I was miffed that someone had the gall to explore the dark side. That attitude changed once I discovered the antagonist’s (Nox) immortality plan. In some ways, I agreed with him, and I would have followed his diametrically opposed doppelganger down the rabbit hole to fulfill his goal. Collecting all of our memories and saving them? And excellent idea! Unfortunately, Nox believed the only way to do that was cutting heads open and putting his fingers in the gooey bits to retrieve a flash drive full of those memories. Icky.
However, the idea . . . the idea! . . . is worthwhile. Perhaps that is why I like Peter F. Hamilton so much. A recurring theme throughout his writing is immortality, and this book skimmed that theme. As I get older, I find I like that theme more and more.
You may think that the idea of immortality is something I’m interested in because I don’t want to die . . . well, yeah, but not for the reasons you may think. It’s not that I’m afraid to die; there’s so much more I would do if I had more time.
Think about this. We spend the majority of our lives getting to an age where we are no longer physically able to do the things we need to do, but wealthy enough that we don’t have to do them.
Our goal is hitting 65 years of age with enough cash and/or investments to live another 20 without having to work. What could we accomplish if we were shooting for 150 years instead of 65?! What wonders could we accomplish? I’m approaching the top of my game here in my industry. When I retire or die, it’s all gone; pffft; adios; sayonara; don’t let the door hit you in the ass. That isn’t arrogance talking either. There are many more people with far more to contribute than I have, and we’re going to lose them too. If we could live another 100 and remain physically fit, society would be the ultimate beneficiary.
This isn’t exactly what the antagonist of the story was shooting for, but the idea of saving everything we’ve worked for once we’ve died is deeply seated in his personality. I have to give him kudos for working towards that. Sadly, the execution left a lot to be desired.
The one nit I have is that the protagonist, Ryker, knows things the reader doesn’t. Ms. Davis constantly told us how bad the tech was, but she never showed us until she revealed the plot. Ryker seemed to know it all from the get go. With me not understanding the danger, it made him out to be a paranoid schizophrenic until we experienced this danger ourselves through the story. We know he’s not though, because he’s the . . . well, the protagonist. This may have been an attempt at building tension, but it left me frustrated.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and look forward to her next one.
4 of 5 Stars.