Book Review: Utopia Five (Panopticon Book 1) – A.E. Currie

by @edent | # #

Whose world would you kill for?

My name is Lee and I was born on the 8th January 2025 – the day the Panopticon was turned on.
In 2053, Earth is a changed place. City states make their own laws and we’re all watched over by the ever present drones.
I reckon the new Earth is a utopia. We’re still alive aren’t we? What more do people want? It’s been more than a decade since the Hot Summer. I remember when none of us thought we’d make it this long.
Not everyone agrees our lives are better under the Panopticon. Someone is trying to bring down the present order and return everything to how it was. It’s up to me to stop them.

This is a rather British take on “Ready Player One”. Post civilisation collapse, the world is reborn with VIRTUAL REALITY and DRONES. It’s a bit silly and derivative, but has a cracking story and a neat bit for future-gazing.

This quote in particular stood out to me:

“Do you remember that ‘flu crisis in 2034? The Nautilus engine thought it could have ended very differently without the inoculation program. While we were still struggling with a global pandemic, we wouldn’t have been able to organize fast enough to handle the Hot Summer.”

It neatly handles the philosophy of speculative fiction and the consequences of total surveillance. The ending felt a little rushed and confused. But it’s a 99p book designed to sell a bunch of sequels – so I can forgive it.

A fun slice of sci-fi.

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