Author: Blake Crouch
Series: Forward Collection #2
Publisher: Amazon Original Stories
Release Date: September 17, 2019
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
Who controls who in this exciting futuristic story!
Years into the future, we have continued to perfect our AI until it becomes a lifestyle for us. We now have virtual reality for almost every aspect of our lives. Even our games become more of a livable experience than just a past time. Riley works for one of these companies and is the chief brain behind the new video game Summer Frost. In this game, Riley has developed a character named Maxine. She is a non-player character who is supposed to die in the beginning story line. And she does, for the first two thousand test runs. But then, Max decides to go rogue. She starts out by exploring the boundaries of the game. Then she kills the main character. Riley can’t believe what just happened, but she knows it’s extraordinary. She convinces Max to leave the game essentially gives her a place to exists in a hard drive. As the two begin to communicate, Riley discovers that Max can obtain and learn information at an alarming rate. Riley begins to have plans for the future of Max including taking her out of the game one day. She becomes obsessed with this creation that is costs her everything. But will the return be worth it?
As usual, Blake Crouch writes an amazing story that will put readers on a futuristic track that is mind blowing. You don’t have to be a gamer to enjoy this story, it’s going to take you for a ride either way. It’s the longest story of the Forward Collection and bends readers concepts of reality. From 200 story buildings to thought based texting to incredible AI, it puts readers in a place to question how far some of this tech is in the future. Even in the future, characters are flawed in their relationships and careers. Obsession still reigns, but has an unexpected price. I expected the first part of the ending, but not the second. I would love to see this story played out even further.
There is some occasional strong language throughout the story. I would recommend this book for mature readers who enjoy a futuristic setting.