Book Review: The Path, by Peter Riva

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An Appealing Techno Thriller

Anything to do with technology, and where it may one day lead, fascinates me.   As fast as it is improving, you have to wonder where it will take us in another decade. That is probably why I enjoyed The Path so much. Peter Riva has created a very entertaining—and possible—view into that future.

When iRead Book Tours asked us to join the virtual book tour for The Path, it sounded like fun. I admit it is one of those books I might have passed by, since the book is considered science fiction among other things.  Yet the description of this futuristic story sounded intriguing.  To me, it was more techno-thriller than Sci-fi, but either way it is a great read.

The author is very effective in his descriptions.  Right from the start, with a sudden hurricane from out of nowhere, you will be drawn into the story.  It really doesn’t stop once you are there.  With the world facing destruction from several entities, you can sense the need for speed.

The Setting

Picture some time in the future.  A time when we can take a space elevator to another planet.  A time when the Harry Potter novels are considered classics from an earlier era.  You will find plenty of changes in our world that are intriguing to think about.

It is also a time when there is no more Los Angeles.  Between earthquake and erupting volcanos, most of the west  no longer exists.

On the brighter side, at least in the United States, there are some positives.  First, computers care for us and the environment.  They are able to control the weather.  You can vote on whether you would like sun or rain?  You can work if and when you choose at what you enjoy.  The computers also serve as our national security.  With the shield they provide in place, no attacks from outside forces can reach us.

Because of that, we really don’t need government (tempted yet?).  No parties to clash and fight, no gridlock in Congress.  The politicians who are there now are there to make sure the computers continue to work  properly.   Sometimes it wouldn’t sound all bad, wouldn’t you agree?

The Story

Our starring character is Simon Banks, fifty years old.  He works as a programmer, his job to write code that tests the skills of ‘The System,’ the name given the computer(s) that control everything.  The goal is to enable it interact and respond better, in a way that makes it more human.

Simon has made his share of mistakes, but there is nothing about code he doesn’t know.  He can spot an error quickly and easily, though since he works on a duplicate system to try out his tests, it should not affect the running system.

When The System makes some moves that bring grave danger, some think Simon is responsible.  As a result, he must determine how and why it happened, before something in the system causes  mass destruction.

What he finds stuns him.  Yet it is only the beginning.  The facts Simon learns are so profound that he finds himself questioning all he has believed.  What if the very computer that may cause chaos is the only one Simon can trust?

It becomes a race and a chase at the same time, one through a world of coding, the other on the highways of the nation.  The System isn’t the only thing moving toward destruction, there is another, from long ago, that seeks to fix the imbalance.

Is It Alive?

What do you think constitutes a new life form?  Must it breathe?  Have blood coursing through its veins?  Or if it is able to converse, to relate, to tell and/or get a joke? Reproduce?

If a computer becomes sentient, where would it lead?

Thoughts

I’d love to discuss the book with you, so I do hope you will read it. There is so much more I could add.  But I don’t want to give away the story.  I hope I haven’t already.  It contains so much for consideration, I’m sure it will be on my mind in the weeks to come.  Probably it will be a re-listen after a little time, to absorb the little details I might have missed.

The book does contain quite a bit of technology.  Don’t let that interfere as you read.  Some of it I understood, some was beyond my tech-knowledge, but it didn’t stop me from appreciating the information. It is so much a part of the book because that is where The System lives.

It’s fascinating to hear about the ways around problems they come up against, the back doors, the clearances, the ways the computer can respond and help with his search.

The Audio Version

As part of the virtual book tour for the The Path, I was provided the audio version of the book for an honest review. The book is narrated by Jonathan Yen.  He did very well, with good voice distinction, so you could tell most of the characters apart when they were speaking.

Part of being a good narrator is not getting in the way of the story.  If you get to the point where you really don’t think about who it speaking, the narrator has done well.  His pacing seemed right as well.

It looks like there is a follow up coming, or a book two in a series.  I hope so!  Reaching Angelica also is to feature Simon Banks.  It’s scheduled for release early February, 2016.  Very intriguing and highly recommended!

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I hope you will check out some of other stops on Peter’s book tour. It runs from October 12th to November 6th, 2015.  If you click here, you will find links to each stop, past or future.

 

Meet The Author:

Peter Riva has worked for more than thirty years with the leaders in aerospace and space exploration. His daytime job for more than forty years has been as a literary agent. He resides in New York City.

Connect With The Author:

Website     Facebook     Twitter


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Mystery Suspense Reviews .

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