It’s Tampa Bay and the year is 2020. Ex-Navy SEAL Mitch “Double” Downing discovers how to tap into the internet with his mind. His new inSyte provides transparent access to the sum of all human knowledge recorded since hieroglyphics. More than mere information – Mitch can see into men’s hearts and be all places at all times (easy in an ‘always on’ surveillance society with fourth generation tweets). Sort of like God.
If knowledge is power, Mitch just became the strongest man in the world.
But inSyte has ideas of its own as the software exposes a politician’s “divine” plan that will unwittingly slaughter millions of people. Is killing the man the only way to prevent Armageddon? The politician’s daughter would probably disagree. And she happens to be the love of Mitch’s life. Losing Kate would be too damn much collateral damage.
At the center of the conflict is a wolf-like killer who will stop at nothing to murder the ex-Navy SEAL. And Mitch must come to grips with inSyte’s dark side – a dominating addiction that soon controls his thoughts and places him on a steep slide to self destruction.
When I was a kid, I earned myself a calculator watch selling roll after roll of wrapping paper to neighbors. Damn, I was proud of that stupid watch. I felt like a spy! I was in third or fourth grade and we were just starting to get into the really hard math problems like multiplication and long-division and I felt like a god among grade-schoolers with that stupid watch. Until I got caught, that is. My teacher proceeded to explain that if I used the sneaky watch calculator, besides being against the rules, I wouldn’t learn how to do the math properly and I’d be behind later on in life.
Would using that calculator make me stupid? Maybe. But can I do long-division now? Doubtful. In the world that the book inSyte is set, not only are calculators obsolete, but so is the internet. Now it’s the grid, a huge network of information readily available at the flick of a finger and one man discovers how to make it even easier to access. Mitch Double Downing figured out a way to make every piece of information available instantaneously in his mind. Omniscience makes the former SEAL into a god. But even all the knowledge in the world can’t spare him the choice of saving millions of lives or keeping the woman he loves or protect him from the sinister animal-like killer who’s stalking him like prey.
Kiser creates a futuristic world that reminds me a lot of Orson Scott Card. The future he depicts is a contradiction of mind-bending technology and progress against a backdrop of downtrodden masses forced to live in camps, forage for food and eventually turn on themselves. His characters are well-rounded, believable and carry a depth that is genuinely difficult to achieve. I could not put this book down! The storyline is original, the characters fascinating and the plot has twists and turns that keeps you turning those pages.
The only thing I can even bring myself to criticize this book for is the lack of development with the slight paranormal aspect. It could be that I’m just a big fan of the paranormal and that’s why I wanted it explored more. In a world cemented in technology, it did seem slightly out of place, but it didn’t subtract from the story one bit. I definitely recommend this book!