It was inevitable, for history is always written in blood.
The human race has finally unraveled, forcing the survivors into a newly formed sovereign utopia in the center of Africa, called ‘The Mainland’.
Religion and nationalism have been outlawed, blamed for humanity’s self-destruction.
For the first time in history, an artificial intelligence is put in charge of internal affairs, unaffected by greed, lust for power or nepotism, while its subject residents are forbidden to use the technologies that plagued their forebears.
An archaeological expedition is sent to the dead zones in the north to document the world that once was. Muracius Goodmond, head of the Department for the Study of History Verification, is secretly rushed by his fellow scholars into an isolated dig site. There an ancient document is uncovered, which Goodmond is horrified to learn contradicts objective scientific knowledge. Matters become graver still when he realizes it may determine the future of the regime, and the fate of eleven innocent children.
Now the scholars have to face an impossible dilemma: in order to pursue truth, they have to break the law. They have to trust their inferior human minds.
Review 4 of 5 Stars
I received a copy of this book from the author’s representative in 2015. Obviously, I’m behind. Nevertheless, I loved this book. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 due to some wrong word usage, editing errors and a slow, slightly confusing start. However, in the end, this was a very good book. I loved that archaeology is the start of the story and that the archaeologists stay involved instead of being pushed aside by military or government as so often happens in stories.
As mentioned above, this book began slowly and was somewhat confusing in the beginning. In fact, I considered putting it down for another. I’m glad I didn’t. This is a complex story with many characters and the author does an excellent job of jumping from one perspective to another without losing the reader. Once I got into the book, I read it at every opportunity.
Everyone lives by Stupid John’s Instructions. The Instructions say that “Animals were considered superior to people because their minds weren’t susceptible to influence by lies and brainwashing.” Therefore those on the Mainland are monitored by “Justice”, an AI that determines if crimes have been committed. Crimes include such things as practicing any religion, robbing or injuring another person, or distinguishing a group from others by using symbols. It is also illegal to publicly shame someone unless ordered by the Protectors and the labels of “human” and “racial recluse” (those not of mixed blood) are the insults of the time. On the whole, the instructions all deal with preventing self-destruction of the human race. Should these instructions be ignored, Protectors serving the Holders of Responsibility are dispatched to deal with the problem in whatever way they see fit. The world created is beautiful and frighteningly limited at the same time.
Excellent characterization, philosophy, action, mystery and drama. If you like to delve into the thought process of a world and its society, I think you will really enjoy this book. The author has done an exceptional job with the storytelling. I was also intrigued by the futuristic world portrayed. In some ways things seem very nice, but in others stifling and sometimes cruel. This book builds the world, introduces the characters and leaves you with a gut-clenching what happens now at the end. I can’t wait to see what happens next and am very much looking forward to the author’s next book.