A Review of The Digital Dead

The Digital DeadThe Digital Dead by Bruce Balfour

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not a bad book, but not a great book either. Could have been better. First, though, it’s about a new company called Elysian Fields that offers eternal life by implanting chips in people’s heads and then when you die, an electronic copy of your personality is stored in a digital universe for people to interact with as though you’re still alive. It’s an odd premise and hard to pull off. I’m not convinced the book accomplished that for me. This book is also a sequel, which I wish I would have known. I could never figure out why an alien version of the Egyptian god Thoth was wandering around Kate’s head. Very strange. Ultimately the book is about power, and the scramble to attain it. The thing that irritated me about the book was that there were too many darn characters! I’m not completely stupid, but I had a hard time keeping up with them all. It doesn’t help that I read 4-6 books at a time, so I’d set this down for a couple of days and then had a hard time catching up when I picked it up again. I just kept think that Dick and Pohl, two of my sci fi favorites, never had to resort to dozens of characters. You usually have one or two with them and they still pull off a mean story. It just aggravated me and I almost gave up reading the book several times. However, I managed to finish and I guess I’m glad I did. Things were haphazardly tied up at the end, so I guess all is well with the universe. I’m still not completely satisfied with what happens to all of the digitally living dead people at the end of the book, but I won’t write a spoiler. I guess I mildly recommend the book, but with some reservation. Three stars max.

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