Book Review: Killing Adam by Earik Beann

This is a book review for Rosie’s Book Review Team.

Killing Adam is a science-fiction dystopian novel by Earik Beann.

It is set in a futuristic world in which people are controlled by Altered Reality Chips. ARCS are implants placed behind the ear which allow people to go online for long periods of time and forget the banality of real life. However, behind this technological marvel is a computer singularity – Adam. Adam controls and lives within every brain and monitors every aspect of society, and he must be stopped.

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Killing Adam is a standard but enjoyable piece of science-fiction that fits into the science-fiction and dystopian genres well.

Earik Beann’s creative imagining of what futuristic technology may look like was interesting –  particularly his idea that characters use these ARCs to, quite literally, escape reality.  It was sad that they constantly and willingly plugged themselves into alternate worlds, creating fictions for themselves,leaving their families behind and causing face-to-face relationships to crumble away.

The main character of Killing Adam is Jimmy Mahoney, a fairly ordinary man, who suffers as an outsider in this new futuristic world. Due to a brain injury, Jimmy’s body is unable to accept an ARC. Subsequently, he is excluded from the fantastical online realities that everyone else experiences. However, this means he is not under the mind-controlling influence of Adam. This means Jimmy has a chance. Adam could be destroyed.

For me, it was slightly difficult to understand exactly what or who Adam is. The book describes him as a singularity, which – I think – means he is a form of computerised consciousness. I could be wrong though – I struggled to fully understand the explanations the book provided.

Although I may not understand Adam, his character was fascinating. Adam is a powerful antagonist who uses mind manipulation and cruel, callous language to get what he wants. I thought the characterisation of Adam was particularly impressive, in light of the fact he only ever communicates through other characters’ thoughts and yet I still had a firm impression of Adam’s attitudes and personality traits.

The ending to Killing Adam was fairly standard; it tidies some loose ends but leaves room for a possible sequel, should Earik Beann decide to turn this into a series.

Killing Adam was an enjoyable science-fiction read.

Star Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Killing Adam is available to buy as an e-book or paperback from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.

– Judith

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Book Review: Women In Love

Women In Love is the sequel to D.H. Lawrence’s novel, The Rainbow.

Women In Love follows the sisters Gudrun and Ursula Brangwen as they embark on adult life and pursue romantic relationships and other freedoms.  Gudrun begins an ultimately destructive relationship with Gerald Crich, whilst Ursula begins a loving relationship with Rupert Birkin. Various characters and events draw on parts of Lawrence’s own biography and experiences.

The book contains lots of social commentary, on topics such as the meaning of life, the need for social reform, and the desire for or repulsion of marriage. I don’t share many of the views Lawrence conveys through the voices of his characters, which made it difficult to read, as I felt his views on marriage were overly critical and harsh.

This novel feels “freer” and less restrained than The Rainbow though; characters do what they want and say what they want, which made some parts of the story more exciting and fun.

However, Women In Love is a psychological novel, meaning it is focused on feelings and thought processes, rather than following a straightforward plot. Subsequently, I found it difficult to read through and finish; I found I’d written ‘difficult to read’ a number of times when making notes for this review.

There are lots of sensational events, as well as plenty of sensual language and experiences – a lot of which I found quite odd. For example, nature is referred to as ‘the marriage bed’ (what?!) and at one point the characters decide to sit naked in a meadow, just because.

The ending to the novel was very abrupt and offered no resolution to anything, which made Women In Love quite tragic. The title is also an irony, as the book is supposedly about women in love yet most of the time, the women are clearly unhappy and clearly not in love. This made the overall tone of the book quite depressing, and less enjoyable as a result.

This is probably the most difficult D.H. Lawrence novel I’ve ever read. If you enjoy Lawrence’s writing style or if you have read The Rainbow, you may find Women In Love interesting. If not, I probably wouldn’t recommend.

– Judith

Book Review: The Rainbow

The Rainbow by D.H. Lawrence is a novel about three generations of the Brangwen family living in Nottinghamshire. Children are born, children grow up, children get married, but through all three generations, the Brangwens struggle to feel content within the confinement of English society.

The Rainbow is written in D.H. Lawrence’s usual style; stories of ordinary men and women, regional accents, countryside descriptions of Nottinghamshire and sexual encounters.

Nothing really happens beyond births, love affairs, marriages, and deaths. The book is more focused on characters and relationships, particularly between lovers or spouses. There are quite a few marriages, yet none of them are particularly happy – characters get married quickly out of infatuation, then grow to despise their spouse or manipulate them. This is quite a sad and unfortunate portrayal of marriage.

Lydia Brangwen, then Anna Brangwen, then Ursula Brangwen – the key women of each generation – take about a third of the narrative each, as the book describes how each of them become increasingly unhappy with their role in society.

In particular, Ursula struggles to fit in to society because of the confinements placed upon women. She doesn’t want to stay at home; she wants to work and make something of herself. She also doesn’t seem drawn to the notion of true love or marriage. Subsequently, she finds herself in love affairs that lead nowhere, as she struggles to find fulfilment for her passionate desires. At one point, Ursula even questions whether what she really wants is to just be promiscuous.

Despite the theme of unhappiness and desperation for a purpose in life, which pervades the novel, the book doesn’t offer any answers.

The Rainbow is quite bleak: nobody is ever truly happy and it doesn’t end with a resolution. I probably would not have read it, were it not a book on my university reading list. I’ve read other D.H. Lawrence novels before, such as Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Sons and Lovers, and for me, The Rainbow does not stand out as much.

– Judith