I very much enjoyed this very near future speculative fiction. The book centres on a family drama, with a work obsessed and emotionally distant father, two teenage children that he generally fails to engage with, and a mum doing her best to hold diverging lives together. Contemporary drama is very much the emotional driver of this work. The other key elements revolve around a dangerous terrorist unit of anti-capitalists and robotic toys that communicate with each other rather too well, when their software is enhanced with a sort of bee hive logic-based application. Perhaps surprisingly, the diverse elements of the story bond together very well.
The book is well written, adequately edited and paced towards a suspenseful climax. In other words, Wright has produced a rewarding entertainment. As far as my very thin understanding of information technology goes, the artificial intelligence elements are plausible. I am accepting of the scientific understanding that sentience developed naturally through animal evolution. So perhaps that is also a realistic, and possibly even inevitable, ‘evolution’ in computer logic. Certainly, that is the basis of a massive modern outpouring of science fiction and philosophical thought. ‘We think, therefore we are’.
I have no hesitation in giving this book five stars on those media streams that demand such crude stamp collecting. I greatly enjoyed the development of all of the main characters, including Sherlock, who blossoms late in this worth reading adventure.