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Bookworm In Your Ear: From Silicon to Silly Con

Reid's novel is a cautionary tale about technology and our digital age; while Ludwig's can boast of a very unique narrative voice.

 

After On by Rob Reid 

Ostensibly called a Novel of Silicon Valley, this is Reid taking on our digital age and technology start-ups, artificial intelligence (AI), and imagining a post-Tinder world that may just be around the corner. Very character-driven at the outset; we meet Mitchell, Kuba, Ellie & Danna, members of a struggling app-development enterprise. It's when they're taken over by the giant Phlutter that things start cooking, as there are dark rumors swirling about who or what is behind this tech monster. We then segue to a narrative that has to do with the emergence of a super intelligent AI who makes Siri look like some prehistoric troglodyte. It's here where stakes are heightened; a nuclear confrontation between China and the USA, assassinations, and terrorist plots just some of the elements of the scenario.

 

Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

 Putting a young autistic teenage girl as your main character and narrator is a supreme challenge that's wonderfully executed by author Ludwig. Talking about Forever parents & family, and about Birth Mom, Ginny paints an intimate picture of what her life is all about. Born to an abusive and neglectful mother, Ginny has been moved from one foster home to another on account of behavioral issues. It's reached the point where she's learned to 'con' her Forever family, school, and Child Welfare into thinking she's happy with her situation; when in truth, she finds ways to contact Birth Mom and yearns to return, inspired by the protective and nurturing stance she took over a younger sister that has stayed 'under the radar' of the local officials. Exhilarating read that's funny, sad, poignant, and eye-opening.