Neon Empire, by Drew Minh

Neon Empire by Drew Minh is a science fiction novel, but only just barely, since most of the technology which the reader sees could either already happen or will be able to occur in just a few years. This is in no way a complaint, for this is a fine novel. It is just pushing what we already have by a few degrees in a manner which might end up projecting our near future to us in an exciting and entertaining modality.

Genre:  Science Fiction
Publisher: California Coldblood Book
Released: 7/2019
Stars:  4.5 Stars
Reviewer: Michael D. Griffiths

The story is covered from several points of view, but revolves around the experiences of Cedric, a former director, who’s wife has just disappeared in Eutopia.  Eutopia, where the entire novel takes place, is a Los Vegas type of place, but instead of focusing on gambling, its primary concern is social media and influencing. Individuals go there to build their accounts and hope to become famous, but like in Vegas, the odds are against them.

Cedric starts as an outsider, but after becoming involved with the city’s chief influencers, A’rore, he starts to take up where his missing wife left off as her lover and influence manager. Soon Cedric is indulging in various forms of hedonism as he, not only becomes part of the city, but leads it toward a greater level of social influence.

This is an inventive and unique tale. The author wrapped the action within the concept of social media and how it affects us and this situation will just continue to grow. It is a hip and realistic look at how this shift in advertising could and is changing how capital is created in our world.

There are a some weak links in this novel such as a few threads which add up to nothing and are never resolved. Also I am not sure what sort of lesson is learned or if Cedric had any real epiphany, although I suppose such things are not necessary.  Also the end seemed a bit rushed. The action built and climaxed fast and then it was over.

Despite these small drawbacks the book remained interesting and enjoyable. This original aspect of the story gave it a higher grade from me. I think anyone interested in this modern social landscape or realistic science fiction should consider this a must read.

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