#BookReview – Zero by Marc Elsberg @Marc_Elsberg @thomassshill @transworldbooks @penguinrhuk
Published by Doubleday on 12th July 2018
Genres: Thriller, Sci-Fi, Mystery
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The million-copy bestselling international thriller with a terrifyingly real plot - what if the things we share about ourselves online get into evil hands?
The more you share, the more they take. What will you have left?
How much of ourselves are we putting online? When a teenager is shot dead after chasing a criminal in the street, investigating journalist Cynthia Bonsant is led to the popular social media platform Freemee, a competitor to Facebook whose lifestyle app claims to give you everything you need to succeed in life: confidence, knowledge, money . . .
But there is someone who warns against its evils: ZERO, the world’s most-wanted activist, known for his viral videos campaigning against the loss of privacy in the digital age, growing data theft at government level and the rising number of teenage suicides.
As Cynthia gets closer to unravelling the evil mastermind behind the Freemee site, she herself becomes a target, and runs for her life into the sewers. But in this world of surveillance cameras, data glasses and intelligent smart phones there is nowhere to hide . . .
*Thank you so much to Thomas Hill, Transworld books, Penguin Uk and the author Marc Elsberg for a copy of this book*
I do not want to write this review, I mean I really do not want to write this review….anyone could be watching me!!!! This book has made me rethink a lot of things to do with my phone, social media etc. always being watched by “Big brother”. The information on how we are being watched and glasses that could tell you about another person just by looking at them is just a little bit terrifying!
Freemee, the competitor to Facebook, is a new site you can sign up for, it is a lifestyle app. It can tell you what you want to eat, where to go out to, etc, always being told the places to be. This makes it so much easier to be tracked!! Not scary is it!
In the USA, Zero the underground movement, the resistance, shows how easy it is to get close to the President, and that their threat is real, all by the use of technology. They post numerous videos online to show how the technology is affecting our lives, bringing us to investigative reporter Cynthia. Cynthia is a dinosaur in the technology world, she is not interested but she has been told to make it all look “sexy” and that her writing has to go online. Cynthia wears the glasses home and find it exciting, see people and trying to figure them out but then wondering do they have the glasses too? Do they know who I am? She lets her daughter borrow them the next day and whilst being with friends something horrifying happens due to the actions following the glasses being worn. Here start the cat and mouse chase, who is behind Freemee? Who is behind Zero? Why is Cynthia in so much danger?
As mentioned before the book has freaked me out, everything you do is watched and you really do not have anywhere to hide these days, always being tracked. This book plays on this fear that we have in the modern age, we believe we are in control but we are not. Algorithms behind the scenes can preempt our thoughts, wants and needs which is where Freemee comes in to play. I wouldn’t be surprised if something like this is not already underway! (ignoring the ads that pop up when on other sites!) Whilst the technology, I can’t say it is new, is exciting, how it applied is what scares me the most.
The author throws everything at you, and it kept me hooked throughout. This book is very now, with the recent GDPR saga and how the data is collected, so I am glad I had the opportunity to read it. Like a lot of books I read these days, you can not say anything without giving away the plot, and I am sorry, not sorry, it is the same with this book and it does leave a few questions unanswered.
All I can say is, beware of technology….thank god I read the paperback version of this book!!!!!!
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges: