Monday, 30 November 2015

ON by Jon Puckridge

ON review: Jon Puckridge

Rating: 3 Star

I received an advanced copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

On explores a dystopian future where all of humanity is connected via sub dermal implants into the 'One Network' or 'ON'.

At first, the promise of everyone being connected together and always 'ON' seems promising, but as if often the case the reality is quite different and quite dark in tone.

The story evolves around the two central characters of Youren Cartouche, a marketing copywriter responsible for advertising ON to humankind, and Constantin Zann, an android 'rooin' detective who is involved in several cases relating to the clandestine development of ON.

Jon Puckridge explores a lot of concepts in this novel and I found several of them really interesting. For example, in this story all aspects of humanity have been privatised, even Time and History. No citizen of Medusa, the main city featured in the story, knows what time it is unless they pay for an update.

Additionally, history is being continually re-written by the owners to the point where only the ultra-rich can afford to access 'real' historical information. Both of these factors contribute to the perilous situation that humanity finds itself in once everyone is combined into a single network.

I enjoyed ON, however there are so many concepts and ideas being explored throughout that at times I found it a difficult read. I have seen some other reviewers comment that this novel needed a bit more room to breathe and I would agree with that.

Several of the ideas explored are brought to a rapid and slightly unsatisfactory close by the novel's end whereas they certainly had more room to grow and develop.

In summary, ON is a challenging but rewarding read overall with an impressive number of ideas and layers for a debut novel.