Book Review – Beautiful Red

imageBased on my past experience with Little Brother this was another Creative Commons book I managed to pick up for my Kindle.

This book actually needs to be thought about in two parts.

The idea behind it and the story that goes with it.

So what’s the idea?

Think about how the Internet is entrenched into your daily life. Pretty deep I imagine if you’re anything like me. Technology is slowly integrating with our lives, so much so that we’re no longer surprised by hearing about things like the Internet connected refrigerator! So think about a world where the computer becomes a part of the body. When you’re born you’re implanted and you can access the Internet just by thinking it, you’re eyes doubling up as heads up display. Sure you’d lose just about any privacy you might think you have left but what about the possibilities this could bring? There is another side to this of course. If you’re permanently attached to the Internet when do you disconnect? In the story people do just about everything at home and when they do leave to go to work or travel somewhere they are still reading, gaming, chatting, etc while on the go. Regular social interaction becomes a rarity and skills such as learning to read body language are lost.

It’s these questions that the story is based around and the main character Jack, gets caught up in a what appears to be a terrorist plot when her employers computer system is hacked. In trying to figure out who is behind the attack Jack comes across a group called the Red who are a group of people who believe being permanently attached to the system isn’t a something people should do by default. As Jack continues her search her thoughts about “the system” and how she fits into it are questions she needs to face.

Considering this was a free book it was another I really enjoyed. It was a bit of a slow starter but once I got into it I couldn’t put it down and it’s got a pretty interesting twist at the end. It was a little rough around the edges with spelling and grammar at times but nothing that would get in the way of reading it.

You can get the digital version here where there is also an audio version if you’re that way inclined.

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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