By James Patterson and Neil McMahon
The world has almost been destroyed by humans but the rise of genetically engineered beings, known as Elites, has saved it. The Elites now rule. They enjoy the good life including various mechanical toys such as virtual reality machines, humanoid dolls, and talking and flying cars. Hays Baker, an agent for the Agency of Change is called in to investigate the heinous murders of representatives of the biggest toy manufacturer. During a chase after the killers, he is injured and while in hospital, learns a shocking truth about himself. Now, he is on the run, an enemy of those he once called friends, teaming with those he once hated, and trying to stop a scheme involving mass slaughter.
A very ‘tomorrow’ plot. Humans have almost destroyed the earth and genetically altered humans are now in control. This has a little bit of a ‘Jetsons’ feel with the robot maids and the flying cars but it’s more ‘realistic’ than silly. This is a nice little story showing that improved technology isn’t always better. This plays on the old adage about power corrupting. Elites are supposed to be more capable of running the world, yet end up being as bad or worse than the humans.
Hays Baker: An Elite. Agent of the Agency of Change, which is the authority police force of the new world. He is married with two daughters. He has super strength, agility, speed, and hearing.
Lizbeth Baker: Hays’ wife. Also an agent and an Elite.
Well defined characters with a nice range of emotions. You have some standard bad guys and some unique individuals in the human resistance force. I found myself interested in learning about each character, wanting to know more about them. They’re intriguing because of their abilities and personalities.
Each character has his/her own voice. The personalities come through even with many of the supporting characters.
First person POV with Baker’s narrative. Of course with Patterson you expect short chapters and quick action scenes. Nice use and explanation of technology without going over board. Decent explanations on the current state of the world and those who inhabit it. There are a few not totally unexpected surprises but still the story is entertaining. Fairly solid writing. A few unnecessary uses of profanity. The story spans the world, from Canada to Russia to England. Centered mainly in America, the globetrotting is included to show the state of the rest of the world, to let the reader understand the ramifications of the overall scheme of the Elites.