Monday, December 2, 2013

Upload by Mark McClelland

His criminal past catching up with him, a troubled young man seeks escape into digital utopia by uploading his consciousness into a computer-just as first love casts his life in a new light. (taken from the back of the book)

This book is really tricky to review.  It's separated into two portions.  The first portion I found dry and dull.  I had to force myself to continue reading it for two full weeks before I finished it.  I wasn't interested in any of the characters or what was going on with them.  I'll admit a little fascination with the technical part of the world and the projects they're working on. It's easy to see their world and imagine we'll be there in a matter of years. 

But, here's the tricky part.  Once I reached the second portion of the book, I couldn't stop reading!  I am amazed at Mark's work here. Not only has he created a digital Utopia and figured out how to move people to it, but he's created this intense character study. If you have a person's life and change one tiny aspect, how much does it change the person?  What if we could all just reboot ourselves from a save point?  I think this second portion of the book is one of the best science fiction stories I've read.  It's in depth and unreal while at the same time with a huge portion of plausibility.

I gave it an immense amount of thought.  The first portion of the book is mostly stage setting, but it really is necessary for the second part of the book.  As I was reading, I found my mind jumping back to section one and thinking, 'Oohh!  That's why that mattered and I had to suffer through it!'  It's sort of an 'eat your vegetables so you can have dessert' thing. Even though I didn't enjoy the first part of the book, it was basic and necessary to the second part, which I loved!

Both parts working together end up to be a great read that will stick with you and have you thinking long after you've finished it.  I'll admit it's pretty rough getting through the first part, but it's definitely worth it. 

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