September 04, 2011

Review: Devil's Plaything by Matt Richtel

Medical journalist Nate Idle has stumbled onto an extraordinary conspiracy and the ultimate mind game. Suddenly, in pursuit of the truth, he's running for his life through the shadows of Silicon Valley, a human lab animal caught in a deadly maze of neurotechnology and institutional paranoia. And his survival rests entirely in the hands of his eighty-five-year old grandmother, Lane, who’s suffering from dementia, and can't remember the secret at the heart of the world-changing conspiracy.

Hardcover: 250 pgs
Published: May 3, 2011
Publisher: Harper Fiction

I have to tell you - this book was amazing! From the very first page, when you realize that someone is talking to an artificially intelligent computer, you are hooked into the story line completely. And whereas with most mysteries, you can kind of figure out what's going to happen in the end, the questions in this novel don't end until the very last page.

Here's the basic premise: we know that our main character's grandmother is living in a nursing home where she has been asked to record all of her memories into a computer. She's told that these memories will be passed on to her children and their children for years to come. Somewhere along the line, however, we realize that Grandma Idle must've said something or seen something really wrong because soon enough, there are people actually trying to kill her and Nate.

The suspense in this book is perfectly paced and keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time. It also helps immensely that you completely fall in love with Nate's grandmother, and the thought of anything bad happening to her adds to your anxiety while reading the book, lol.

At the end of it all, I believe the Devil's Plaything are computers. They're used throughout the entire story, and the question is posed multiple times: are computers messing with our memories?
I'll leave you with what is written on the very first page of the book:

"The number of people suffering acute memory loss is doubling every fifteen years.
Shipments of computer memory are doubling every two years.
Are these two statistics related?
More than you dare imagine."

4 out of 5 stars.


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