In Auxiliary: London 2039, Jon Richter immerses readers in a not-too-distant London where technology dominates every aspect of existence. AI called TIM controls everything from vehicle traffic to household activities, companion bots, financial transactions, and computer games. It's a rare thing to find a human who doesn't participate in the world in some capacity.
Detective Carl Dremmler is one of few humans whose profession hasn't been completely overrun by TIM. However, the job doesn't escape it completely: law enforcement uses the system to track down criminals, aid in investigations, and conduct welfare checks. TIM has made human life easier in many ways, but in other ways it's become an overpowering, oppressive force.
Dremmler has his demons, haunted by the memory of his damaged family. He likewise has a mark against him, as he refuses to get chipped like everyone else and isn't afraid to question motives.
His curiosity and persistence eventually leads him into the dark side of London's technological world, and at the heart of a plot more sinister and personal than he could've imagined.
Full of twists and turns, incredibly believable technology, and flawed though realistic characters, this book will have you hooked from start to finish.
I was drawn into this story from the beginning. Richter's informative and quick narrative pace, intriguing main character, and all-too-real vision of the future kept the plot moving and me eager to get to the heart of the mystery at the story's center. I found myself sympathizing with Dremmler as he went through the highs and lows of his latest investigation and mourning with him at the revisiting of his past.
What drew me in most of all, however, was Richter's setting and easy explanations of the world's technology. It felt real and perhaps even a little prophetic. The way Dremmler and the other characters moved within this world and interacted with TIM especially created an atmosphere that could soon be realized in the twenty-first century, considering the rapid advancements in AI and technological devices going on in the world today.
The only thing that disappointed me as a reader was the lead up to the end, where things took a rather unbelievable turn, in my opinion. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for new dystopia—especially if you're a fan of sci-fi thrillers akin to Minority Report, Fahrenheit 451, and Blade Runner. Don't wait to sink your teeth into this new, compelling futuristic drama!
(Thank you to Overview Media for including me in this blog tour in exchange for an honest review.)
(4 out of 5 stars)