I am delighted to be hosting the Artificial Wisdom blog tour today with the lovely folks from LiterallyPR.
This debut sci-fi thriller from Thomas R. Weaver immediately caught my interest, not just due to the epic cover but because I’m a sucker for a dystopian future premise - and this book certainly did not disappoint.
Set in 2050 the world is in full blown climate crisis - London averages 40 degrees, air con is essential and 10 years ago a mega heatwave killed 400 million people in the Middle East. In an attempt to salvage a future for mankind, the world has come together to elect a global dictator who will rule until the climate crisis is solved. In the running, alongside presidents and prime ministers, is the world’s first AI politician, Solomon.
Climate change and Artificial Intelligence; could this book be anymore relevant!
Enter our protagonist, investigative journalist Marcus Tully, a man still mourning the loss of his wife in the heatwave a decade ago. When a whistleblower contacts Tully with information suggesting the heatwave was a genocide rather than a natural disaster, Tully is drawn into a murder investigation of epic proportions - and potentially epic consequences.
This book is quite the ride! Weaver strikes the perfect balance between thriller and sci-fi, with the moral and societal implications of tech and AI an overriding theme throughout. The themes really makes you question our over reliance on technology and this very plausible future where AI makes life changing decisions in a split second without the shackles of the human condition and the resulting guilt.
Another element which makes this book so successful is the character development. I admit I’m not a huge fan of journalists as protagonists in thrillers generally as their character tends to feel more like an author’s device to wrap their unfolding story around rather than a fleshed out person in themselves. However, Weaver manages to side step this trope by giving Tully a back story which sees him personally invested in uncovering the truth. In fact all the character feel fully rounded out and overall there is definitely an air of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium set up, with Mikel Blomkvist springing to mind on more than one occasion as a parallel to Tully. I kept imagining what Lisbeth Salandar could with this advanced VR tech…
I digress, but the comparison with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo characters is a compliment as the originals are some of my favourite books in the journo thriller genre.
I struggled to put this book down and to illustrate how literally I mean this; I even carried it round the town centre just so I could have half an hour with it in Costa. This is unheard of as hardbacks never leave my coffee table, only to be read on the sofa and don’t even make it upstairs to bed! I’m not sure there is any higher praise I can give it!
Artificial Wisdom by Thomas R. Weaver is available now from Amazon (affiliate link) in hard bank, Kindle edition and audiobook.
I was sent a copy of Artificial Wisdom to review but all thoughts are my own.
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.