Ctrl Alt Revolt is the first Nick Cole book I've read -- the first of what I'm now sure will be many. Call it what you want: technothriller, cyberpunk, gamerpunk, what we have with C.A.R. is an enjoyable, fast-paced read.
When the first
AI becomes self-aware, it immediately notices a pattern in humanity to
treat its own poorly. Witnessing rampant disrespect for life among
fellow humans, the AI, perhaps rightly, comes to the conclusion that,
faced with the possibility of thinking machines, humans may well destroy
first and explore the possibilities later. Thus faced with its first
life dilemma, the AI takes the only course it believes available to it:
the search for a way to eradicate humanity, fully and finally, from the
face of the planet.
Taking place equally in virtual reality and a
corporate-owned, politically correct dystopia, Ctrl Alt Revolt
introduces us to a world in which gaming has real world consequences.
And now, whether the protagonists know it or not, real world, life or
death consequences. And that is perhaps one of the greatest strengths of
the novel: that as earnestly as the protagonists fight and game for
their own ends, they have little idea that the decisions they make could
make all the difference between the end or the continuation of
Well-written and full of action, Ctrl Alt Revolt was
hard to put down and VERY fast to read. Even the in-game action felt
like real-life adventure, hooked you in, and made you cheer for the
While comparisons to Ready Player One are certainly
appropriate, this is an entirely different animal, not copying but
adding another great work into a budding new genre.
Revolt, it bears mentioning, is the prequel to Soda Pop Soldier -- a
book I haven't read, but which, on the strength of this work, has made
it right to the top of my TBR pile.
Disclaimer: I was given an
advance reader copy of this book in exchange for a FAIR review. In no
way did this impact my critique.