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*** - The Future


THE FUTURE

NAOMI ALDERMAN

***

The Future – as the richest people on the planet have discovered – is where the money is.


The Future is a few billionaires leading the world to destruction while safeguarding their own survival with secret lavish bunkers.


The Future is private weather, technological prophecy and highly deniable weapons.


The Future is a handful of friends—the daughter of a cult leader, a non-binary hacker, an ousted Silicon Valley visionary, the concerned wife of a dangerous CEO, and an internet-famous survivalist—hatching a daring plan. It could be the greatest heist ever. Or the cataclysmic end of civilization.


The Future is what you see if you don’t look behind you.


The Future is the only reason to do anything, the only object of desire.


The Future is here.


MY REVIEW

***


I have been running with Zombies, Run for 7 years and have always enjoyed Naomi Alderman’s writing. Although I haven’t read The Power, I have heard many good things about it and so I was excited to request The Future – her latest novel.


The book focuses on Lai Zhen, a doomsday prepper whose life is suddenly mixed with the life of billionaires when she meets one of their assistants at a conference.


I think one of my main problems with The Future is that there is a lot of world building needed to get the plot off the ground. We need to get to know the three billionaires at the centre of the plot, their close family and confidents, the technology that they have created, the life of a doomsday cult that existed and their philosophy, the character of Lai Zhen and how she ties into the story, the conversations on various message boards that help us understand the motives of those around them. It was all just a bit too much for me - the real plot only got going at 70% and that part on the island I actually enjoyed. Everything previous to that just felt like it dragged - the long-winded conversations and biblical stories on the forums of an internet chatroom in particular. I think the book would have benefitted from a show, not tell style by integrating some of the backstory into the plot and perhaps starting on the island and working back in a flashback style.


Overall, The Future has too many plot threads which leaves the reader confused and the first half drags way too much. I did like the ending though and that pulled this review up from a 2-star to a 3-star read for me. It’s a clever concept and one that sticks with you for quite a while afterwards. Thank you to NetGalley & Fourth Estate for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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