The Thunder Child

Science Fiction and Fantasy
Web Magazine and Sourcebooks

Vol 1, Issue #10
"Stand By For Mars!"
October 2006

The Thunder Child Book Reviews
by Caroline Miniscule

Josh Conviser
Del Rey/Ballantine

Josh Conviser's first novel is a frightening journey into a world of the future where Big Brother does more than watch you, he manipulates you into doing what he thinks is best for the world. Big Brother is Echelon.

Each and every bit of information flitting across the globe ran through Echelon. Encryption and security measures had no effect on its clean retrieve. Even more shocking, Echelon could manipulate the data pool--altering exchanges in real time, with no one being the wiser. Unbeknownst to the countries, corporations and consumers of the world, Echelon controlled the flow of infoirmation with a benevolent, if iron hand.

But when data manipulation fails to yield the desired result, Echelon is not adverse to taking measures into its own hands.

Then reality work became the only option and Echelon's Special Operations unit entered the calculation .. Hard manipulation meant bloodshed, and it wasn't always the bad guys who had to die.

Ryan Laing is an agent for Echelon's Special Operations unit, a man who is sent out when "hard manipulation" is required. However, the collateral damage on his missions don't always sit well with him...which causes concern to his controllers.

When he dies...murdered...that is not the end. For Echelon has the power to bring him back to life...using nano technology that makes him virtually immortal. His controller in his new form is Sarah Peters, who monitors everything he feels, sees and does.

Echelon controls the world...but who controls Echelon? This is what Laing and Peters have to find out, before it's too late. But in a world where data manipulation is as easy as flipping a switch, is anything what it seems? This is Josh Conviser's first novel. He writes in a short, choppy style that nevertheless drives the narrative along at a breakneck pace.

Echeclon has echoes of The Matrix and even Mission: Impossible, but holds its own in this cyberpunk/thriller genre. Its concepts are even more chilling when one considers that there actually is an organization called Echelon out there...

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