Sunday, June 16, 2019

Spring Reading 2019 The Warehouse

The Warehouse: A Novel by [Hart, Rob]

The setting of The Warehouse reminds me of the setup for indentured workers in Ready, Player One. (In the book, not the movie.) Parzival's description of the locator anklet and the monitoring camera attached to each worker's ear falls into the spooky techno-surveillance that we were warned of in 1984. The workers at the Cloud facility in this novel are also monitored, although with smart watches that track their job performance, health, location, everything. Which makes it really hard for corporate spies to sneak in and complete a mission, but not impossible.

The book toggles back and forth between Gibson, the owner and founder of Cloud, who is blogging as he makes a final tour of facilities around the country before he hands over the reins to his successor; Paxton, whose small business was driven into bankruptcy by Cloud and now has to go to work for his rival; and Zinnia, who has ulterior motives for getting a job inside the MotherCloud facility. Readers hear Gibson's view of how his policies and innovations have "saved" America; Paxton's view as a security guard working in the facility and dealing with drug dealers, suicides, and his own feelings about Cloud's destruction of his own business; and then Zinnia's view as a worker on the floor of the shipping hub and her interactions with other workers and management.

Needless to say, there is much more going on that what corporate headquarters and all their PSAs are willing to share with the public. And just when you think you have it all figured out, there is a twist (of course), that makes it even more convoluted. When you reach the end you will be questioning how close to reality and the present day that some of these scenarios really are. (That doesn't make you paranoid.)

For fans of dystopian fiction, near-future cautionary tales, and espionage thrillers.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

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