3.5 Stars out of 5
Welcome to the ranks of the Thought Police. The world is wired and Someone is always watching.
“Imagine what you could create if you had access to any tool or machine. What could you create if your limited resources were unlimited? And that’s just the start. Suppose you had access to all the knowledge of mankind in any area of interest. What could you dream of then?”
When Zac is recruited into the Thought Police it will never been the same. He is smart enough to streamline work productivity almost immediately. But, even the watchers are watched and “The Cowboy” and “Matushka” are beginning to wonder if maybe Zac is too smart for his own good.
Even though Zac and his team were pulled into the organization from the shadows, it becomes clear to Zac, Ace, Elf and Doc that they are no longer in shadow and people are taking notice, and that notice could be dangerous.
“When Zac’s Psyche orientation was done, he took off his helmet and just laid there. He didn’t say a word. He didn’t know what to think. He was stunned but he managed to sit up. The technician came over and handed him a small carton of chocolate milk. “Drink this. It helps.” Zac did as suggested and discovered the technician was right.
The chocolate milk didn’t make it all better, but it did distract him enough to exclaim “What the frak?”
Bob handed the barf-bag back to the technician as he confided with Zac. “That’s pretty much the same reaction I had.” He put a hand on Zac’s shoulder. “Let’s take a walk.” They walked through several corridors and entered an atrium. They sat on a bench amidst the multi-colored vegetation. Zac still couldn’t form a cogent thought in his head.
Bob took the lead. “It’s quite the mind frak. I still have trouble processing it sometimes. The reality we knew for decades is a fabrication. I guess that’s not completely true. The outside world is real. It just doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I still don’t know all the truths inside the Thought Police, but I do know we influence much and control very little. We have saved humanity many times and we have committed many crimes to accomplish this goal. We walk a fine line between good and evil.”
Zac finally spoke. “I think I’m more shocked at how easy it is to do what we do. Elections can be rigged, public opinion can be swayed, wars can be started or prevented, and epidemics can be spread to influence population trends or strengthen the gene pool. All it takes is a little manipulation at the right time and place.”
A thought hit Zac. “Money is a figment!” He laughed a little. “I wondered how this place could be so secret and yet requisition anything. It’s so easy it’s laughable.”
Bob interjected, “It’s not that easy.”
Zac admitted, “Sure, it takes a lot of talented people and the computing power to make it all happen, but it’s really not that hard once the organization is established. It’s even easier now that hard copies are fading away.” Then fear hit Zac. “Who else has a Thought Police? Someone has to have setup or at least attempted the same.”
“The Russians.” Bob replied. “We work together with them on the global front, but it wasn’t always so cooperative. Remember the Chernobyl disaster in 1986? That was us. Their previous version of the Thought Police was headquartered directly below it. It was a major setback to their program. They’ve never caught up since. The funny part is, their government has no idea they exist just like ours is clueless about us.”
Zac asked, “Are you feeding me propaganda or did someone actually tell you that?” Bob looked at him incredulously as Zac explained. “I seriously doubt the Russians aren’t caught up by now. I think you might be surprised by the power of the Russians. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Singing Revolution was used as cover or distraction to reestablish their base. They could’ve even used the pullout from Afghanistan to redirect resources.” Zac patted Bob on the shoulder, “Trust me, they’ve recovered.
“This organization is more akin to thought magicians than thought police. You need to look below the surface if you want to see the truth, Bob. In this place, when they tell you to ‘pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,’ they actually want you to do the opposite. When you see the man behind the curtain, you think you’ve gleaned the secret, but he’s the misdirection behind the cover-up. The truth is probably in the opposite direction.””
This was a great book and a wild ride! It was definitely not at all what I expected and, although it may start out focused on these new recruits and their place within the ranks of the Thought Police, it quickly becomes about so much more than that. With dissent in the ranks and Zac and his crew making many changes within the organization it quickly becomes very political with their relationship with the Russians being questioned as they begin to infiltrate and take over. Are they friend or foe? When they begin to split up the team is it to weaken their defences and part the strongest players?
The characters in this novel are amazing. There wasn’t a single character that I didn’t enjoy… even Matushka (the Evil Bitch From Hell) is a well written character with depth and problems of her own. I loved that all of the characters, even within a secret shadow organization, were very human. Jim wasn’t afraid to show that even a Genius can be an idiot at times!
“Zac barely noticed the content of her words. What he heard was the melodic voice of an angel. He spastically tried to set his tray down on the table and spilled his coffee. He reached for some napkins to clean up the mess and knocked over the salt in the process. Zac tried to catch the salt, but his foot became entangled on the table leg somehow. He almost tripped to the floor as he caused every beverage on the table to slosh over the sides. He managed to wipe off his hand to accept Ace’s handshake. That’s when he tripped over his tongue. “It’s a pleasure to nice you.” He tried to correct himself, but made it worse by saying, “I mean it’s nice to pleasure you.” He shook his head and said, “Hi.” Zac was beet red as he tried to sit down – ‘Tried’ being the operative word. He missed his seat and attempted to catch himself. This resulted in his chair sliding away as he hit the floor. Zac got up, retrieved his chair, and robotically sat down as he concentrated on every movement. He firmly placed both hands on the table and surrendered to his uncoordinated actions. “I give up.””
The one thing that made this book difficult was a lack of focus on one Thought (ha ha…get it??) . There was just so much happening that there were times that you really didn’t know what was happening! It’s weird to complain about too much going on in a book, and I’m not going to spoil any of the content! But, I wish that things had been a little better paced. It took me a while just to put a synopsis together for this book because there is so much that happens that it’s hard to know where to start!! There are also A LOT of characters as the book takes place over quite a span of time, so it becomes a little difficult to keep some of the fringe characters straight.
I loved Jim’s hidden (and sometimes not so hidden) references to his other writings and the aurthor’s of other indie writings (Karma is a Sexy Bitch written by himelf and Enchanted Inc. by Shanna Swendson) and I LOVE his reference to Claudine Longet who is a French singer that I don’t hear referenced very often! He has some very hunorous hidden gems within this book
“Quit pretending you’re offended, Old Bear. I an read you like an e-book. You just want to play with him. Admit it, you’re fascinated.”
I really do recommend it though! I can’t wait to try out the next one (maybe it will bring some more things together for me too!) If you are a fan of Sci-Fi with a little spicy romance thrown in than I think you will really enjoy this read!
To learn more about Jim Neville and his Writing check him out at his Goodreads Author Page
Crux of Paramour: Genesis is Best Served with A Moscow Mule
Happy National Moscow Mule Day!!
In honour of Matushka (The Evil Bitch From Hell) … by the way, when you read the book you’ll realize why I keep saying that! Lol! the Russian leader of the Thought Police and National Moscow Mule day, I had to go with this drink!!
Sadly, this beautiful picture is the 1st time this is NOT MY OWN!! Sadly, I am on antibiotics and couldn’t actually partake of my own concoction for once… *weeping uncontrollably* I have had a Moscow Mule before though and they are very good!! So, give it a try! This lovely picture was courtesy of Liquor.com
- 2oz Vodka
- 3oz Ginger Beer (notice that it Ginger BEER, not Ginger Ale)
- Juice from 1/2 a lime
- Add all of the ingredients to a Moscow Mule mug (as it is traditionally served in a copper mug) or highball glass filled with ice
- Garnish with a lime wheel.