Saturday, July 10, 2021

Review: Green Valley by Louis Greenberg

Title: Green Valley
Author: Louis Greenberg
Pages: 319
ISBN: 9781789090239
Publisher: Titan Books
Published: 11 June 2019
Genre: Science Fiction / Thriller / Horror
Source: Purchased

When Lucie Sterling's niece is abducted, she knows it won't be easy to find answers. Stanton is no ordinary city: invasive digital technology has been banned, by public vote. No surveillance state, no shadowy companies holding databases of information on private citizens, no phones tracking their every move.

Only one place stays firmly anchored in the bad old ways, in a huge bunker across town: Green Valley, where the inhabitants have retreated into the comfort of full-time virtual reality-personae non gratae to the outside world. And it's inside Green Valley, beyond the ideal virtual world it presents, that Lucie will have to go to find her missing niece.

Vision is more important than truth. Green Valley by Louis Greenberg is a genre-bending novel that’s never quite what you expect it to be. With its amalgamation of science fiction, horror and thriller it morphs and transforms as you turn the pages defying any easy labels. When Lucie Sterling’s niece goes missing she ventures into Green Valley, an enclave where the inhabitants live their lives enmeshed in a permanent virtual reality world. In a world where all your senses can be tricked and manipulated nothing is what it seems…

In her search Lucie uncovers the horrific secret of what hides behind the outward veneer of digital bliss. A secret which will leave you questioning our relationship with technology.

The characters and plot almost become a secondary consideration as the true horror is revealed. The impact of Green Valley lies not in what actually happens in the novel or how things turn out, but in its exploration of the impact technology has on our society and all the questions that it provokes. Through the juxtaposition of the two communities, two very different extremes, Greenberg forces you to dig below the surface to come to grips with an all too possible future. What will we be prepared to sacrifice as technology becomes ever more immersive and integrated into every aspect of our daily lives?

Green Valley is a thought-provoking read which will change the way you look at technology and its place in your life. Through this prescient cautionary tale, Greenberg asks some profound questions which we should all take the time to contemplate. If you enjoy things similar in tone to Black Mirror, you'll love this. Recommended!

The Rating: 7/10 (Very Good!)

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Book Haul: The Shiny Edition

The past couple of weeks have been extremely tough at work. The world seemed filled with doom and gloom and the cold, rainy weather didn't help either. The bookish gods must have taken pity on me, because one particularly stormy day I received the absolutely best book package from the wonderful folks at Jonathan Ball Publishers. Turns out the best remedy for the blues is a bunch of shiny new books!

A huge thank you to Charlene and the rest of the Jonathan Ball Publishing team. You made my world a little bit brighter at just the right time!