Forbidden Cargo Paperback – Apr 30 2006
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From School Library Journal
Adult/High School–This novel blends high-concept sci-fi storytelling with flashy visual descriptions and action-packed sequences. In 2110, Xerkler, the inventor of a complex machine that grants access to all human knowledge, finds himself pulled into the service of a government council to prove the existence of the Imagofas, a race of advanced humans developed through illegal genetic experimentation. But Xerkler already knows of their existence, and he sees them as the next step in the evolution of humankind. What follows is a politically charged thriller that careens across Earth, Mars, and the nebulous world of cyberspace. Rowe's inclusion of Eastern philosophy, mostly through the enlightenment-seeking character named MAMintelligence, works as a thoughtful and interesting thread, but it may not be sufficiently explained for readers not familiar with the very casual references. The beginning of the novel is slow as Rowe explains the background of the large cast of characters, but the material is well worth digging through. Once readers get beyond the book's first third–a challenge that dedicated sci-fi fans will take on–the novel transforms into a fun and illuminating read.–Matthew L. Moffett, Ford's Theatre Society, Washington, DC
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In a future in which the MAM (molecular advantage machine) makes possible the virtuality of Novus Orbis and the sum of human experience can be found if one knows how to look, genetic engineering is illegal. Some believe it will be necessary, however, among them Creid Xerkler, one of the MAM's creators. A group of Xerkler's peers have created, in a secret project on Mars, the Imagofas, a blend of human and machine capable of immersing in virtuality without intermediary tools. Government agents determined to destroy a "dangerous aberration" kidnap two Imagofas. The Council and the Order, major powers in this future world, fight over the Imagofas' fate, forgetting entirely the humanity of their quarry. There are those on the Imagofas' side, however, including Xerkler, a gamer called the Cadet, and another of Creid's creations, Prometheus, the spirit in the MAM. Rowe's promising debut subjects some pretty standard issues of the junctures between human and machine to a thriller's pacing and, with only a few bumps along the way, sees them entertainingly through. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I have always been fond of stories with strong female characters. The mix of strength of character and naivete in Rowe's two primary characters is refreshing. The author seamlessly integrates artificial intelligence with humanity, and blurs the line between the two.
This book is plausible and believable, but more importantly, the story is *told well*. Kudos to the author for a smashing debut.