My dear bookish friends,
Do you sometimes read books that aren’t part of your usual go-to genres? I have learned that whenever I do, I get surprised and vow to do it more often. The same thing happened when I picked up Unanimity by Alexandra Almeida for this blogtour (big thank you to TheWriteReads and the author for my spot on the tour and the ebook – neither of which influenced my rating in any way) – and it was definitely a good surprise! So please read on to find out more about the book, and for my detailed review!
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Shadow is a reluctant god with a broken mind and a death wish. He used to be Thomas Astley-Byron, an affluent young screenwriter whose creativity and idealism saved a world from the brink of collapse. Together with Henry Nowak, an AI expert, Tom created heaven on earth by inventing a Jungian simulated reality that helps humans confront their dark sides. The benevolent manipulation platform turned the two unelected leaders into beloved gods, but now everything is failing. The worlds suffer as a sentimental Tom descends into his own personal hell, becoming the embodiment of everything he despises and a shadow of his former self.
His journey from an optimistic, joyful Tom to a gloomy Shadow is paved with heartache and sinister interference from emerging technology. Humans and bots fight for his heart, but their aims differ: some want to own it, some to dissect it, and others to end its foolish beat. Still, the biggest threat comes from within—none of the sticky stories that steer Tom’s life end well.
Who’s pulling on Shadow’s heartstrings? Are their intentions malign or benign? It’s all a matter of perspective, and Shadow has none left.
Now, a young goddess—Estelle Ngoie—has been appointed to replace him, and unlike Shadow, Stella takes no prisoners, and her heart bleeds for no one.
An epic tale spanning across six days—one per book—and forty past decades of life lived across ten worlds and two universes.
Weaving hard sci-fi elements with social commentary and queer romantic suspense, Spiral Worlds explores the nature of consciousness and how it’s connected to a not-so-secret ingredient—story. As software consumes the world, intelligence is nothing but the appetizer; the human heart is the main course.
If you’re looking for perfect heroes and clear villains, move right along. There is no black or white in this story about a contrast-making machine.
Think of the Matrix combined with a considerable dose of Ready Player One and throw in a bit of Gods of Egypt, and you have Unanimity by Alexandra Almeida.
This is a story about gods. But they are not your high and mighty, perfect gods, they are your arrogant spoilt brat types. Think of the squabbling greek gods if they were twice as spoilt, three times as arrogant and half as smart. I’m not usually a big fan of sci-fi novels, but this one really grabbed my attention and made me wonder what other gems I have missed out on!
Screenwriter Thomas and AI specialist Henry have created something sensational: a simulation which allows people to live an alternate life! Creating new life and essentially a new world has turned the two into gods, but it soon turns out they aren’t really invincible… Years after his death, Thomas is revived by the beautiful but not very benevolent goddess Estelle. It was super intriguing to read about how Thomas is navigating this new to him life, and especially how Stella was at the top of this new world.
The author has created an incredibly deep and complex world. It took me a little while to fully grasp its actual depth and the multiple layers, especially because we sometimes switch between past and present, but once I got the hang of it I started to enjoy it properly. I feel like it’s a book that requires your full attention because it spins multiple threads, but when you give it that you are rewarded with an incredible story.
I loved the descriptions of the worlds and also the characterisations of the characters that made you feel like you really got to know them. They are also highly fascinating and diverse. Each of them has their own distinct and strong voice that sets them apart from the others.
The book is very ambitious with a multitude of characters and themes. It is hard sci-fi but also has strong philosophical elements throughout as well strong queer romance themes. It’s a must-read for sci-fi fans, but even that is not your usual go-to genre, do give this a try. You might thank me later 😉
4.5 stars from me for this start to a very promising series!
Thank you all so much for reading, and do let me know what you thought of it if you decide to give it a go!