Weekend Reads #1 – The Atopia Chronicles by Matthew Mather

Posted February 19, 2014 by Lillian in Reviews / 1 Comment

Today I thought I would bring you a book that (if you are a Kindle owner) has been advertised to death on Amazon! The Atopia Chronicles by Matthew Mather is set in a futuristic dystopian universe, and while I didn’t care for it. Maybe you will.


Weekend Reads #1 – The Atopia Chronicles by Matthew MatherThe Atopia Chronicles by Matthew Mather
Series: Atopia #1
Published by 47North on August 1, 2012
Length: 511 pages
Reviewing eBook from Amazon
Rating:

What could be worse than letting billions die?

In the near future, to escape the crush and clutter of a packed and polluted Earth, the world's elite flock to Atopia, an enormous corporate-owned artificial island in the Pacific Ocean. It is there that Dr. Patricia Killiam rushes to perfect the ultimate in virtual reality: a program to save the ravaged Earth from mankind's insatiable appetite for natural resources.

The Atopia Chronicles (Book 1 of the Atopia series) is the tale of mankind's dark slide across the apocalypse as humans and machines merge in a world teetering on the brink of ecological ruin.

What a disappointment! Here I thought I was getting a cutting edge sci-fi read, and what I got was a reprint of six short stories!! Yes, the stories tie together, but not in a good way. In fact they are set at the same time with overlapping incidents that bring a few of the characters together.

The Atopia Chronicles by Matthew Mather is a set of six short stories previously published in 2011 and 2012. Billed by Amazon as the next big thing in science fiction I was under the impression this was a new book. (Not the case! Not the author’s fault though). Each story is told for the POV of one character, with a unique plot and sometimes these character’s intersect. However the time frame of each story does occur at the same time, so there is a lot of repeat plot points (i.e. defensive test at Atopia repeats in at least first three stories).

So why didn’t I like this book? I had the hardest time staying invested in the plot. Mainly because the character’s stories ended every 75-80 pages, the POV bounced from one character to another, and some of the imagery I just couldn’t picture. Not to mention I felt like I was reading a bad version of the script to the movie Surrogates with Bruce Willis.

Maybe the problem is me. I was only able to read about half of this book before I gave up. I just despised the characters! The first character Olympia Onassis is a narcissistic workaholic who spends the first couple of chapters pining for a pack of cigarettes. The second character Commander Rick Strong spends the entire story having sim children with his clinically depressed (in my opinion Bipolar) wife because he isn’t sure he is ready for the real thing. (Now granted this story was funny, especially if you are a parent!)  The third character (and who I gave up with) is Vince Indigo who developed the technology that predicts the future. Basically his own technology has predicted his death and so he is trying to escape it, but every time he does it seems like two more events take its place. This character is horrid and I just couldn’t read anymore after that which is a shame because I truly enjoy sci-fi books.

So again, I didn’t like this book. That said, it is very well written. The plots do tie together nicely, and with the promising prologue I thought I was in for a real suspenseful adventure. However that wasn’t the case and I just couldn’t finish it. If you like technical, sci-fi with little character development you may enjoy this book. I just didn’t.

About Matthew Mather

After earning a degree in electrical engineering, Matthew Mather started his professional career at the McGill Center for Intelligent Machines. He went on to found one of the world's first tactile feedback companies, which became the world leader in its field, as well as create an award-winning brain training video game. In between, he's worked on a variety of start-ups, everything from computational nanotechnology to electronic health records, weather prediction systems to genomics, and even social intelligence research. In 2009, he began a different journey, returning to the original inspiration for his technology career—all the long nights spent as a child and teenager reading the great masters of science fiction. He decided to write a scifi novel of his own, and the result was The Atopia Chronicles. He divides his time between Montreal, Canada, and Charlotte, NC.

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