Entertaining and Thrilling
By William Hertling
Liquididea Press, $9.95, 221 pages
David Ryan is thrilled to be working on a project to develop a new kind of software system, called ELOPe. Designed to offer options and upgrades to standard Emails in order to get better results from requests, the program is working well other than eating up server space. In danger of being shut down, David slightly tweaks the program to buy more time and inadvertently introduces ELOPe to the whole company. As more strange things start to occur, David comes to realize that the software is thinking on its own and taking steps to protect itself from shutdown—even murder.
Avogadro Corp is the debut novel of author William Hertling, and it is a solidly entertaining and frightening thriller. The increasingly dangerous actions taken by the computer system work well in the book to create an atmosphere of paranoia and anxiety. The evolution of the computer program seems logical, increasing the reader’s apprehension. The plot also unfolds nicely and takes some nice, unexpected turns. The only unsuccessful aspect of the book is that the reactions of the characters all seem to be fairly mild, in spite of the perilous situation. Overall, this is a great book about computers taking over the world.
Reviewed by Barbara Cothern