There is some good writing and some interesting ideas in this novella by Simon Morden, but ultimately the overall experience left me feeling unsatisfied for a number of reasons.
The story starts with the main character waking up not knowing who or where they are. This is such an overused opening that most every book on writing tells you to avoid it. Usually an author does this as a vehicle to explain everything. That is not the case here because the main character is popping back and forth between two different realities while struggling to decide which of them is “real.” As you work your way through this and try to solve the problem with him you then discover it doesn’t matter – neither reality is real. No, wait. They kind of were both true but not really. Confusing? Yes, it is. I almost stopped reading at this point.
So we have shifted into the actual reality of the book now. The events of the beginning were actually the dreams of an A.I. Now that the dreams are over we shift into a more cold calculating person for the MC. The whole tone of the book shifts. It feels like two different stories cut apart and Frankensteined together. There is an explanation further along that lays out the reasons for why this all happened but, while it makes some logical sense, it stills doesn’t flow as a story should.
There are a number of typos in the book. Something this short should not have a half dozen mistakes in it.
Finally, the story ends on a cliffhanger. While I would have been interested enough to read on to another chapter, I wasn’t engaged enough that I will hunt down more of the series. (I am assuming this is a novella released as a sort of prequel.}
Ultimately, all of this added up to leaving me with a general feeling of dissatisfaction and no desire to seek out more of the story.