Sumeet, Shinzou, Henry,
Based in the year 2085, the Freedom Club is a futuristic sci-fi novel based around the existence of technology and how it affects our everyday lives. In the novel, technology has advanced so far that advances in biology, robots and A.I. have created Sentient Beings, who have much greater thinking power than humans and are therefore replace them in many different areas of employment and industry.
In amongst this new age of technology is Sumeet. Sumeet is an extremely clever human who, if born a century before, would be the CEO of a large company. However, in this new age where many high ranking jobs are taken by Sentients, Sumeet starts to feel unappreciated in his job as his attempts to try and gain recognition keep failing. Things become much worse for Sumeet when his company sends him to see over a merge with a company in Japan. In this age, Japan is seen as a backwards country technologically. This is because it has strict rules on sharing information both internally and externally in the country. After finishing his task, Sumeet is told that he has lost his job. However, his trip to Japan does offer a silver lining to his cloud as Sumeet meets Shinzou, a mysterious technological consultant.
But, this meeting is not a mere coincidence, Shinzou has been tracking Sumeet for some time. Shinzou believes Sumeet will be a perfect recruit to ‘The Freedom Club’. The Freedom Club is a club of individuals who all have a shared belief. That belief is that technology, materialism and capitalism have too much of a stranglehold over society and want to discard the influence that technology has. What is most interesting about the Club is that it has been in existence over the past few centuries with poets like Lord Bryon and William Blake been members. Shinzou tries to convince Sumeet to join by showing him the destruction technology has had on his life. Nevertheless, Sumeet has his own problems, he is getting married and is preparing to buy an apartment complex and has no real desire to join the Club.
However, when Shinzou and Sumeet are thrown into a mystery regarding a Sentient Being that has a unique gift and a hatred for technology that far exceeds that of the Freedom Club, Sumeet’s opinion is changed, as he and Shinzou have to prevent the Sentient from destroying the human race.
I found this novel a very interesting read. The message it asks throughout is what affect will technology have on our lives? It does really make you think about how companies like Apple already have a massive effect on people’s lives (including mine!) and that when technology further advances, will technology ultimately replace humanity? In addition to the interesting underlying question, the book itself was a great read. I especially liked reading about how Garnell saw the politics of the future, with China and India becoming the world’s superpower, merging and becoming Chindo. The way Garnell goes back and tells the tales of the members of the Freedom Club is also great as it adds a bit of historical-fiction to the novel (which I love!).There was also some very subtle humour in the book, which I thoroughly enjoyed!
Nevertheless, at first I did find the book at little hard to get into. I think this was because of all the technological, economic and political jargon that starts in the book. I really didn’t have a clue what most of the words meant, but after reading a few more pages, Garnell goes onto explain a lot about the situation in which the world’s in, which made the book much easier to read. As well as this small issue, I did think that the book was based too early in the future. I know that might not make sense, but personally, I can’t see technology been as advanced in 70-75 years as it is in the novel. I think one day it will be, but not within the next 100 years (thinking about it, the events in the novel might take place in my lifetime, that’s how soon it is based!).
Anyway, even though I did have some small issues with the book I still really enjoyed it and found it both interesting and engaging. I would suggest this book to anyone who is interested in sci-fi novels or films, especially films like iRobot. If you’d like to buy this novel it is available for eReaders at Smashwords.com or for Kindle at Amazon.co.uk and in paperback here.
For author’s official Hotspur bio click here.