J. Gabriel Gates: Blood Zero Sky

Veröffentlicht: September 4, 2012 in 4 Sterne - Lesenswert, Dystopie, Englisch, Gewalt, Rezensionen, Thriller
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All of them thought they were just doing their job, fulfilling their duty, making the Company profitable. And no one took a damned bit of responsibility. It wasn’t me, it was the Company, they said.
Mr. Fields, CEO of N-Corp, in Blood Zero Sky

Imagine the following scenario in the possibly not too remote future:

The world is dominated by two companies. N-Corp has a monopoly over America, South America, Australia and Africa while Europe, Russia, China and India bear the colors of B & S, short for Briggs & Stratton. These two companies are the only ones in the world – and they don’t only dominate all economic sectors, but also the capital market, education systems, media, police and military services, religion, the governments. To put it in a nutshell, N-Corp and B&S rule the world and are consequently in the driver’s seat for all imaginable areas of life of each and every person in their territories.

With mandatory high-tech implants N-Corp keeps all citizens focused on an endless cycle of work and consumption, unprofitables are banished to cruel work camps. But some people have been able to escape the slavery. They are members of the Protectorate, a secret order dating back to the American Revolution, and they have a huge goal: the restoration of America’s democratic freedom.

To achieve this goal, they have to infiltrate the upper management levels of N-Corp. May Fields, the CEO’s daughter, belongs to the management. She is head of N-Corp’s marketing team and you should think that she has almost everything anyone could want. Nevertheless, there is one crucial thing that will always keep her dissatisfied – she doesn’t have the freedom to be herself.

When she is kidnapped by the Protectorate, May suddenly has to face the truth about the Company and what N-Corp’s greed and lies have done to the most basic human rights. Will she join the battle and fight for her own and all other people’s freedom or will she duck her head, close her eyes and return to her safe and wealthy, but passionless life?

J. Gabriel Gates‘ nightmarish vision of one company ruling and manipulating entire countries and peoples fascinated and disgusted me at the same time. Unlike other dystopian authors, Gates didn’t need a devastating war or natural catastrophe to establish his future society with mankind under the heels of two repressive companies.

Although the author’s depiction of the future might be exaggerated in many parts (hey, it’s fiction and not a reliable forecast), I had a lot of moments when I wondered if this might really ever happen. Who doesn’t know about corporate consolidations, privatized government agencies or multi-billion dollar bailouts for corporate giants as well as bankrupt governments? And who can imagine where all these developments are taking us?

Even though the setting of the novel really intrigued me, it took me some time to get into the story. The main character, May, was very difficult for me to identify with – I didn’t buy a lot of her actions and reactions. She seemed to be without a real focus, without a conviction. That might have been the author’s intention to portray a typical child of that society, but I wouldn’t have trusted her to have her at my side in any kind of revolution, especially not as a leading character. What I also missed was a real emotional connection between the characters that would have made it easier for me to immerse myself in this dystopian story. Blood Zero Sky isn’t my favorite dystopian novel in 2012 especially because of my afore-mentioned critical comments, but I absolutely liked the idea of the book and how it made me think about current political and economical developments. It’s worth reading – 4/5 stars.

The review is based on a copy provided by the publisher HCI Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of the book.

Blood Zero Sky
Author: J. Gabriel Gates
Publisher: HCI Books
ISBN-10: 0757316107
ISBN-13: 978-0757316104
Pages: 384
Publication Date: October 1, 2012

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