Daniel Godfrey's The Synapse Sequence was published by Titan Books in June 2018.
Information about Daniel Godfrey:
Daniel Godfrey has had several short stories published, including in My Weekly and Writers’ Forum, and is a dedicated reader of SF and historical fiction. He studied geography at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and gained an MSc from Leeds in transport planning. He lives in Derbyshire.
Click here to visit his official website.
Information about The Synapse Sequence:
The new thrilling sci-fi novel from the author of New Pompeii and Empire of Time
In the near future, everyday life is dictated by algorithms, from who gets a bank loan or a job, to what supermarkets sell and which news stories you read. Even policing is run by AIs, who track patterns and predict where crimes are likely to occur.
Anna Glover joins a start-up company that hopes to revolutionise solving crimes by combining the memories of witnesses into a virtual reality simulator that can be explored by an investigator. Her first case is that of a fostered teenage boy put in a coma by a brutal assault, and she begins to explore his memories, the only witness to the crime. But when the boy’s sister disappears and Anna’s own actions are called into question, it becomes clear that there are other motives in play, and there are those who do not want her to succeed...
REVIEW: THE SYNAPSE SEQUENCE BY DANIEL GODFREY
Daniel Godfrey is a speculative fiction author whose fiction I've come to enjoy a lot, because he writes excellent and original Crichtonesque science fiction. His latest novel, The Synapse Sequence, is a clever, thought-provoking and unputdownable science fiction thriller that doesn't disappoint readers.
I immensely enjoyed this novel and found it captivating, because the author writes fluent prose and has an eye for details. The story was so entertaining that it grabbed hold of my attention from the start and held it all the way to the end. The twists and turns of the story were interesting and increased my reading pleasure greatly.
The Synapse Sequence may well be the best science fiction thriller of the year, because it's entertaining and thought-provoking in the best possible way. It's difficult to believe that other novels could suprass this novel in terms of story, characterisation and thought-provoking elements.
Here's information about the story:
- The events take place in the near future where the use of AI has increased quickly and people rely on technology and algorithms.
- The story starts with N'Golo making a call for help and trying to get the AI understand that a girl is in danger... Then the focus shifts to Anna Glover who is investigating a crime scene with the help of a synapse sequencer technology that allows her to enter witnesses' memories. Anna thinks that the synapse sequencer is an important tool, but selling it to law enforcement is difficult. One day, Anna meets a PI, Adrian Fowler, who wants to use the sequencer to find out what happened to N'Golo, who he is a fostered teenage boy that has been beaten into a coma. When Anna begins to investigate what has happened, she finds herself questioning things...
The is the beginning of a story filled with gripping suspense and thrilling moments that won't leave readers cold. Suspense and science fiction elements interlink perfectly in this story.
The characterisation is effortless and works wonderfully. Anna Glover is a well-created and flawed protagonist whose life and work the author explores believably within the constraints of the story. Anna is one of the best female protagonists I've ever seen in this kind of science fiction, because the author has created a realistic character who has her own problems and a past that haunts her. Anna has been forced to go into hiding and wishes to remain anonymous. She used to be an airplane crash investigator until she investigated a wrong crash that went political and caused her serious problems, because she is blamed for an unpopular war.
The author writes excellently about Anna's determination and stubbornness to use the synapse sequencer. Anna believes in this revolutionary technology and thinks it's an important tool in crime investigation, but others are not so conviced about its benefits. When Anna uses this technology, the author writes about its positive and negative sides in an intriguing way.
It was thrilling to read about the synapse sequencer technology. The author depicts how this amazing technology can be used to investigate crimes and find out the truth about the happenings. The synapse sequencer allows direct interaction with memories and gives people an opportunity to examine them in details. When many witnesses' memories of the same event are overlayed and details are examined closely, it's possible to get reliable and useful information about the event.
There are also many other interesting concepts in this novel. I was fascinated by the UI (Universal Income) and how algorithms and the increased use of AI ruled people's lives. The author's way of writing about how easily people may be manipulated by information they receive feels realistic, because many people already believe things they read online even though they may not be true or are twisted versions of the truth.
What makes The Synapse Sequence great is that the author clearly has something to say with his story. This novel can be seen as a warning against giving too much power to AIs, algorithms and social media. When you leave a human aspect out of certain things and allow machines and AI to handle things, something may go wrong and the results can be terrifying in the long run. The frightening and dystopic future depicted in this novel may well come true if we allow it to happen and don't question such things as how our personal data is handled, what kind of information is stored about us and what happens when technology begins to rule our lives.
I like Daniel Godfrey's writing style, because his prose is swift, fluent and gripping. When you begin to read his story, you'll instantly like it and find yourself drawn to it. In this novel, the author's prose feels even more polished and satisfying than before, because he has developed as a writer.
I give this novel full five stars for its entertainment values, because I loved the story and was pleased with the characterisation. I look forward to reading what the author comes up with next, because his stories are amazing.
If you're in need of awesome escapism and suspenseful science fiction, Daniel Godfrey's The Synapse Sequence will fully satisfy your needs and then some, because it's a great, original and intriguing contribution to the SF thriller genre. This novel is definitely one of the best and most enjoyable novels of its kind and deserves to be read.
My final words are:
Daniel Godfrey's The Synapse Sequence is a superb science fiction thriller!