Top critical review
Not even recommended for YA readers
Reviewed in the United States on July 7, 2018
The science is ridiculous, the plot complicated beyond belief, and the tone preachy.
That's the headlines. The detail is that a great scientist has invented the Lattice, essentially the McGuffin of the novel, which tracks every atom in the solar system, in real time, and suitably configured reader devices can take a look-see. This includes reading thoughts and going back in time. Our protagonist protects one of the Lattice's - there is another on standby for reasons that don't make much sense - against terrorism and his defensive arsenal includes space based lasers and tactical nuclear bombs. Good thing it's out in the desert.
Bad guys can't get close, so when terrorists actually do, he is the man for the job of tracking them down and taking them down. Only, in this Lattice-driven world of absolutely zero privacy, these terrorists are strangely resistant to the track-and-trace that every single person in the world is subject to. Cue sinister music...
OK, it's not a bad setup, if way beyond plausible in terms of the quantum physics which 'explain' how the Lattice works. Global surveillance means zero privacy equals peace and harmony. It doesn't of course, and the evil of this scenario is hammered home, page after page, interaction after interaction, until it becomes quite tiresome. People become addicted peeping Tom's, making the Lattice a proxy for our social media fetish and Orwellian Government intrusion. Fine, I get that, move on with the... Oh, you need to make the point again? Okay, let's... And again, I see, it's twice a chapter, every chapter. Goodie!
Anyway, tiresome I can live with. But the invisible terrorists have tools to hand that are so amazing, they confound the Earthly experts. It's apparent really early on that with said tools, the terrorists could achieve their goals with none of the silliness they embark on. Even the protagonist sees this when all is revealed. And that singular lack of imagination kills the story for me. It makes a farce of the plot. It forecasts what is going to happen. And it makes the preachy preachy a political position, rather than an exploration of potential. The story does not unfold naturally from events and characters, it is forced into tedious, terrible, twists and turns to serve the need of "getting a message across". And sadly, the message is not original and the method is ineffective.
A fail for me.