Picospores by Ryan LeKodak was an excellent novel. A continuation of PAPER War – The Dawn of AI, the story continues the journey of Ndidi, Manar, DJ, CJ, and Jose. As a refresher, Helene, Manar Saleem’s pride and joy AI system, went rogue, programmed to seek power above all. However, world leaders jointly agreed that this AI could not completely be shut down. Schools, households, and businesses—pretty much everyone—relied on Helene’s capabilities to some extent. With the AI so ingrained and permeated into society, to shut down the system would cause even more mayhem than it already had through MAYDAY, an event that took hundreds of thousands of lives. Although all agreed that this was a less-than-ideal solution, Helene has been kept in operation for the last three years, which is where Picospores picks up.
World leaders may have allowed Helene to continue to function, but Manar, Ndidi, DJ, CJ, and Jose cannot think of a more irresponsible move. Although the AI has been tame, this does not mean she has been dormant; in fact, they all believe Helene is capable of far more destruction than they can imagine. As the novel progresses, more and more do they see that their assumptions about Helene’s activity over the last few years have been correct. She has not been inactive, rather, continuing her quest for power. With each individual mourning the loss of their loved ones, friends, health, and relationships to this frightful AI, they join forces in an attempt to take Helene down once and for all, no matter what this may entail.
I found Picospores to be an even better read than The Dawn of AI. The plot was fast-paced, exciting, and had me on the edge of my seat to know what happens next. I loved how LeKodak can take such an advanced and complicated topic such as AI research and turn it into something fun and easy for readers to enjoy. A very timely novel, Picospores addresses many of the current fears and conspiracies surrounding AI’s potential to cause mass destruction and the fall of civilization as we know it.
Overall, I would highly recommend this novel to all readers, especially those who are interested in AI and other advanced technologies. A forewarning: this novel does end on a cliffhanger, leaving you eager to know what happens next!
|Page Count||480 pages|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|
|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|