This pedometer geek discovered another new author, Kimberly Hix Trant, by reading her debut novel, #hashtagged. This novel was received as a Goodreads giveaway, and this is the extended review.
by Kimberly Hix Trant
Published by Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC, 2014
As the back cover states: This is how the future started. We provided the data through social networking sites. We divulged the very secrets of humanity with abandon. They own us now. And they are connected as one all-seeing, all-knowing entity: IT.
The blurb continues with the fact that over time IT sucked up all the data being spewed out in cyberspace, and with the introduction of the hashtag (#) into all the data of memes, pictures, videos, email, pin, tweet, and vine, that was all IT needed to takeover control.
Is this novel science fiction? Or could it be science fact? The fact that it might happen is the premise behind this novel that has Oliver Smith (Ollie to his friends and family) teaching his daughter Maddy about life through an eccentric lifestyle spent with an equally eclectic group of friends, called the Dinner Club, during their summer travels.
When Ollie suddenly is killed in a random shooting, Maddy is sent a key. This key starts her on a rabbit trail of intrigue as she works to figure out her life with her father Ollie and his last gift to her.
At the same time, one AIB (artificial intelligence being) named IT has taken over the world through studying and infiltrating social media’s hashtags attached to memes and posts. That the world has given over its secrets via social media (through the use of hashtags) to a data-grabbing IT is a scary scenario, indeed.
By recalling the lessons of the past and visiting old friends, particularly her friend Jag, Maddy will need to discover the secrets her father was working on throughout his life. And if can she figure them out, can she change the future and stop IT?
This debut thriller is a cautionary tale. It gives rise to the possibilities of what artificial intelligence may bring. While this reader may never use another hashtag again, but does look forward to reading more by this author. Indeed!