Here is a review I did of a book called “Snow Crash,” by Neal Stephenson.  I gave it 4/5 stars on Amazon a few weeks ago.  I am posting this to show that I don’t hate everything and I am willing to give credit to a book if it is good 🙂  Enjoy!

This book was recommended to me by a co-worker as a Cyperpunk masterpiece, and it didn’t disappoint one bit!

The story has us in the future of the USA where the government is almost powerless to do anything other than push paper around and write computer programs that they are constantly scrapping and re-writing on a daily basis and basically doing nothing but attending meetings, reading memos, and other pointless bureaucratic nonsense. The Mafia is now a worldwide economic superpower, and a pizza taking more than 30 minutes to be delivered is considered newsworthy.

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Our main characters are Hiro Protagonist (Yes the main character’s last name is “protagonist,” go figure), a hacker and master swordsman. And his sidekick Y.T. (short for yours truly), who is a skateboard messenger. Think of the bicycle messengers that you see zipping around New York City only on skateboards and ten times as awesome! Both of these characters “work” together but I use the word “work” in a very loose sense. They are very rarely actually together. They do save each other’s bacon from time to time, but they do very little actual “work” together.

Hiro spends most of his time jacked into the World Wide Web which is now about on par with what you’d find in a Shadowrun or Mage: The Ascension RPG. He spends his time in there in a nightclub and with his buddy, a virtual librarian, researching ancient civilizations and religions. Really kinda boring.

Honestly I found the character of Y.T. to be much more interesting than Hiro. I liked her because she got out and did things, she was racing around the city delivering messages, interacting with other people in this new world that we were exploring. She has run-ins with the police, the feds, the Mafia, crazy cultists, and is close personal friends with the head of the Mafia, “Uncle Enzo.”

A quick side note that I would like to mention is that in this world, our money is almost worthless. We see homeless people carrying around wheelbarrows full of million dollar bills and it’s maybe enough for them to buy a cup of coffee with. Also they are so worthless that people are using them as toilet paper because it’s cheaper than buying actual toilet paper. This was so hilarious I actually laughed out loud when I read this!

The main storyline of the book is that there is a new drug that is being distributed via the World Wide Web, and the head of a corporation is nuts and is trying to use it to take over the world. The storyline is very interesting and it keeps your interest all the way through to the end.

There are a few things that I was disappointed with in this book but they are pretty miniscule and they can be forgiven. For example why was Y.T. suddenly so sexually attracted to Raven? Did he have ravishing good looks? Was he some super muscle man? Was he excreting some new type of pheromones that were affecting Y.T.? Just a little clarity would be nice to tie that loose end up.

Also the ending was a little disappointing, the huge battle between Hiro and our villain takes place in cyberspace and in front of millions of people. It ends with a huge explosion that writes out an ad in the sky for Hiro’s new upcoming cyber security business. I think it could have ended with a better climax and I’ll probably get some hate emails about this, but I was a little let down by the ending.

Other than those two things, this book was amazing and it was worth reading!

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I was really glad I was given this book to check out. The story is intriguing, the characters are interesting and the cyberpunk universe may be a little crowded these days, but this book stands out head and shoulders above its competition!

If you like cyberpunk, you have GOT to check this one out!

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