Brought to you by OBS reviewer Caro
*Beware of Possible Spoilers*
Power in the Hands of One pits Troy Brink, a thirty-two-year-old business analyst, against two opposing factions: a right-wing extremist group and the scientific elite. Both groups are bent on acquiring the technology behind sentient super-weapons developed by Redd Research, a private research and development firm. Ray Wright, Troy’s unstable friend and employee of this firm, drags him into a world of corporate espionage, doomsday prophecies, and paradigm shifts that culminates with Troy at the helm of a mechanical monster. A novel from the author of the bestselling works The Camaro Murders and Lady in Flames.
This was an amazing and exciting story to read! It’s quite a treat for those that like science fiction and mecha themes. Not to mention that the author gives a very well detailed description of what is happening within and outside the robots, as if watching an animation. I have to say that reading Lady in Flames was very interesting with its eerie story line but Power in the Hands of One definitely leaves a bigger impression on me. The haunted feeling that author Ian Lewis wants to leave upon his readers is clearly demonstrated here.
The characters were another interesting factor. Each one of them had something to believe in that apparently gave them the right to posses the robots for their own greater good, as crazy at it sounded but very understandable. By far, my favorite would have to be the protagonist itself and its later faithful robot ADS02. Among all of these people fighting over technology and God’s Will, you needed a rational person thinking for those that weren’t even close to figuring out what was being plotted behind their everyday lives.
The story takes place, mostly, inside the robot’s cabine after the first chapters; seeing all of the fight scenes from Troy’s perspective along with him learning with every step he takes how to control the machine. This aspect of the story lets the reader feel as if he or she is piloting the ADS02, too. One more thing to like, were the fight scenes between the robots that had you at the edge wondering if the power would reach below fifty percent, the mechanical detail of every aspect of the inside controls and fighting abilities each robot had, one different from the other just like their pilots’ goals.
“I’m just as ignorant, and this unknown is enough to paralyze me. Decisiveness isn’t my forte because I don’t know who I am. I mean, I know who I am. My name is Troy Brink, I’m thirtytwo years old, and I’m a business analyst. But on a philosophical level, I’m convinced I have no identity.”
There are two ‘battles’ here (if they can be labelled like that), which caught my attention. The first one, which is clearly the main one, between those who are guided by God’s Hand and the Illuma Corp; and then there’s the other battle taking place between Troy and himself, who is trying to figure out if what he is doing is his own Will or if he has fallen prisoner of the commands of the robot’s creator, who keeps appearing and disappearing like a Cheshire Cat on the machine’s monitor giving him the same instructions over and over again.
“Don’t believe me? You’ll see in time. It will start as ‘human enhancement.’ Biochemistry and nanotechnology will push us past the threshold of disease and defect. Then there will be integration with machines on the biological level, granting immediate access to global data and information stores. Your information becomes mine, and my information becomes yours. We’ll realize exponential returns, and we’ll soon surpass the need for bodies at all. Don’t you get it? A collective mind with no death.”
This quote really makes me think of how we are and react with today’s technology and devices. Sometimes we’re so immersed in internet and its social networks that everyone out there can see what we’re doing: sending, receiving and taking information. Makes one think, aren’t we heading that way? Who knows. One thing I do know is that this is a good short story to read and at one point you will fear for it to end too fast.
It would be really great if the author added a second part to the Power in the Hands of One, but I’m not sure how well it would turn out to be, I really liked the writing style of this one with just one character’s point of view. If you like sci fi stories, this one if for you.