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Book Review: Unholy Domain by Dan Ronco
There are a plethora of sci-fi books that have explored what the Earth would be like after the apocalypse, and generally the apocalypse in question is a nuclear war, or some sort of plague.
Unholy Domain takes this genre in a new and very thought provoking direction. One only has to spend a couple of minutes researching the history and growth of the Internet to realize how in the space of just a few years it was woven itself into the very fabric of our world. We have near instantaneous communication via email, we have access to enormous repositories of information, it has become a part of our day to day life. I could not live without it!
Unfortunately there is a potential dark side to the technology. Increasingly it is also the backbone used by basic infrastructures, power generation, transportation, law enforcement, and a lot more. There have already been rumblings in the press about what might happen if hackers gained control of a power generating plant, or other basic service.
In Unholy Domain Dan Ronco takes us to a world where a decade previously (2010) a virus had decimated the Internet. Because of the disruption to basic services over a million people died. What would the world look like under these circumstances?
Dan Ronco takes us to a world that has become a fractured society, the technos and the religious zealots. In the aftermath of the disaster the government has regulated technology, stifling innovation, this has resulted in an economic situation rivaling the great depression. Without advancing technology the world has not just stagnated it has regressed to an earlier time.
Technology has become an underground industry, a black market more lucrative than drugs. The technos are run by a shady organization known simply as The Domain.
The opposing force are the fanatical Army of God, the paramilitary wing of The Church of Natural Humans. Their leader Adam Jordan is on the outside a charismatic speaker, but is also a man with a single minded hatred for technology and those who would use it.
Our hero in Unholy Domain is David Brown, a young student who has the dubious honor of being the son of the man accused of unleashing the deadly virus.
When David receives a message sent 10 years previously from his father he begins to have doubts about his fathers guilt and decides to investigate for himself. David is walking a tightrope, he has enemies in high places, neither The Domain, nor the Army of God are enamored by his presence, for different reasons, though one does become his unseen temporary protector with an ulterior motive in mind.
This is a fast paced techno thriller which I can pretty much guarantee you will not want to put down, I know I didn't! Set close enough in the future (2020) that most of the 'props' are believable, it paints a dark picture of one potential future scenario for mankind.
This is a book that is worth searching out, I liked the style of writing a great deal. Each chapter begins with some quotes, some old and real, other from books yet to be written. A very cute touch. You don't have to be a hard core Sci-Fi fan for this one, just a lover of a great story.
You can pick up your own copy of Unholy Domain from Amazon, he also has a web site with additional information.
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