Hello Readers! Today I delighted to share my review of No Signal by Jem Tugwell for blog tour. Many thanks to Raquel Elias at Serpentine Books for tour invite and review copy.
No Signal (iMe, #2) by Jem Tugwell
Publications Date : June 4th 2020
Publisher : Serpentine Books
Genre : Science-Fictions / Thriller / Dystopia
Pages : 384
Stars : ★★★★★
In a breathtaking follow-up novel to ‘Proximity’, Serge says it’s the ultimate Augmented Reality game. He’s chosen his Ten carefully – the reckless, driven and strong. He tests them. Ten become Four.
DI Clive Lussac wants to fight the system that controls everything, but he’s ill and losing the people closest to him. In the middle of eco-
protests, he’s lost four tourists.
As Clive’s world unravels, he and his partners DC Ava Miller and DS Zoe Jordan race to find the tourists and the true reason behind the game. It may already be too late.
A CONTROLLED POPULATION
The UK has embedded technology – iMe.
It knows where you are… all the time. It controls what you eat.
It has eradicated crime and made everyone healthy.
A DEVASTATED WORLD
The world is on the brink.
The Government talks but doesn’t act.
It thinks it’s safe.
TIME FOR CHANGE
Who will ignite it?
Who has the determination to see it through?
What will be sacrificed for the cause?
*** Note : Many thanks to publisher for providing e-copy of this book as a part of blog tour, in exchange for an honest review. ***
No Signal was another mind blowing book in iMe series. It was about advances and drawbacks of technologies, government control and its impact on common people, political games, eco-socialism, terrorism, greed, fame, and power.
Writing was engaging, easy to follow and captivating. The world, like previous book, was impressive. In this book more pros and cons of iMe were explored which was broadened by inclusion of environmental conditions, terrorism, politics, gaming, and power. No Signal was multiple third person perspective, set in UK.
It started a year after the end of Proximity with villain dropping parcels in UK and selecting final participants for Forbidden Island, an AR game, but the real motive was sinister. That instantly made me curious to know what was in the parcel and why participants were sent to play in UK. At the same time things were
same even worst with Clive. He was back to working at PCU, Zoe joined cybercrime department, health was spiraling down because of excess indulgence of chocolates, and his relationship with Sophia was on verge of breaking. Life was pretty dull and depressive with no real work until four tourist lost their signal. Now these four tourist were final four participant of the game. And so began the chase. I was curious to know how Clive and Ava will capture them, what their purpose was, and if the participant will reach their end destination and what will happen after that.
This was a bit different from first book. In Proximity culprit was unknown and tension was there from beginning till end, we know all moves of culprit and waiting to see when and how Clive and his department will capture the culprit. Here we know the organizer but not the mastermind of the game and we don’t know what they have planned until main twist at 60% of the book. Until then we are introduced to all participants and organizer, selection process, how participants reached UK, got rid of their iTourist band, and how they were doing in their game, Clive and his new partner Ava trying to figure out how to find them and capture them, and get at the bottom of this game.
Clive was amazing throughout the book. I felt for this man. It was really hard survive as anti-iMe in the iMe lover system and his addiction and craving for chocolates and alcohol didn’t help him much. Now his diabetes was back to stop all the cheat food he was having and sent Winter from health and well-being department back to breathing on his neck. I liked the way he tried to change to keep his relationship. I could see why he couldn’t keep trying. Problems at work, views of politicians, and then depression after climax pushed him beyond limits but still I didn’t approve what he did at the end.
Ava was lovely and brilliant. She was just 23, a small package full of strength, energy, and determination. She made Clive proud, solved half the case even before Clive could think. I loved this girl and along with Clive, I started to care for her.
Zoe took back seat in this book, popping here and there when required until that big twist. When the case went to her department she and Clive formed team once again. I loved seeing her back in action.
I loved scenes describing the arguments and views on government control with iMe, New Modelist church and its vision of peace and contentment, eco-socialism and its followers, control rebellions, pros and cons of diversity, cyber threats and terrorism in world. More importantly I liked the way drawbacks of technology and its impact was represented. This world solved most of the problem but couldn’t keep the earth safe, couldn’t treat patients with genetic defect, couldn’t see the impact on mental health and understand emotional conflicts and now all those protests and political game was leading humanity back to where it all started, going back in time of primitives. It was ironical.
Climax was sad and heartbreaking, tense and infuriating. I hated all politicians for using what happened to their advantage, was shocked at hearing their thoughts about change, angry at Clive’s boss, Lance, for messing things, not believing Clive, and then taking all credits. I liked Bhatt in first book but I didn’t in this because she didn’t support Clive enough. No wonder Clive’s depression went beyond his control. End was shocking with what Clive did but also made me smile and say ‘about time’. I want next book in this series. I hope author is not thinking to end it here.
Overall, No signal was brilliant, thought provoking, and impressive sci-fi thriller with realistic characters and intimidating world. For fans of dystopia and sci-fi, just grab this book. But read this in order.
Jem Tugwell Author Profile:
Jem Tugwell is a crime fiction author with a Crime Writing MA from City University. NO SIGNAL is the second book in the iMe series and follows his thrilling debut novel PROXIMITY.
Jem is inspired by the fascinating possibilities of technology, AI and the law of unintended consequences. In a past life, Jem had a successful career in technology and investment management, and he lives in Surrey with his wife and dog. He has two great children. Outside of his family and writing, Jem’s loves are snowboarding, old cars and bikes.
Please visit Jem’s website (www.jemtugwell.com) to read more.Follow Jem on:Twitter @JemTugwellFacebook & Instagram JemTugwellAuthor
As part of the blog tour, Serpentine Books is running a Copter competition to give a way 2 signed copies of Proximity (it is open to UK addresses only).
What do you think about the book? Have you read this already or any book by the same author? Would you like it if technology can control what you should or shouldn’t eat?
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