Tuesday, 4 June 2019

To The Blossom From The Flame by Jason Srebnick


To The Blossom From The Flame by Jason Srebnick
Self published in America in February 2014.

One of my 2019 COYER Summer Challenge reads

How I got this book:
Downloaded the ebook via NoiseTrade

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The city of New Boston...

In the world of Aaron Cogwell going to work at his Corporation seven days a week for a minimum seventeen hour work day is the norm. Weekends are an archaic thing of the very distant past. Now there are workends: Four hour work stoppages every thirty-six days. The Corporations are nothing if not efficient. People are judged by marks such as Corporate status, the size and class of their residence and by how much "stuff" they have in their display chambers. And this information is all very public and available for viewing on the HRN. Government still exists but is a small and meaningless footnote in a very large Corporate world. People now pledge allegiance to their Corporation. 

Aaron is more than happy with his life like this. He's thankful to his Corporation for all it has given him. For all of the stuff that he and his wife have been able to accumulate. They were given this life by the Corporation. And they are forever loyal for it.

Then again this is all Aaron or anyone else in CorpWorld has ever known. There are no alternatives. At least that is what Aaron believes. Until one day a major event changes his life’s course and he meets a mysterious stranger who helps him to realize that, indeed, there is a choice.

I downloaded my copy of To The Blossom From The Flame from NoiseTrade three years ago when the novel was titled Escape From CorpWorld. I am pretty confident from the synopsis and Srebnick's introductory essay that the two works are essentially the same story, but there might have been some editing changes. I did quite like this book now I have refound and read it. (My NoiseTrade ebook was hidden in the download files of an obsolete browser app on my tablet - oops!).

The dystopian story of Aaron Cogwell's psychological awakening rattles along at a good pace and is an entertaining read. I was disappointed that the characters aren't particularly well fleshed out and levels of description need greater consistency, but if you like your books to focus on action rather than world building then I think you would enjoy this. Srebnick spends much more time explaining items that Aaron is unfamiliar with in his time period - such as paper books - than he does explaining Aaron's world to us readers so I am hazy about how the Corporation world really fits together. There are several glaring inconsistencies and contradictions that basic proofreading should have picked up (these might have been corrected by now). I could see that Srebnick wanted to include nods to classic dystopian novels and films. The novel was originally intended to be a screenplay and the action sequences do come across as being film scenes. Again I thought that more consistency of style would have helped, but overall this is a fun read.


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Books by Jason Srebnick / Science fiction / Books from America

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