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Synapse – tekijä: Steven James
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Synapse (vuoden 2019 painos)

– tekijä: Steven James (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
3510553,942 (3.92)-
"From the critically-acclaimed author whom Publishers Weekly has called a "master storyteller" comes a taut new thriller where things are not always as they appear to be... Thirty years from now, when Kestrel Hathaway, a pastor in Cincinnati, witnesses a terror attack, she's drawn into a world of conspiracies and lies that she and Jordan, her cognizant robot, have to untangle before it's too late. With the help of counterterrorism agent Nick Vernon, she needs to stop a second, more brutal attack, that could leave thousands dead. And the clock is ticking. Deftly weaving suspense and intrigue into a rich, resonant tale that explores faith and what it really means to be human, James offers us a glimpse into the future and into our own hearts. Synapse is an unforgettable, gripping story of dreams shattered, truth revealed, and hope reborn"--… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:vintagebeckie
Teoksen nimi:Synapse
Kirjailijat:Steven James (Tekijä)
Info:Thomas Nelson (2019), 384 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):****
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Synapse (tekijä: Steven James)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 10) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
WOW! James is a new author to me, and "Synapse" was the best way to start, I think! I was blown away at how this book challenged me, made me think, connected me to characters and made me tear up during a few moments. I don't know how James has been off my radar up to this point, but it is safe to say he will be one I watch out for in the future. I am glad I picked it up at the library and had extra time to read it right now.

"Synapse" is set 30 years in the future, but could easily have been written in 2020 as technology continues to advance. The world the characters inhabit has a lot of the same things we do now, with the added complications of artificial intelligence and robotics that are almost as lifelike as humans, called Artificials. There are two very different schools of thought amidst the culture-- the Purists, who refuse technology's advances and have used their ideas to craft homegrown terror cells, and the rest of the world, the Naturals, who have easily adapted to the improvements over time. There are also the in between citizens, those who are nicknamed "Plussers," who have had partial limb replacements with robotics and synthetic skins or upgrades done to their bodies by adding improvements such as supersonic hearing.

Kestrel Hathaway is a woman who has recently suffered a loss, upending her faith and her vocation as a minister. She can barely begin processing her grief when she aids a victim of a terrorist attack she's witnessed at the Terabyne facility where her brother, Trevor, works as a software developer.
As the investigation develops, Kestrel is drawn into portions of the world she's become jaded to. While not being someone who rejects the tech culture, she is also cognizant of the dangers of hosting Artificials in people's homes, the oversaturation of tech addictions and the disconnect between humans.

Federal counterterrorism agent Nick Vernon is the first to cover the attack and suspects there is more danger ahead. Terabyne's new product is about to be released to the public, which means the press conference would be a perfect opportunity for a repeat attack. Nick continues to gather evidence, connecting with Kestrel and her brother during his investigation.

Trevor delivers Kestrel a gift, much to her chagrin. She doesn't trust robots and has no intention of activating this Artificial named Jordan. After Trevor discusses his reasoning behind the gift, she decides to give Jordan a chance--and that decision will alter Kestrel's life forever.

Filled with intrigue, suspense, spiritual wrestling and the discussion of what truly makes one human (or inhuman), "Synapse" is a book that pulls you in from the first page and will not let go until the very last page. I am thankful I took a chance--this book is full of thought provoking, honest discussion on weighty matters of the soul. It is not preachy, it touches on both spiritual principles and the delicate balance of life and death. I connected deeply with the characters and was sad to come to the end of this futuristic adventure. "Synapse" is one I plan on purchasing a copy of so I can mark the many moments I felt were profound. I would love to see this book made into a movie--it was awesome. ( )
  EmilyPotter | May 12, 2020 |
When I finished, I am reminded why I am drawn to speculative/sci-fi fiction. Being written from a Christian viewpoint, I like the conclusions better than those of a secular book. Steven James packs a lot of solid Biblical truth into Synapse and utilizes key story threads to do so. The lack of bad language or bedroom scenes is a real plus for me! I enjoyed seeing how James develops the characters of Kestral, Jordan, Nick, and Trevor. Interestingly enough, ALL of them show growth. You’ll have to read the book to see why that’s an ironic statement. The action really accelerated near the end. I love to be surprised by who some of the villains and allies are, and this book did not disappoint.
It did take me a while to get into the book, as James uses different point-of-views and even tenses for each character. Switching out of third-person past to the first-person present and back again was not comfortable for me. There were spots where James felt it appropriate to write the text all next to each other, with no breaks for words. These spots could be a paragraph long, and unfortunately, I was also fighting off dizziness the day I read this part, so I was doubly dismayed. All in all, though, I did enjoy the book. It came together well in the end. I would read another of Steven James’s novels and see where he takes mankind.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the author and publisher. This does not affect my opinions, for which I am solely responsible. ( )
  Becky_L | Jan 29, 2020 |
Many thanks to NetGalley, Thomas Nelson and Steven James for an ARC in exchange for an honest book review of Synapse. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advance copy.

This story is set 30 years from now. Artificial Intelligence has advanced to the point where Artificials have been given rights under the law. There is a continuum of robots with ones that perform simple functions like doing your cooking and cleaning to ones that are awake. They have an algorithm that allows them to learn based on categories like emotion, memory, curiosity and pain. They look and feel exactly like humans and it can be hard to tell the difference. Humans are called Naturals and can be enhanced, for example, if you’ve had an accident. They can replace arms, eyes, ears, any human body part. These semi-bionic humans are called Plussers.

Kestrel is a preacher, unmarried and we meet her in the hospital having just lost her baby. She is alone and sad and after leaving the hospital she witnesses an attack at the plant where they make Artificials. She tries to give first aid to someone she finds injured from the attack. Her estranged brother, Trevor, happens to be an upper level executive at this company. They became estranged after their parents died when an older Artificial model gunned them down by mistake. This sends Kestrel off to a path toward G-d and away from technology. Trevor chose a different path towards the advancement of robots. Kestrel becomes embroiled in the investigation in trying to find out who caused the attack. There are a group of Purists who believe that these technological advancements are dangerous and have instigated terrorist attacks before.

Trevor purchases a high end Artificial for Kestrel, originally intending it to help her with the baby. Although she is against it, she ends up accepting the Artificial, Jordan. As he awakens, he struggles with his own consciousness, learning the difference between right and wrong and his ability to believe in G-d. Kestrel tries to guide him as she struggles with her own faith. Nick, the agent working on the case, protects Kestrel as she is now in danger from the terrorists. They start to develop feelings toward each other.

This story has many different levels. You have the main story with the mystery of who is blowing up the plants. You can follow the storyline of Kestrel, the loss of her daughter, reconnecting with her estranged brother and the mystery of who is causing the terrorist attacks. Then there is the storyline between Kestrel and her Artificial, Jordan. This is a separate storyline. Jordan is like an innocent child who becomes awake and although Kestrel is very reluctant to have an Artificial, she starts to develop a relationship with him. Jordan is also on a quest to discover G-d and Kestrel, a minister, has recently become disillusioned. There is a whole conversation about who can believe in G-d, what does it mean to believe in a higher power and what happens when we have a lapse in faith. Then there is a lot of commentary peppered throughout the book about the whole technology slant. You have every possible angle covered. Are we moving too fast, what is suffering while we are making all the technological advances. Basically any conversation you have ever heard about technology is covered in this book.

What I did appreciate is that is the conversations never became preachy. It wasn’t one idea being valued over another where it was being shoved down your throat. There were plenty of ideas from all different angles being presented so you can enter the conversation from any entry point. Sometimes it was a little much but it didn’t bother me that much. Also, the different strains of story never interfered with each other. The story moved along nicely, actually at a quick pace. I really liked the relationship between Kestrel and Jordan and would have enjoyed even more of the two of them. The romance was sweet but a little slow, maybe underdeveloped? I loved all the technology, it’s so interesting to me. So we are 30 years in the future and have made huge leaps from self driving cars to living, thinking, feeling AI’s. But infrastructure is still a problem, so you still have to deal with things like traffic. Hilarious! Protests still happen based on ideas that are being discussed today so it makes it very relevant. There was a lot of content and I really enjoyed this book. I hope there will be more, maybe a series? Doesn’t look like this is the plan. The book raises lots of ethical and philosophical questions that will make you think twice the next time you look at your phone! ( )
  PinkPurlandProse | Oct 31, 2019 |
A futuristic techno-thriller that explores questions as old as time, Synapse will keep you on the edge of your seat. I found Steven James’ latest novel a mind-bender as I sought to process the interactions between Artificials (cognizant robots), Naturals (humans), and Plussers (specially-augmented humans) and the search for terrorists with varied agendas and motives. The basic premise is simple — Purists (those who oppose the spread of technology) are out to prevent a leading tech company from unleashing new advancements — yet this book has so many twists and turns along with thought-provoking questions on God, that its complexity requires a careful reading. Readers will find themselves questioning the technology that makes our lives easier, and in turn, as a couple of characters state, reflecting on the distractions that keep us from thoughts of eternity. I especially found main character Jordan, a cognizant robot with free will, intriguing. In Jordan, James has created a machine that feels, thinks, and aspires to what humans should. See, I said mind-bending. The novel is action-packed, and will appeal to those with a preference for the thriller and dystopian genres. And the faith messages shared will certainly make any reader re-think any conceptions they have on the goodness of God in a fallen world.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Celebrate Lit and Thomas Nelson for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.) ( )
  vintagebeckie | Oct 21, 2019 |
This was a spooky idea for a book. Would we really want robots with artificial intelligence that were so real looking that we couldn’t tell they weren’t human? In this time robots could even be taught to feel pain. Some people love the artificial intelligence and others are fighting back. I loved the characters. This book is well written and makes you really think about whether robots with AI have a heaven of their own. I love how this author portrays his answer. I received a copy of this book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will. ( )
  Virginia51 | Oct 19, 2019 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 10) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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"From the critically-acclaimed author whom Publishers Weekly has called a "master storyteller" comes a taut new thriller where things are not always as they appear to be... Thirty years from now, when Kestrel Hathaway, a pastor in Cincinnati, witnesses a terror attack, she's drawn into a world of conspiracies and lies that she and Jordan, her cognizant robot, have to untangle before it's too late. With the help of counterterrorism agent Nick Vernon, she needs to stop a second, more brutal attack, that could leave thousands dead. And the clock is ticking. Deftly weaving suspense and intrigue into a rich, resonant tale that explores faith and what it really means to be human, James offers us a glimpse into the future and into our own hearts. Synapse is an unforgettable, gripping story of dreams shattered, truth revealed, and hope reborn"--

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