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on 31 October 2014
Another post apocalypse tale? No, not quite. More like apocalypse in the making.

A brilliant idea to save the planet aims to reduce hedonistic waste by creating the tools to allow virtual hedonism in your mind while enabling you to splinter your attention to tens or even thousands of simultaneous events, promising all the fun you can cope with and no negative side effects.
But human nature being what it is the first use made by the brightest (and best?) of our fellow beings is to speculate on the future, controll others, and just generally to take care of number one. And one by one the side effects become apparent.
So the world seems set to go to hell in a hand basket anyway, in spite of - or because of - the technology.

The sensation of being able to sit in on other peoples' subjective awareness is conveyed through multi-narrator versions of the same events. Confusing at first but surprisingly easy to get the hang of.

There are sequels. But best start at the beginning!

And fasten your seat belts, it’s a hectic ride!
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on 9 March 2015
Follow the day to day lives of various inhabitants of Atopia - a futuristic, technologically advanced floating colony - as they face the upcoming release of their simulated reality technology, "pssi", and try to avoid destruction from unprecedented natural disaster, in a world on the brink of spiralling toward destruction. Is "pssi" the answer to mankind's growing population depleting the Earth's dwindling resources? Is it the key to avoiding all-out Nuclear War? Is it the key to attaining ultimate happiness, when all you desire is synthetically available in the multi-verse that opens up with pssi? Or is there something much darker going on behind the scenes that could make the Apocalypse seem preferable? Well written, with an interesting structural flow that sees all key characters' paths converge at different points, culminating in a shocking twist and leaving you wanting to know how things continue to play out, and will have you scrambling to read the sequel, The Dystopia Chronicles. The Atopia Chronicles is one of the best technological fantasy books I've ever read, looking at the human psyche and the possible effects of artificial reality and the various ways it can be utilised by individuals. Definitely a recommended read.
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on 21 December 2014
I started reading this on a whim nut very quickly got entirely engrossed. The descriptions of pssi interactions are so entirely believable that even began to experience almost physical reactions when characters dipped in and out and moved from one "reality" to the next. The advance in neural science in recent years and what we know about nano-technology make the plot so real to me that it's almost as if it us happening already - who knows, maybe it is.
I thoroughly enjoyed this and can't wait to get reading the next in the trilogy. Thank-you Matthew Mather for such an exciting introduction into the world of Atopia!
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on 1 May 2018
Really enjoyed reading this book, though it took some getting used to the multiple perspectives. Perhaps the multiple perspective is tied in to the fact there are multiple phutures? All I'm all, different from my usual techno reads, and looking forward to find out what happens next.
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on 2 April 2014
I was very impressed by this book, it took me to new places. It was not so much some of the tech involved, metaverses, nanotechnology, VR and AR but what these will bring in changes to how people live and even what it means to be human. The story, plot and characters are all engrossing though there is probably room for the author to draw the characters in more depth. I am looking forward to the sequel
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on 11 January 2014
I have become a bit of an addict for virtual reality fiction and cyberpunk genre and this book doesn't disappoint. The writing style is unusual in the sense that it is first person and each chapter puts you into the perspective of each character as they interact with each other. In fact once I got the swing of it I could almost imagine what pssi might feel like as I flittered between perceptions.

The book keeps you in suspense all the way through, each perception giving you a piece of the jigsaw bit by bit. The end while fitting came as quite a surprise. However there are quite a few loose ends that need tying up which I hope Mathew addresses in his sequel Dystopia.

I thought this was brilliant and Im looking forward to what the band of pssi kids get up to in the next one.

The prequel Cyberstorm is quite good as well but I enjoyed Atopia Chronicles best of the two.
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on 13 January 2015
First off I emphasise I am a massive sci-fi fan (all genres) and have devoured many such books both on kindle and hard copy.

I thought this one sounded right up my street, great concept, an artificial island in a disturbed future world. Perhaps I should have read some of the reviews more carefully. I really lost the will to live trying to get through this. Repetitive, boring, poor characterisation, disjointed and disappointing. Despite continually persevering and forcing myself to continue I only made up to 54% of the book. I will give it 2 stars as the first chapter was not bad, downhill all the way from there for me.

I really do not like giving negative reviews on anything, and never do, however I feel it is best to advise folk to read the reviews carefully and consider before giving up time to read this. I certainly regret wasting my time on it.
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on 4 August 2015
I am someone who reads just occasionally because it's not something I always enjoy doing.

The cover of this book intrigued me and the blurb drew me in and I bought it. I haven't been able to put it down since. It's a riveting sci-fi read and I'm enjoying it very much.

The characters seem like normal people which I find doesn't always happen with scifi books and this makes it easier to relate to them. The technology is very intriguing and definitely something I'd like to try!
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on 28 October 2012
I bought this book on Hugh Howey's recommendation. At first I almost put it down, it started off slowly for my tastes. Then I started to get into how a bunch of seemingly-unrelated stories tied into and overlapped with one another and I couldn't put it down. It always seemed to switch tack when I needed most to know what happened next. Then I would start getting into the next character's world, and it happened again. Certain characters from one story would appear as walk-on parts in others.
The character development, while far from the best I've ever seen, was better than average among science fiction novels I've read. The real forte of these stories though is the strength and believability of the future predictions in it, and the matter of fact way that they are laid out. Honestly, I can't wait for Mr. Mather's next work.
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on 21 August 2013
I bought this book - which I had not realized was a collection. I bought it because it was relatively cheap as I had never heard of the author and sometimes the sample is not enought to divine if it will be a good book. I loved this. It was a page turner with some interesting themes, some fantastic ideas and great narrative with a real good twist at the end.
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