The Hidden Layer
by Chris Nordberg, 2012
Another iPhone read, selected because it's one of the handful of books downloadable through the community resources accessed by my hacked phone's built-in installer. This lack of discernment on my part was a bit of a mistake, because I didn't like this one much. It feels so much like a young author's first writing that I want to be encouraging, but that's patronising, so I shall force myself to be a little mean.
The story introduces a couple of interesting ideas, but they don't really have sufficient depth to really make the read compelling, as I was constantly distracted by foolish characters who are impressed by the most superficial of things, with child-like attitudes to sex, and descriptions of corporate operations and politics as though imagined by someone who has never actually seen them in operation. It all just feels hopelessly naive. By the time it gets into ruthless killers and Machiavellian masterminds, the author is out of his range.
Rating: 2/10 - Feels like I wrote it.
Update: For years afterwards, I have felt guilty about this scathing review, mortified by the idea that the author stumbled across it and was genuinely upset. I'm so sorry! It's me, it's not you. You've written a novel, of that you should be proud. I've written a crappy blog, of which I should be ashamed.