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An Eighty Percent Solution | Thomas Gondolfi


Summary:

The future's looking pretty glum. A handful of Mega Corporations rule EVERYTHING. Everyone knows it, but no one does anything because they'd rather have a chance at success than live like a Nil, someone without any rights who can be killed for any reason. The only people fighting back are eco-terrorists, The Greenies. The corporations come up with a way to get rid of the Greenies, which has an 80% chance of success. Too bad for Tony Sammis, it involves ruining his life.


Review:

I have to Gondolfi a lot of credit for creating an interesting, and consistent, world without too much of an exposition dump. There were some aspects I would have liked to have more fleshed out, such as Sonya's magic, but overall I felt that the rules of the world were explained well through a balance of action and dialogue. Even the roles of the various groups were easily established in the first few chapters. The mega corporations are quickly identified as the bad guys. The Greenies are quickly identified as the good guys. And the rest of society is very quickly seen to be passive in all that goes on around them. Except for Tony Sammis, the star of the show who gets threatened with being sued for malpractice for performing CPR on a woman having a heart-attack that no one else will help.

Overall this was a fairly quick read for me. I found the villains to be intelligent, though a couple of things made me think Gondolfi was trying a little too hard to make me not like them. The final weapon they use against The Greenies was one I did not see coming, but made complete sense and was executed quite well. The good guys were the rag-tag-hero types that so many of us love to read. They know the world isn't right and want to fix it, but don't have the best, or most organized vision, of how to do that. Tony is the hero whose world gets pulled out from under him, but whose actions make him easily identifiable as a good guy who just wants to do the right thing. Seriously, saving a kitten from getting sent to the compost easily makes for a good guy.

Probably my favorite part of this book was the ending. No, that's not a joke about the book being lousy. The ending chapter(s) showed that good guys know that there are economic impacts of their actions. If they truly want to help the people, they need to be careful of how they do things. I really appreciate that the world view is taken up, rather than the "destroy them all" banner.

For me, this book was okay. I'm not sure if I will pick up the next book in the series or not. However, if you like dystopian future reads, bringing down the corporation reads, or even the heroic little guy read, you may enjoy An Eighty Percent Solution

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