Book Title: Connected
Genre: Science Fiction / Thriller
Author: Simon Denman
Date Published: 10 June 2012
CONNECTED is a speculative fiction thriller with touches of science and philosophy, which reached No.1 in Amazon UK's Bestseller lists for both Thrillers and Science Fiction within 5 days of release.
Beginning with the funeral of a renowned classical violinist in a sleepy rural hamlet in the Lake District, a former theoretical physicist tries to make sense of his brother's suicide. Across the country, a university student, enjoying the unexpected attentions of an enigmatic seductress, is disturbed when his best friend falls to his death from the thirteenth floor of a neighbouring campus tower block.
As each tries to unravel the mystery behind the apparent suicides, they are drawn into an obsessive search for a computer-generated fractal video sequence, with startling effects on human consciousness, and which might just pave the way for discovery of the ultimate Theory of Everything.
However, they are not the only ones to have seen the potential of this mind-altering video, and soon find themselves in a desperate race against time with gangsters from the shadowy worlds of sex, drugs, cyber-crime, and massively multi-player on-line gaming.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This is a very thought provoking and thrilling science fiction novel. I really enjoyed it!
Peter is a character I really liked. He is a physicist who is now a contract engineer. He has a very analytical mind and is determined to figure out why his brother committed suicide. His journey into discovering his brother's secrets brings him into contact with Doug, a university student, who is dealing with his own problems and secrets.
I am very sorry that I have only now managed to read this book, as it has sat on my Kindle for some time due to my rather large reading list.
This story is told through various points of view, which kept me interested from the first page. The story has a lot of musical, as well as scientific and spiritual philosophy mixed in with the mystery, suspense and danger the characters encounter. I have always been intrigued with the innermost workings of the mind and how music and light affects the brain chemistry. This story takes the reader through some of the science behind this, but doesn't befuddle the less scientific reader by using large words and scientific terms. There is also a sub-plot that lies beneath the story, but doesn't actually come into the forefront until late in the book. However, this sub-plot and the way it was woven into the main storyline sent a shiver up my back. I know that the human brain is still not fully understood and that we seem to use only a fraction of the computing power that could potentially be available to us, but what scares me is that when we unlock the full potential of our brains, will we better off knowing things, or is ignorance bliss? The author of this story explores not only the good side, but the bad as well. Could we (as a society) be controlled more or less as our brains' capacity increases? This I cannot say for certain, but the way this story twists and turns had me guessing. The characters are all well developed and they felt quite real to me. I must admit that I was completely shocked at a twist near the end that I certainly didn't see coming and I ended up in tears. This twist made me wonder if we are evolved enough yet to continue to push the boundaries of science and scientific discoveries and not become insane. Some will argue that it's a state of mind and we are all insane anyway, but if the incredible advances we make in understanding how the brain works could (and possibly has already) be turned against the populace as a weapon, then I shudder in horror. In the wrong hands, the ability and technology to control or alter the perception of the human brain is an incredibly dangerous endeavor and should never be allowed in my opinion. Men, greedy for money and power, however, will always be looking for a way to do just that. The story ends on a hopeful and happy note, which left me also feeling hopeful for the future. In any case (and I may be a little naive in thinking this), I am crossing my fingers that even if we do make giant strides in scientific discoveries (such as those explored by this author) that could potentially be used as weapons in the future, common sense will prevail and the "bad guys" (this includes any government in power who wants to keep their citizens in line) never get their hands on any of it.
Simon Denman has written an extremely thrilling and entertaining read, which took me on an amazing journey. I found myself on an emotional roller coaster ride from beginning to end. I love his writing style, which is fast paced and exciting, and the flow is wonderful too. I would most definitely consider reading more books by this author in the future.
Due to the technical aspects, as well as the deeply philosophical nuances within this book, I do not recommend this to young readers. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love science fiction, suspense or thriller genres. - Lynn Worton
View all my reviews
Born in Eastbourne, to retired parents, Simon Denman grew up alternately on the beaches of a succession of English seaside towns, and in the historic, if somewhat austere boarding school of Christ's Hospital in Horsham, Sussex.
After graduating from the University of Essex with a degree in Electronic Engineering, he has spent longer than he likes to admit in the IT networking, communications, and Internet security industries, gradually moving from technical to marketing and management roles. During this time, he moved from the UK to Paris, back to the UK, over to Munich, across to the French Riviera, and finally back to England.
Far more importantly during this period, he was blessed with two beautiful and talented daughters, now at University themselves, and, in remarriage, the love of the most wonderful woman for whom a man could wish.
Following the publication and unexpected success of his first novel,"Connected" and, in the same year, the births of twins, he has recently moved to Cornwall with his wife and babies, where he is now working on a new novel.
While he no longer plays rugby, Simon is a moderately accomplished player of Jazz and classical trumpet, which he blows enthusiastically with any band or group that'll have him. Any remaining time is spent reading and writing.
For more information, or to make contact, please visit www.simondenman.com