Thursday, June 12, 2014

Patriarch Run

Patriarch RunPatriarch Run by Benjamin Dancer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Billy Erikson's life is going pretty well until an amnesiac stranger wanders into his life. This stranger happens to be his father, Jack, who has been missing for the past ten years. Jack is a former secret agent and the only man on earth who knows the whereabouts of a device capable of ruining the United State's electrical infrastructure. Now if he could just remember where he hid it before one of the factions gunning for him figures out where he is...

I almost didn't agree to read Patriarch Run but Benjamin Dancer caught me in a moment of weakness between books. On the surface, it looked like a Bourne Identity knockoff. I'm pleased to say it was a whole lot more than that.

While Patriarch Run is both a thriller and a coming of age tale, it's also a frightening look at what might happen if the technological singularity happens and artificial intelligence not necessary friendly to human life is born.

I have to admit, I felt like I was out in the weeds for the first half of the book, trying to piece together what happened as Jack and Billy did. Once I was able to get an angle on what the hell was actually going on, I really enjoyed it. It was almost exhausting to read it was so action packed. However, I was pleased that Dancer avoided a few things that normally bug me about books of this type. It wasn't overly political, Jack and Rachel didn't get their genitals entangled after being reunited, and there were no three page chapters unlike a lot of thrillers.

Dancer obviously put a lot of thought into what would happen if something could disrupt the United State's electrical grid and the ramifications are pretty horrifying. I know how bored I get when the power goes out but I never really thought about what would happen if the lights were out for a couple months, like disruption of food distribution and things of that nature.

If I had to gripe about something, I'd say that maybe too much time was spent on the horrors of life without electricity and maybe it took a little too long for the backstory to unfold. Really, though, it's as good as any political/spy thriller put out by the Big 6 (or is it the Big 5 now?) these days.

3.5 out of 5 stars. Give the Dancer a chance and he won't let you down!

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