Synopsis: Teacher Val and political staffer Julie are mothers of two children, David and Sophie. They live at a time when a new technology is becoming nearly mandatory for everyone: A brain implant, the Pilot, enhances the ability to multitask. Visible to everyone are the blue lights at the temple.
David is the family’s first to get one. He enlists for a special military service troop and becomes the poster boy for the product. The other family members are far more reluctant. Julie doesn’t want to left behind in her job and has always been affine to the newest gadgets. But then there is Sophie whose epilepsy makes it impossible for a brain implantation. Finally, Val decides to stay on Sophie’s side but feels the pressure in school as there are only a couple of students without the Pilot.
Sophie goes fully anti-Pilot, joins the local board of a national NGO to organize demonstrations etc. against the product. She is shocked as David joins the “enemy”, the producer of the Pilot as a marketing specialist. But David has his own problems with the Pilot, because it works far more intense for him than for everyone else.
Review: The story starts with the wholesome family just before the technology arrives. It’s very heartwarming and engaging. But as soon as the technology arrives, shadows appear. Very. slowly.
The novel gets a good while to take off. Which isn’t exactly a bad thing, but one needs to sit down and enjoy the slow ride.
The following plot is predictable and checks off lots of tropes with technology misuse, young adults out of their safety zone, adults making harsh errors, and a monstrous technology corporation. It doesn’t get horrific or bleedingly harsh, so I count it off as a soft dystopia with a happy end.
Recommended for readers of ultralight cyborg technology in a near future SF setting who don’t want to get stressed by a rigorous dystopia.
Meta: isbn 9781984802606. Published at 11.05.2021 by Berkley.