Broadcast – Liam Brown

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Published September 15th 2017 by Legend Press
Author: Liam Brown
Genre: Fiction/Science Fiction
Pages: 195
Star rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Opening line:

“From below, the entire structure appears to be made of glass.”

Goodreads synopsis:

The idea behind MindCast is simple. We insert a small chip into your skull and then every thought, every feeling, every memory is streamed live, twenty-four hours a day. Trust me – within a few months you’ll be the most talked about person on the planet.

When David Callow is offered the lead role in a revolutionary new online show, he snatches at the opportunity.

Rapidly becoming a viral sensation, David is propelled to stratospheric levels of celebrity. However, he soon realises the downside of sharing every secret with the world.

A prisoner to both his fame and his own thoughts, David seeks to have the chip removed, only to discover the chilling secret lurking at the heart of MindCast, and the terrifying ambition the show’s creator has for him.

My review

I received a proof copy of this book from Legend Press, and I began reading it as soon as it arrived, because I couldn’t ignore the fascinating premise. The book is described as being ‘A Truman-like nightmare for the Youtube generation’. I have to agree somewhat. This is a science fiction book that is probably set as close to reality as it can get. I don’t imagine the events of the book coming true (but then again, I don’t know what technology is or isn’t out there) but I do think this book is good for putting the reader in the right frame of mind to contemplate this generation of vloggers, and the extent to which we share our lives on the internet.

David Callow is a vlogger. Here, you can probably imagine your favourite Youtube star with a huge following, and stick them in David’s position as you read, because he’s pretty accurate. He even does the ‘Hey guys!’ intro to each of his videos and updates. It made me smile, because I’ve not read a book before that is concerned with a technological nightmare so close to the real world as we know it.

He’s a likable character, and the author does a brilliant job of putting the reader inside his mind…because, literally the whole world can see inside his mind. If he’s anxious, we know. If he’s annoyed or angry, we know. We know because there’s an app called MindCast which works from a chip that has been planted in the back of David’s head. The chip transfers information to the app to create one single, continuos stream of David’s thoughts and feelings.

It’s such a strange idea, and it’s explored well here. Alter every sitting reading this book, I would put it down because I had to continue my own existence, but I would still be thinking about the book. I’d them return to it at the first available opportunity, because I just needed to find out how this chip, and the app would affect David.

When you really contemplate the idea of everyone being able to see your thoughts as you have them on a screen played out in movie/TV show style, you start to wonder and ask questions about the magnitude of this. These thoughts were always on my mind as I was reading, as though I was David trying to navigate this new experience of the world. The author did a great job exploring these questions and the consequences.

The narrative towards the end of the book takes a different turn, but is the most poignant moment of the book. I won’t say what happens or what those scenes are like but I’ll just say that we really are put in David’s shoes here as much as possible, and if you like the premise and you want to know what it would be like to experience everyone knowing your thoughts and inner feelings…then you’re going to get it with this book. It’ll definitely make you think, especially if you’re an avid online sharer. Even more so if you’re a famous Youtuber. In fact, I think if I was a famous Youtuber and I got my hands on this book and read it, I might think twice about the whole thing.

If this book has taught me anything it’s that I never want to be as famous as those big Youtubers, because I wouldn’t be able to handle that many people wanting to know my business.

A brilliant book, definitely thought provoking.

Link to the book on Goodreads: Broadcast

Do you like the sound of this book? Do you want to find out more about the author?

If yes, then you’re in luck! One of my future author interviews is going to be with Liam Brown, so fingers crossed we’ll get an insight into the mind that came up with MindCast. Details will be updated here once the interview has been published.

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