Infomocracy by Malka Older

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Publisher’s description

It’s been twenty years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global micro-democracy. The corporate coalition party Heritage has won the last two elections. With another election on the horizon, the Supermajority is in tight contention, and everything’s on the line.

With power comes corruption. For Ken, this is his chance to do right by the idealistic Policy1st party and get a steady job in the big leagues. For Domaine, the election represents another staging ground in his ongoing struggle against the pax democratica. For Mishima, a dangerous Information operative, the whole situation is a puzzle: how do you keep the wheels running on the biggest political experiment of all time, when so many have so much to gain?

 

Review

Infomocracy is a near future science-fiction book following a story set in a society where almost everyone can access to Information a system which is basically Google meets government databases and allows everyone to access everything from everywhere because, in this world, it’s actually illegal to hide information from, well, Information. All the states under the Information system are organized in centenals (groups of 100 000 persons) which are ruled as micro-democracies. It follows the same idea that, in Too Like The Lightning , people have the right to choose in which micro-democracy they want to live in and under which government. However, every ten years, there is a huge election to determine which government is going to obtain the Supermajority. The story takes place just before the third election and one of the main character, Ken, is working for Policy1st, one of the candidates.

The funny thing is that some of the candidates are actually big corporation like Sony-Mitsubishi or Philip Morris, former nations like China( here called 1China) or just more traditional parties like Liberty, Heritage or Policy1st which I think was really interesting idea. However, for me, those different candidates weren’t “fleshed out” enough, for most of them, Older omitted to explain their programs or what they were standing for and, for a book where the whole plot is centered around an election, it was a bit of a shame really.

Speaking of disappointment, I had to say that the execution of the book didn’t really work for me. It had a lot of cool ideas but overall, it just fell flat.

Infomocracy is a debut-novel and it felt like one. This story has four POV and they switch all the time, one paragraph was from one person, the next from the other and etc.. I am exagerating a little but really, it sometimes made the story really hard to follow.

Also, the characters were almost all one-dimentional, Ken was very naive, Mishima very insecure and Domaine, against everything. For me the only really interesting character was the fourth POV but still, she didn’t leave that great of an impression on me since I forgot her name and I just can’t find it anymore…

I don’t want to bash this book because, it was a quick read and it has some really neat ideas. However, for me it is trying to do the same things as Too Like The Lightning by Ada Palmer and Palmer did them much better so it is very hard for me to judge this book fairly. However, it is a lot easier to follow so if you want to read a fast-paced political thriller and you don’t want something super complex then, give Infomocracy a try.

I will definitely give Older another chance because I feel like she’s an author with innovative ideas and I’m sure what she’ll write in the future will be interesting!

 

★★★

 

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Tor.com. All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Infomocracy by Malka Older

  1. Totally agree with your comparison to Ada Palmer’s TOO LIKE THE LIGHTNING. However, I could not make myself get into this one after having read LIGHTNING, so I just gave up finally. Just a case of too much of a good thing, I guess.

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    • I completely understand, I don’t think that I would have been able to appreciate this one if I had read them back to back because of how similar they are (and especially since I think Too Like The Lightning is a much better version of what Infomocracy is trying to be, but that’s just my opinion)! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. While I would not have any trouble with the switch from one POV to another in every chapter (as a matter of fact I quite like this narrative style), one-dimensional characters would be another matter entirely… Pity, because I like the core idea of this novel.

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  3. It does sound a lot like Too Like the Lightning! I really enjoyed TLtL, but I also confess it was probably a bit too much on the heavy and confusing for me, so I might actually do better with this one, who knows! Thanks for the input!

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