Book Review #29: Resonance by Nicholas Dabideen

In a post-pandemic world, technology is king. Equipped with the fully automated CHIPS, humanity relies entirely on the new computers they have inserted in their wrists. It can do everything. If you don’t have a CHIP, you’re seen as an outcast. 

Sage has always seen himself as different. He yearns for the peace of a chip-less world, for the human connections that people made before computer screens replaced face to face conversations. When he decides to take a much needed vacation to Hawaii, something out of this world answers his calling. A strange artifact reveals itself to him, and Sage is thrown headfirst into a world that feels more paranormal than real.

Dabideen’s writing is very smooth. This was a splendidly easy, engaging read, filled to the brim with pop-culture references and intelligence. Dabideen does an excellent job of world building and painting the image of a sprawling, futuristic metropolis. The only downside to the city? An evil (or is it really?) AI at the center of it all. 

Resonance raises some important questions, ones that science fiction has been asking for decades. How far is too far when it comes to technology? Is there a way for tech and spirituality to coexist peacefully? What does technology take away from us, and is there a way to ever truly get it back? To be honest, it’s a lot for one book to tackle, and at times, the writing feels a bit preachy. It dragged on, digging into the bigger questions, when I was just really into the plot. 

Speaking of the plot, I liked it! That’s a shallow answer, I know. It started off kind of slow. By the midway point, though, where we get an insight into the Nile company and the Second Moon (the corporation that runs the CHIP program and the massive satellite that houses the data collected from the CHIPS, respectively), things really started picking up. I care more about Sage and his friends than I did about answering all those metaphysical questions. 

The biggest issue for me, though, is actually an easy fix. The story is told in third person narration. It helps the reader see different points of view as we travel between Sage and the Second Moon. About halfway through, though, the author switches to first person. I was caught off guard by the sudden change, but I preferred the first person POV. This may have been an intentional shift, following Sage’s sudden connection with the “alien” object that appeared to him. I don’t think it was, though. My advice would be to tackle a rewrite and pick a POV to stick with. First person would work best, I believe! That’s just preference, though. 

Overall, worth a read! I definitely enjoyed it. Well done, Dabideen. 

You can buy Resonance here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1525593161

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