Games Gazette Logo

  This is Book One of the Infinity Trilogy

The following text (in blue unless you only have a black & white monitor) is the regular text found on `every` review and sales site for this book.

In the near future, one corporation, Blackstone Technologies, has changed the world: no disasters, no poverty, and life-altering technology. Blackstone has the impunity to destroy—or create—as it sees fit.

Infinity “Finn” Blackstone is the seventeen-year-old daughter of Blackstone’s reclusive CEO—but she’s never even met him. When disturbing dreams about a past she doesn’t remember begin to torment her, Finn knows there’s only one person who can provide answers: her father.

After Finn and an elite group of peers are invited to Blackstone’s top-secret HQ, Finn realizes she may have a chance to confront her father. But when a highly sophisticated company AI morphs into a killing machine, the trip descends into chaos. Trapped inside shape-shifting walls, Finn and her friends are at the mercy of an all-seeing intelligence that will destroy everything to get to her.

With no hope of help, Finn’s dream-memories may be the only chance of survival. But will she remember in time to save her own life and the lives of those around her?

So what is my take on the book?
Well I don't want to give anything away as it is one of those books, like the Sixth Sense film, where you will find yourself guessing and outguessing, over-thinking and under-complicating every twist and turn. 

The story flips and flops between Finn of the now and Finn of the then; the "then" being some 10-11 years back in the weeks leading up to her sixth birthday and the "meeting" of her father, Dr Richard Blackstone, for the first time.

Blackstone's company, Blackstone Technology, is tghe most influential company in the modern world. It has the most amazing minds working there and they have been responsible for some of the greatest creations ever thought of, let alone actually rfealised. For instance, the famed Jett 10 Holographic mobile-phone has made communication between people all over the world more open and honest, but the piece-de-resistance of the company could well be the custom-made heart replacements which have revolutionised heart disease operations.

Finn, aged 5 going on 6 and then some, is held under what could be presumed to be house arrest, though she doesn't realise this at her early age; it is only in her dreams that her "memories" open this view to her. She has no friends to play with at home and is almost always in the presence of her bodyguard , Jonah (though of course that's not how she sees him) and Nanny Theresa, the house-woman-cum nurse-cum substitute mum-cum everything and everywhere in the household. Finn befriends a young, fairly stupid, maid named Mariele, and on a whim she lets the maid into a secret. This is the last time she ever sees Mariele - even a blind man on crack could have seen that one coming, and that is one of the problems I found with this story, many of the cliffhanger twists are so transparent that you begin, as I said to start with, doubting yourself. You may not be correct every time, I wasn't, but there weren't many occasions I was wrong, or at least very close.

Finn aged seventeen is sharing a room on campus with Bit (short for Bettina) her best friend, possibly only real friend at Bethlem Academy where Finn is enrolled under an alias, although Bit is on it. When the school gets the opportunity to be the first ever to tour the Blackstone Industries facility it is not only the science students who get seats on the bus with Finn and Bit; their adversaries, the rich and the handsomest boys also manage to get places on the bus - money talks. Bit and Finn are hoping to catch a glimpse, or more, of the famous Howard Hughes styled figurehead, Dr Blackstone, while many of the others are there because it simply looks good. I am left wondering throughout whether this is a science fiction story, a coming of age adventure or a grown-up Famous Five, minus Timmy, tale. The trip to Blackstones is, with scientific trappings in place of sweetie machines, similar to the trip to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.

We get an early look at Blackstone Industries dark(er) side when an investigative journalist/blogger, Preston Harrow, is given a threat listing of Protocol 4,  a high level threat, and is delivered to the nearest Blackstone facility to have the threat behaviour modification neutralised. There is even a military training centre and research hospital in the facility, but are they working for THE greater good, or THEIR greater good ? It really isn't that easy to review INFINITY LOST without giving away its secrets.

If you are capable of speed reading where you can read down the centre of the page and take in the main events and gist of the tale without having to read every word you will find this more enjoyable and less labourious than I did. That isn't to say that I didn't enjoy the tale, though I am not usually one who reads part one of a trilogy without having the other two volumes to hand, but I did find it quite hard going at times. It isn't a thick book, 202 pages on my ebook reader, but it has more padding than my sofa. Everyone and everything is described to just above the minute detail and the stereotypes just keep rolling off the word processor, and many tangents are followed to little or no end. Or perhaps it's all me and I luckily went to the only school and college where there weren't indigenous peers who sashayed round with their faithful minions.  It was when I reached page 45 where I had so many names I was trying to remember that my speed reading kicked in. 

From the off there is more about Infinity than is being let on, that's one of the twists you will see coming within a few pages and once the penny drops so much more becomes obvious. Overall it is a reasonable book for young adults, of the Harry Potter reading age - or at least the age of the readers Harry Potter's first three books were aimed at (ages 9 - 13 I believe). I am sure that the next two volumes in the trilogy will enhance and expand Infinity's life in the way that books 2 and 3 of HP brought out more in the characters and indeed in Hogwarts itself.




© Chris Baylis 2011-2015