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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Book Review and Tour Giveaway: The Path by Peter Riva

This is a remarkably smart sci fi with mystery and surprising twists. Quite a ride!
The Path
by Peter Riva
File Size: 1849 KB
Print Length: 224 pages
Publisher: Yucca Publishing (January 6, 2015)
Genre: Sci Fi, Techno-thriller
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

All life on earth is about to be terminated by an entity as old as the galaxy itself. To make matters worse, Simon has broken everything already.
In a future world that is run by computer systems and that is without want, how can a man find his role? Then, if the very computers he works on to try to make them more human suddenly try to kill him, revealing a secret so vast that it affects every living soul on the planet, can that man be a hero?
These are the questions that face the stumbling, comic, and certainly flawed Simon Bank. His job is to work with the System’s artificial intelligence, making it fit more perfectly into human society so that it can keep the country running smoothly. But when the System threatens the peaceful world he knows, Simon suddenly must rush to save his own life, as well as the life of everyone on earth. Forced to reassess everything that he thought he knew, he is caught within circumstances way beyond his control.
Simon’s only hope is to rely on intellect and instincts he didn’t know he had, and on new friends, not all of them human, to change himself and all humanity. And he doesn’t have much time.

The New Republic of America is controlled by a supercomputer. The System controls the country defense shields, the weather, the power, farms providing food, communication, travel and delivery systems. Everyone is happy with their basic needs met and the freedom to choose a job they love. Simon Banks is a brilliant codifier. His job is to enter a virtual world duplicate of the computer system and insert programming glitches. The changes are monitored by a Control Committee who continually fixes them. The described goal is to continually train the computer to behave in a more human fashion; to humanize it for the continued and improved well being of the people.

Suddenly there are glitches to the real System. When a tornado breaks through the weather dome in front of Simon, he knows something is seriously wrong. Simon figures it is the work of other codifiers or maybe errors made by the Committee. Chief Detective Cramer accosts Simon and insists that he is tampering with the System. Simon agrees to enter the System with Cramer to see if they can uncover the problem. What Simon discovers, in addition to a history built on lies, is an emerging sentience in the computer. This could pose a threat not only to the American New Way, but to all of mankind on earth.

Simon and a few friends, as well as the pushy Cramer, are in a race against the System (computer within and government without) to try to save humanity. It will take a lot of scheming to determine the right path to get things back on track and hopefully save the world from destruction.

I admit that the beginning of the story is difficult to follow. I have studied computer language but the details as Simon enters and navigates the computer stream are confusing. However, it is well worth getting beyond that to enjoy the rest of the mystery.

The story is told in first person by Simon, who is a likeable character whose thoughts drift from the complex computer language to very human matters. I enjoyed Cramer’s brusque detective nature as the two tried to outguess each other. There is a thread of mystery from the beginning that kept me on my toes trying to determine who is in control and who are the good guys and bad guys. I learned some interesting true experiments that formed a platform idea for the story.

I really enjoyed following the developments and exchanging discussions on ‘the path, the way and the truth’. Along the way, horrible aspects of politics and man’s insistence on power are revealed. In the last third of the book the twists, or at least surprises, come in rapid succession. The ending is humorous if a bit anti-climactic. I highly recommend this to readers who enjoy science fiction especially as it relates to artificial intelligence.

I received this title through iRead Book Tours for an honest review.
I am looking forward to reading the second book, Reaching Angelica, for review on May 3.

Author's Bio:
Peter Riva has worked for more than thirty years with the leaders in aerospace and space exploration. His daytime job for more than forty years has been as a literary agent. He resides in New York City.
Connect with the author:   Website  Twitter   Facebook

Prizes: ​
Win 1 of 5 sets of books (The Path Book 1 and Reaching Angelica Book 2) + 1 of 2 $25 Amazon gift cards
(open internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great review. This sounds like a very interesting story. Peter Riva is a new author to me. I am going to add this story to my list.

  2. I want to win this book because it sounds interesting!

    thank you,

  3. I want to read this book because it makes me wonder if this could really happen

  4. I would love to win this book as it sounds like a very interesting read I would love to delve into while I am recovering in the hospital.


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