Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: All the King’s Men
AUTHOR: Alex Powell
PUBLISHER: Less Than Three Press
LENGTH: 217 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 27, 2016
Fox is a mindnet hacker, and works for the mysterious man known only as King. He spends his time uncovering dangerous secrets and releasing them to the public.
But those who cause trouble are bound to attract, and despite their precautions King is taken prisoner by an unknown government. And if Fox is going to save him, he’s going to need help—help that comes from the very last place he expected to find it.
Let me start off by saying: Wow. Just wow. While I was intrigued by the premise, I was in no way prepared for the reality of this story and it was, in my opinion, completely amazing. To give you an idea of what this book is like, imagine if The Matrix and a show called Ghost in the Shell (if you aren’t familiar with it, look it up because its fantastic, too) had a steamy love affair resulting in a love child that grew up to be completely awesome. This book is that love child. No joke.
The vast majority of the book takes place online in a place known as the Cerebrum, where everyone is hooked in and uses avatars to move around and interact with both other people and all kinds of data. Things start off pretty quickly as a group of revolutionaries who work to expose corruption have their meeting crashed by a group of government agents, resulting in the capture of their leader: King. What follows was a story with a lot going for it and a lot going on in general. The main character, Fox, spearheads the effort to recover King but with the Agents still searching for the remainder of the group and the idea that there could be a traitor amongst them, things are far from easy.
On the other side of the spectrum are the Agents; government controlled and tasked with hunting down those the powers that be want silenced. Amongst these is Seven; up until King was captured he was just another Agent doing what he was told but since then he’s seen and heard things that have caused him to change and even question his own existence. I loved the interactions between him and Fox; both men are so different yet they bring out something in each other they didn’t even know they needed. Their times together are sometimes sweet, sometimes flirtatious but each instance kind of opened up their eyes a little more to what’s going on around them. I didn’t need an over the top, hearts in their eyes romance with these two to just get it.
While the story itself was completely fantastic, the ending was even better; I was surprised by both how things came together and the amount of maneuvering that took place among the characters to get to that point. The reveal itself was the best part for me, however, and I couldn’t have been happier with how things ended. I’ve never read anything by this author before and I’ve certainly never read a book like this before but I really hope I get the chance to do both again in the future. If you like sci-fi, most especially The Matrix, I’d recommend you check this one out; I’m so glad I did!