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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Demiurge by J.C. Gemmell is a dystopian science fiction novel and the third book in the Tion series, preceded by book one, Tionsphere, and book two, The Uprisers. Gemmell's series takes place in the future at a time when the human population has overgrown its capacity to sustain itself. The people live in spheres that are all tethered to a central system and surround the planet, the Tionsphere. Their dependency on interconnectivity is the textbook definition of addiction and control of the masses is accomplished by feeding this obsession. Tion is sustained by this and while breaking away is almost impossible for most, there are groups who do in order to deconstruct what amounts to a deeply entrenched caste system that lives in designated levels. The umbilical cord to humanity's connective system is gone and the impact is catastrophic.
“We deserve life, not this constant struggle for existence!” The Tion series zeros in on two hyper-realistic problems in a fictional setting, the first being overpopulation and the second being an absolute dependency on technology to the point where even the thought of disconnection is crushing. Demiurge by J.C. Gemmell moves on from the world-building of book one and the revolutionary attempts to overhaul in book two to now take readers into the unthinkable in book three. Gemmell's skillful writing makes the pain of information deprivation and detachment palpable. This is compounded by a character-driven storyline with multiple alternating points of view spanning levels and the surface, and good and bad in a scenario where even the good has to be a little bad. I especially loved when the narrative went into the first person, such as when we were taken into the mind of Xin-yi, where being in the mind that transcends time and space is an integral part of the system. Gemmell's descriptions can be best described as cinematic, such as the beauty surrounding the rising of a sunstar. Very highly recommended.