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Reviewed by Alma Boucher for Readers' Favorite
The Die by Jude Berman introduces Darah, who joined a group at HastinSys after taking refuge in California before it declared itself a separate nation. The group of close friends shared a home, and what began as friendship ended up becoming a family. Darah is tasked with submitting a report on the KnoMor science game, and, skimming through the graphs on her screen, something catches her eye. Darah is shocked to discover alterations to the game she is working on for the Silicon Valley software company. One of her friends, Jedd, explores the darknet and discovers the unthinkable. An app has been created that leverages quantum computing and neuroscience to secretly change people's brains. The friends must decide whether to remain silent and be safe or risk their lives to oppose the global authoritarian force behind this conspiracy.
Jude Berman weaves aspects of metaphysical fiction and techno-thriller together in The Die, creating a fast-paced and action-packed story. The characters were authentic and relatable to readers. There is the sensitive tech writer Darah, the brash programmer Beers, the cool-headed super coder Jedd, and the forward-thinking ultra-coder June. The plot centers around this group of friends who are employees of the same company and the challenges they face to stop the coming disaster. This book is a page-turner, and the suspense kept me on the edge of my seat. It is a story about friendship, courage, and democracy. Each chapter was dedicated to one of the friends and was told from their perspective. The chapters flowed together and were easy to read. The story is masterfully written and combines corporate intrigue with science fiction.