The Digital Now

Fiction - Science Fiction
383 Pages
Reviewed on 01/23/2016
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Author Biography

Roland Allnach has been writing since his teens, but did not actively seek publication until 2007. He has numerous published short stories to his credit, one of which was a 2010 Pushcart Prize nominee, as well as three prior books, 'Remnant' (2010), 'Oddities & Entities' (2012), and 'Prism' (2014). In 2015 he saw publication of two titles, 'The Digital Now' and 'The Writer's Primer'.
Together, his books have been recognized with more than a dozen national literary awards.
His literary inspirations arise from classic literature, history, and mythology, and his aim is to invest his stories and characters with a complexity and depth that continue to reward upon repeated readings. Writing aside, his joy in life is the time he spends with his family.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Janelle Fila for Readers' Favorite

The Digital Now by Roland Allnach is a dystopian and science fiction tale that follows the life of Patrolman Carly Westing, an up and coming young star who has a hunger for violence that is rooted in the justice system she serves. She believes in what she does, even if she has to crack a few skulls to do it. But when she discovers that everything she believes in is actually built around secrets and lies, she questions who she can trust. Her life is suddenly no longer black and white and, instead, she is now part of a chess game built on more lies, deep secrets, and shifting perceptions. The power and authority she once worked for turns against her and Carly is forced to make a choice. Will she continue to be their pawn and do their bidding or can she rise to defeat them and make the future a better place?

The Digital Now by Roland Allnach is a well written story about violence and the lust for power. Carly is a very interesting, well developed character who is not the typical heroine. I loved the fact that she craved violence. She looked forward to her job of maiming, beating, and even killing those who didn't serve her cause. I found her honesty refreshing and this made her character very likeable and authentic. I was so happy to follow her along an incredible journey into the dark, dangerous world that Allnach created.

Ryan Jordan

The Digital Now by Roland Allnach is a futuristic novel about a dystopian future with a fairly traditional story that has a lot of new twists. Our main character and hero is a woman who is having memories of apples swimming through her mind and odd details she can't quite explain that don't really make sense in her day-to-day life. She is a patrolwoman working the streets and her world is falling apart around her; there is a quite relevant line and idea in the novel that gets repeated a few times: "Carly's childhood ended with the rattle of a repeater." She had her innocence taken away from her when her family was killed in their domicile. But, we also quickly find out that not everything is as it seems and she's been lied to this entire time. We watch her descent into the chaotic world of revenge as she tries to decide what to do with her life ... with this new found information.

I really liked the main character and thought it was a great creation of a dystopian world. Endo was interesting, and the Dream and Process was a really cool idea. The writing employed is excellent and the characters are interesting and brutal, the sort of dystopian leadership figures that are expected in a novel like this, with fuzzy morals and dark ambitions. It fits the genre perfectly and is a wild and entertaining ride, though I think in a few places it can get confusing with all of the new terms and concepts being introduced that serve to progress the story or build the world. The action scenes are fantastic, though occasionally we get bogged down in unnecessary details that hinder the flow of the work. All in all, The Digital Now by Roland Allnach is a well written dystopian novel that fits perfectly into the genre and tells an excellent story.

Lit Amri

The Digital Now by Roland Allnach is a dystopian, sci-fi urban tale set in the city of Seven Hills that centers on Patrolman Carly Westing. Carly discovers her reality is built on lies and veiled secrets. Scripting codes are used to guide people. They basically decide what’s going to happen, controlling people’s lives and memories. When the authority she once protected turns on her, her life is catapulted into a violent cat and mouse game of shifting perceptions.

There are a lot of action scenes in the story. Allnach does a good job to make sure that every fight and battle advance the plot, as well as give us enough insight into the action so that we can picture the scene in our minds. The action scenes also give readers the opportunity to see the traits of the characters. That said, it took a while for me to familiarize myself with the world building – particularly Central and Drive Control – and figure out the direction of the plot. The complexity of the world, particularly in terms of cyber tech, reminds me of Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell.

Characterization is solid. Carly, Noel, Graham, Gadwick and others (main cast or otherwise) are well-developed and memorable. Back story is filled in very neatly and revealed bit by bit as the plot progresses. Carly’s past is intriguing and the truth becomes more interesting as she discovers more about the ‘reality’ that is implanted in people’s mind. Overall, The Digital Now is an intriguing read with an imaginative premise and plot.