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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Prophecy of the Heron: An AI Dystopia Novel is a work of fiction in the science fiction and dystopian adventure subgenres. The work is best suited to the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Craig W. Stanfill. In this thrilling futuristic world where passion, love, and freedom have been disallowed in favor of virtual productivity, we find ourselves in the crime-riddled slum of District 33. Our protagonist Kim has been ousted from the AI-dominated and so-called society after an act of intimacy with someone she couldn’t help but love, and now she’s on a survival mission that may well lead to the collapse of the volatile AI-driven society that banished her in the first place.
Whether you’re new to the series in this novel or continuing from book one, Terms of Service, you’re guaranteed a fantastic welcome into author Craig W. Stanfill’s marvelous dystopian vision. The work is fantastically dark and gritty, maturing the popular concepts of the YA dystopian phenomenon into a more realistic view of how prescriptive and oppressive an AI-dominated world could truly be. Kim is a likable and relatable protagonist whose emotional journey and mental resilience are closely and accurately depicted as she picks her way through the physical and virtual challenges which await her. The worldbuilding and internal logic of the dystopia itself are also highly accomplished, making for an immersive experience and satisfying solutions to the complex problems which Kim must face. Overall, I would certainly recommend The Prophecy of the Heron to series fans and newcomers alike for its high tension, wonderful atmosphere, and superb characterization.