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A number of people have reviewed Simon Royle’s TAG, A Technothriller. It’s a sci-fi thriller with some fun political intrigue.

Tag-Cover-new-version-Dec-2011-300ph

It is a story of the protagonist, Jonah, saving the world with a little help from his friends. There are a number of interesting twists, but to focus on the quality of the writing and to keep the spoilers at bay, I’ll simply quote the Amazon publisher’s description:

On 15 March 2110, 6.3 billion people will die at the hand of one man. A man with a twisted vision, to make humans a better, more intelligent race…

In the wake of Arbitrator Jonah Oliver’s interrogation of Jibril Muraz, a prisoner of UNPOL, his secure life disintegrates into one of lies, corruption, conspiracy and murder due to what he learns.

Jonah is thrown into a race against the clock to stop a plot designed to eliminate two-thirds of the population. The odds are stacked against him. He soon finds his past is not what he thought it was, those closest to him cannot be trusted, and what he’s learned could get him, or worse, his loved ones, killed.

I appear to be in middling ground regarding the quality of writing in Mr. Royle’s book. As others have noted before, the premise, the world and the events created are very compelling. So the question becomes – is this book more than a great idea or is it a well-written story the weaves in a clever idea. His story is written with more than reasonable skill: It is populated with clearly-defined characters and a solid well-paced narrative. Were the characters complex? No. Did the dialog and story line progress in a crisp and exciting manner leading to a fulfilling crescendo? No. There were times the characters were a bit wooden and the ending was definitely deflating. However, this novel was not a poorly executed good idea. It was a reasonably executed great idea (I could have lived without the whole gay/transgender thing). I anticipate that Mr. Royle will continue to hone his craft and I look forward to reading his Bangkok Burn.

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