This book had some pretty awesome aspects to it. Lots of cool tech. Pretty much nonstop action. I had a hard time connecting w/ the characters much, however. Mitchell put energy into developing some of the characters, but then none emerged as a "main character" into whom I could invest much emotion. In addition, I found myself wondering if I'd missed the "why" of the story. It wasn't clear (to me) what motivated some of the more important characters.
Now to be fair, this was a fairly long book -- over six hundred pages. It could be that I simply wasn't able to follow the story adequately. At several points, I did feel that I was missing something. So maybe it's just that I wasn't a careful enough reader to "get it." Anyway, my personal tastes aside, I do think the book is worth a look.
100,000 years alone
How can one 18 year old empath save a world secretly run by AI's?
With Wildcard, Faulkner-Wisdom finalist Kelly Mitchell codes out a complex masterpiece in the vein of Neal Stephenson’s Baroque cycle with channels of Zelazny’s Amber series and brush strokes of Neuromancer.
When young Karl and his mother Martha are torn apart by hidden forces, they find themselves pawns in the larger game of Dystopian control played out by three Manufactured Entities - Juniper, who studies power; :3:, the lord of science and math, and the slightly absurd D’artagnan, who struggles to become human. Powerful humans - the Named - also have designs on their future.
But the darkest plan of all may come from Wildcard - the semi-mythical, horribly damaged first Manufactured Entity, who was trapped in isolation for 100,000 years alone, who has never made contact with anyone, and who may not even exist.
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When the Artificial Intelligence Wildcard is trapped for 100,000 years alone (subjective time), the other A.I.'s are created. Manipulating humanity and especially Karl - an engineered empath - they want to connect Wildspace with Earth. But it's dangerous. This High Concept, Speculative Fiction debut, reminds one of the old masters - Zelazny and Larry Niven come to mind in terms of characters and odd world-building ideas.