Review: Broadcast by Liam Brown

9780143788065.jpgA successful YouTube star accepts the lead role in a revolutionary new online show in this science-fiction thriller.

David Callow is a self-obsessed video blogger with a solid stable of followers. He makes a living from his YouTube channel, his musings granting sponsorship deals, free gear and other rewards. Not a bad way to make a living. But his views and followers have stagnated over recent months, as new, hotter personalities encroach on his territory. David’s still a star: he’s just shining a little less brightly. Which makes the offer from Silicon Valley pioneer Xan Brinkley all the more seductive.

MindCast — Brinkley’s ingenious invention — is the next step for video blogging. By inserting a small chip into David’s skull, his every thought, feeling and memory will be streamed live, twenty-four hours a day. There will no longer be a need for him to articulate opinions; they will be played out live and on-screen, totally unfiltered. His every emotion will be displayed for public consumption. By accepting this opportunity — this gift — David is guaranteed to become a viral sensation.  Viewership in the hundreds of millions — possibly billions. He’ll make enough money to never have to do a hard day’s work in his life. David will be paid to be himself: to think and feel. He’ll do down in history as a trailblazer.

Naturally he signs up.

But as discerning readers will be screaming in their heads as David signs on the dotted line, there is a terrifying dark side to sharing your every secret with the world. There is danger in having your every thought collected and stored by a corporate entity. Particularly when that corporation is run by a man as devious as he is ambitious.

Broadcast is a suspenseful and frightening thriller, which will be lapped up by readers able and willing to suspend their disbelief. It’s a taut roller-coaster, occasionally bogged down by characters launching into verbose, windy explanations of what’s going on. Still, a couple of moments of exposition aside, it’s a breathtaking thriller, one I tore through over a couple of hours. It reminded me of last year’s Dark Matter by Blake Crouch: high concept, eminently readable, designed to be consumed quickly.

ISBN: 9780143788065
ISBN-10: 014378806X
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 288
Available: 18th September 2017
Publisher: Transworld Publishers (Division of Random House Australia)
Country of Publication: AU

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