Friday, February 26, 2016

[Book Review] The God's Eye View

The God's Eye View
By Barry Eisler
February 2, 2016
Thriller, Fiction, Suspense

Let me start by saying that I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was interested to read this story because of its synopsis. And truth be told, it felt like Christmas came in February when I got this book, because I have been a fan of Barry Eisler since I read John Rain. That being said, I'll admit being guilty of slightly fan-girling on Twitter. That is all I'm going to admit.

Be warned. This is a very scary book. It will make you uncomfortable, but it will make you think. It is not scary in a horror, or paranormal kind of way, but scary in a conspiracy-theory-and-paranoia kind of way. If some aspects of the fiction in this book turned out to be real, the implications are astounding. And you have to read the whole story to understand that the fictional aspect of this book might not be that far-fetched from reality.

While reading this book, Sir Francis Bacon's famous quote kept leaping up at me. The quote says: "Knowledge is power." This quote probably sums up the whole story pretty well. The core issue in this story is this: how much government intrusion into private rights is enough and when is it too much?

I love that this book effectively weaves reality and fiction. It was so effective in doing so that many times throughout reading the book, I kept asking myself which parts are real and which parts are not. At the end of reading the whole story, I was reeling because I was effectively absorbed in a world that was not much different from reality, and learned a few things along the way. This book doesn't only tell a story, it also educates. This is what I really appreciate in this book.

The writing was steady, as was the pacing. I love that the author did not hold back on the gore, and was consistent in tying up together the intricate events one by one. The characters were dynamic, and there was growth for both Evie and Manus as the story progressed.

It was interesting to read about a really advance monitoring system that could have been the perfect surveillance tool if not for the people who run it; the ghosts inside the machine. Also, there was one persistent thought that kept occurring to me while I was reading about God's Eye. Essentially, the government leaders may change, and the name of the project/machine may change, but it's all just semantics really. At the heart of it all, knowledge really is power. And it is definitely better to know more rather than less.

Lastly, I really loved the list of resources and reading materials at the end of the book. I was thinking of researching people and events after reading the story, and the resources listed within the book was really, really helpful.

Kudos to the author for writing such a thought-provoking masterpiece! I highly recommend this book for those who are interested in an intellectually-charged suspense thriller.

NSA director Theodore Anders has a simple goal: collect every phone call, email, and keystroke tapped on the Internet. He knows unlimited surveillance is the only way to keep America safe.

Evelyn Gallagher doesn’t care much about any of that. She just wants to keep her head down and manage the NSA’s camera network and facial recognition program so she can afford private school for her deaf son, Dash.

But when Evelyn discovers the existence of a program code-named God’s Eye and connects it with the mysterious deaths of a string of journalists and whistle-blowers, her doubts put her and Dash in the crosshairs of a pair of government assassins: Delgado, a sadistic bomb maker and hacker, and Manus, a damaged giant of a man who until now has cared for nothing beyond protecting the director.

Within an elaborate game of political blackmail, terrorist provocations, and White House scheming, a global war is being fought—a war between those desperate to keep the state’s darkest secrets and those intent on revealing them. A war that Evelyn will need all her espionage training and savvy to survive, because the director has the ultimate advantage: The God’s Eye View.
Let me just say that I am proud I did not embarrass myself that much. Haha! 

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