13 June 2015

Review: The Affinites

I've been a fan of Robert Charles Wilson for a while now, and I can't say I've read anything I've disliked from him... until now. The Affinities is a rare miss, ultimately filled with a lot of ideas and some fairly rough execution.

The point of the book appears to be to sort of play with the whole dystopian trope we've seen of late, especially in YA literature. In this one, social media analytics, in part, help with the classification and understanding of humanities, to the point where a number of Affinities exist to separate some of the top members of society out there. These Affinities become the most important things in society, and, as is typical, they begin getting more and more power.

The book feels ham-fisted in a similar way to The Circle, except that I think Wilson understands what he's getting at here and it just doesn't work. At least with The Circle, it was a luddite-style misunderstanding of technology, this just feels like it's trying on an idea that doesn't work. Are we supposed to root for the top Affinity? Is there a reason to like anyone? What's the point?

I don't know. This just didn't work for me as much as I wanted it to, and I ultimately found it to be just a frustrating read. So many good books from this author, I would point to many others before this one.

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