|TITLE: The Codex File |
AUTHOR: Miles Etherington
BUY IT: Amazon
RATING: 4/5 [in the genre] or 6/10 [all books I’ve read].
FOR: Fans of the Da Vinci Code, V for Vendetta, thrillers, technology, and suspenseful fast-paced plots.
I don’t usually read thrillers, but the premise intrigued me enough to check this out. I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next slightly paranoid nerd. I wasn’t disappointed. The Codex File grabs you with a sickly twisted beginning and yanks you through. Even if you aren’t a big fan of Michael (which I was not, especially when he was getting so unnecessarily paranoid) you really want to see those government baddies crucified. Etherington sets up a world that we can all imagine in the not-too-distant future, which makes the possibility of this government conspiracy all the more terrifying. A world where technology is in everything we do and we’re never safe from invasion. Scared me to death, which made for a really compelling plot.
There writing style was generally good for a thriller. Clear and clean, though there were places where extra descriptions could have been taken out to pick up the pace. I was on the fence about the use of multiple character perspectives throughout. It removes much of the surprise, since you already know some of the pitfalls that Michael and his friends will fall into before they do. However, it sacrifices surprise for a strong sense of dramatic irony. You know they’re doomed, and dying to see how they get out of it. The style grew on me, though I think some of the villain-scenes could have been less transparent. What I liked less was the occasional random interlude into someone else’s mind during a Michael-centered scene. We’d be reading about Michael, then all of the sudden, we’d be in Brown’s head. Why were we not always in Brown’s head, I wanted to know. Convenience. A little author trick to reveal details only Brown could know, but I thought the story stood well enough without it.
Overall, I thought that while the book could have used a few copyediting tweaks, it was a fun, compelling read. I really enjoyed it, and could easily see it sitting on a shelf with a major publishing house’s logo on it, after some revision. As it stands, I highly recommend picking it up. Even if you’re not very tech-y, Etherington does a good job of bringing this not-too-distance futuristic world alive, and making the terror and the suspense real and deeply felt. Great atmosphere. Good read.