“You want me to hack the planet? He wants me to hack the planet… Ok, *if* I decide to do this, I’ll need an unlimited supply of Xena tapes and Hotpockets.” ‘Rat’ Finch – The Core

Maybe just an ex-junkie, the Chinese, and a spoiler I will keep to myself, sounds like another blockbuster to me but for now it’s just a novella known as The Jones. Plot wise, how much of a percentage of the human brain do any of us use today and the same can be said about the internet, indeed how much do we really need honestly?

Truthfully this was a bit Hollywood, almost as if I was reading a treatment for a screenplay but isn’t that what most writers are hoping for these days… just me then. To be fair I haven’t read any of Jacob Whaler’s other works, but whether on my Kindle or a B-movie it grabbed my attention and I would sit down for a while. Now I said B-movie, not because it was bad or cheesy, being a novella I guess he did his job well, always leave them wanting more right.

It didn’t take long to guess where the book was heading after the initial, him, her, it, them, whatever isn’t going for the standard drama of what happens to the human race. If I’ve learned anything from these types of stories, it’s the fact that the human race will always be its own worst enemy at the end of the day. That concept wasn’t original but it shouldn’t be, neither is the notion that we always want more and more, and of course the Big Brother is watching you angle.

A quick sci-fi romp that is becoming truer by the day, enough to look forward to but also plenty that anyone can understand, I think this story is a good just pick up and read for anybody. It will get you to think but I can’t say I believe still the everyday person would behave as the protagonist in this tale, which in a way chronicles that yeah we’re doomed.

“Me and Mrs. Jones
We got a thing going on
We both know that it’s wrong” Me and Mrs. Jones

The author did a great job with the characters, while I can’t say I had any real emotional attachment to any, the motivation was there quite quickly. Environmental wise, less is more I suppose but being a novella you can’t create such a huge world, though The Mesh was funny, how long did it take to come up with that name, creative as it was.

Okay so we have the formerly addicted Flynn, who sort gives that Captain America vibe, not saying they’re the same guy, I mean it’s a common thread in stories, the average joe would probably turn out to be the bad guy. Someone who has issues, was seen as weak or what have you can usually be counted on to do the right thing. His pal Jim, who wants the glory and sees Flynn as a means to an end who is pretty easy to hate, so that’s another plus to the author, character development quickly.

Mr. Chang the bad guy looking for an even bigger paycheck; Flynn was in it for the knowledge, Jim wants to be “the guy” and Mr. Chang was the businessman, pretty straight forward. Then we have to look at The Jones itself, and once you get past the obvious, first studying humans and everything about us, you could probably guess what would happen. I’ll admit I like the twist of what The Jones was attempting to accomplish though there is a question here or there that is left to the reader’s imagination but maybe there should have been an answer.

One of my questions would be, why Flynn, sure he made contact first so was The Jones hiding on purpose or just waiting for someone to seek it out, I mean all the people on the planet and there’s Flynn but okay that’s how these things usually go. Am I reading too much into this, maybe just another one of those, the chose one being a random person, in a way some of the best protagonists are in these cases.

I made sort of a crack at The Mesh which is obviously The Web, but the name The Jones itself is quite clever and you’ll have to read the story to find out why. I’ll give the story four stars to be sure and am I tempted to read a full blown novel from Jacob Whaler, like Facebook it’s complicated.

The whole idea of mixing entering The Mesh as a real place is intriguing and as I said, combining a bit of what we have now, with the technology available… makes you want to rush out and get a 3D headset as soon as possible. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if there actually was some government program looking for “stuff and things” on the internet right now. Those being AI, genetic, aliens, whatever is the part that blew me away and I don’t think we’re quite there yet but the author is and I’ll give him kudos for that as well so bravo.

What didn’t I like about this book… again, novella, I want emotional content, sure I hated Jim but maybe that has more to do with me as the reader, I think it would vary from person to person but if The Social Network holds any weight I’m sure Mark Zuckerberg might relate to people like Jim. Now this is just me but I would have made The Jones somebody else, possibly female, I get why The Jones grabbed Jim’s form but with all that knowledge, The Jones had options but perhaps it would have taken away from the climax. Four stars because there was so much to like but not enough to love if that makes any sense at all.

I recommend The Jones to anyone with a slight interest in tech or anybody that has seen what we have been turning into you know, “Mesh” wise. It’s an awesome read for what it is and to whoever actually finds The Jones, I hope you’re a better man that me.