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Ratings and Book Reviews (4 13 star ratings
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    Not what I'd hoped for

    Paxton had worked for fifteen years as a prison guard in a minimum security facility. He then started a small business, but because of Cloud, it failed. To add insult to injury, he must now seek work at Cloud, his last resort. Cloud is America's largest employer, with its gigantic warehouses where everything can be found, purchased without ever leaving home, and delivered promptly to one's door. Cloud is everywhere and has swallowed most businesses, big and small. Zinnia arrived at the Cloud processing centre on the same bus as Paxton. However, her purpose is different; she was anonymously hired to do what she does best: spy. Cloud is not on the up-and-up, is impossible to spy on from the outside, so she has to get hired and infiltrate directly from MotherCloud, the work-live facilities. Meanwhile, Gibson Wells, Cloud founder and CEO, is dying. He was given one year to live, and he has started a blog for posterity. Who will succeed him? Set in the near future, THE WAREHOUSE aims at provoking a reflection on the threat of a corporate Big Brother, if you will. I expected the MotherCloud facilities and the work environment to be idealised, at least at first, and show its cracks later, but the operating philosophy resembles more that of the world's most famous fast food empire than the perfect futuristic workplace. Cloud offers the jobs you take when you can't find anything else. The concept is genius, and Rob Hart creates an eerily believable and richly detailed world that reminded me of the great Philip K. Dick, with the vibrant descriptions that allow the grimness to seep through, creating a plausible near future. Alas, the flattering comparison stops at the worldbuilding. I was very excited to start THE WAREHOUSE, but it did not live up to my expectations, I'm afraid. I wish Mr. Hart had taken greater care in fleshing out the characters. Paxton seems merely a walking and talking tool to be ultimately used by Zinnia. Her persona is slightly more defined, but I found her unlikable: she is condescending and dismissive. Gibson Wells is, strangely enough, a well-rounded character, and I wonder if it's because of how the novel is structured: Paxton's and Zinnia's perspectives are written in third person, while Gibson's is in first person. Zinnis is made out to be so tough that she displays little humanity and for most of the book, Paxton is but a spineless wimp. I loved a secondary character, Miguel, who appeared very briefly, and was much more interesting than both main protagonists. I honestly didn't like either Paxton or Zinnia, and I didn't care how the story ended; that's not how it's supposed to be. The writing is solid, the story flows well, albeit extremely slowly. While I understand the set-up is capital, countless superfluous details could have been edited out, such as Pac-Man games, enumerations of the items sold in THE WAREHOUSE, at one point, a full page. We got the idea, they sell everything. I'm all for establishing a solid foundation, but at thirty percent, we were still at getting around the compound and learning what their jobs consisted of. It needed concrete action and fewer mundane details about life in the MotherCloud. A feeling of unease started to creep in from the beginning, but somewhat stalled; it left barely the tiniest whisper of tension mired in the mundane details of everyday life. Read THE WAREHOUSE as a satire, a standard cautionary tale on the dangers of corporate takeovers of the world, but don't expect a heart-pounding, spine-tingling thriller. It's more the story of Cloud as the first installment in a series. The narrative finally hits its stride around the 75% mark, and for me, it was way too late. The film rights have already been sold, there's already a built-in sequel at the end of the book, and I think that's where my problems with the story originate. I suspect the ending - or even the whole book - was modified for the movie(s), and that it explains all the filler that makes the story drag endlessly. Take chapter 5, which is entirely unnecessary and could have been written in a single paragraph, if at all, because it serves no purpose whatsoever. Chapter 5 seems to have been included to fill pages, as does Gibson's backstory, and a not-so-subtle wink to a sci-fi classic. I'm sorry to say that all the books mentioned by the author in the story do a better job of speculating on a possible totalitarian future than THE WAREHOUSE.
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    One of my favorite reads in 2019

    Big Brother is always watching you. Cloud does it by way of the watches. You are worked to the bone and if you step out of line, you are ejected from Cloud with no hope for the future. Gibson is reminiscent of Trump, arrogantly defending his decisions regardless of who it hurts. Not only has he driven every competitor out of business, but he also controls the government. The sky becomes black with drones the closer you get to any Cloud city. Gibson is out of touch with the reality of how his wonderfully innovative ideas affect the everyday person. The future hasn’t gotten rid of racism, sexism, and ageism. Zinnia is almost raped her first week while trying to take a shower. Paxton is determined to be there for a few months so he can get back on his feet. He has this wild hope of meeting Gibson, shaking his hand and telling him all the ways he ruined his life. But he is quickly seduced by the Cloud life. He falls for Zinnia and he begins to think that it might be a nice life after all, to have Cloud looking after all of his needs. There is an exciting suspenseful storyline for each of the three characters and I was quickly caught up in the story. As I said, with any good dystopian novel there are so many similarities to what is going on in our world today and the choices that we are making that you can visualize how easy it would be to end up with that for our future. I loved this story so much and found that it moved at a face pace, I felt for all the characters and was caught up in this world. It reads more like a mystery for those who aren’t keen on science fiction. It’s smart, juicy and a great book club book because it is rich with things to discuss. This is one of my favorite novels this year and definitely on my must-read list.
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    A view into how amazon might evolve

    The story has many parallels in the current world of technology. It is a disquieting view that might make us question our current "progress".
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    The Warehouse

    The Warehouse, by Rob Hart, is the type of Science Fiction I enjoy most. Reading The Warehouse you know it's not possible..... yet. With technology what it has become a place like The Warehouse could exist in our not too distant future. I was given an early copy to review.
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