State of Mind
Sven Michael Davison
Bedouin Press (2011)
Reviewed by Deb Shunamon for Reader Views (5/11)
This book deserves to go directly to the “Top Ten Best Sellers List.” There is not a single thing wrong with this novel, in my opinion. Every clear concise sentence and short chapter is needed as Sven Michael Davison fleshes out a story that would have taken other authors well over 500 pages to tell. And other authors would have ended the tale at several spots but this writer keeps giving you more, then more again. Anyone who watches television or reads newspapers will recognize the familiar characters, because this novel is one view of how the use of a powerful technology might play out in the hands, and heads, of humans no different from us today.
The time period is approximately 50 years from now, and there are many heroes or villains depending on the reader’s view of technology, politics, economics, and social standing. Jake Tavassi, or Jackhammer, is respected by his peers and has the reputation of sometimes bending the rules but never really breaking them. As Commander of the Enhanced Unit of the LAPD and poster boy for the P-Chip, he is helping to keep his country safe from terrorists, and convince citizens that nano chip implants can truly improve all aspects of their lives. From being able to eat everything in sight but still lose weight to ensuring that their implanted children can continually graduate at the top of their classes, the P-chip is the new must-have of society. But not enough people are asking questions.
“State of Mind” is more about individualism versus being part of a pack than it is about good versus evil. And it is timely. The setting descriptions are logical futures of what is going on today, and almost every point the author makes can be thought of in terms of what is happening in societies around the world right now, which is what I really appreciated about the book. Is technology itself a problem, or is it how and why it is used? “State of Mind” encourages readers to think very carefully about their opinions on this. Wonderfully written, current, and enjoyable as all get-out, “State of Mind” by Sven Michael Davison is simply terrific.