Good morning and welcome to In the Books, featuring The Jennifer Project by Larry Enright.
First, I have to admit I’m an idiot. I thought I had already reviewed this and few other books in 2016, but they were buried in my to-do pile, so, for that, I apologize. I hope to have them all reviewed in the coming weeks.
About the Book: In 2096, Deever MacClendon creates Jennifer, the first proto-conscious cybernetic processor. It is hyper-intelligent, aware, and evolving. Deever wants to use his creation for the good of all, to help fix a broken world, but knowing what a powerful weapon it could be in the wrong hands, he hides it. When his secret is uncovered, he is forced to plunge into a high-tech morass of deception and treachery to avoid catastrophe and save a world where humans are no longer the most intelligent species.
My Review: This is the first book by the author that I’ve read, and it won’t be the last. As a hugs Sci-Fi fan, I loved the layers throughout the story. We’re thrown into a futuristic world where a single company controls most of the world through their various enterprises. In many ways, it’s already a dystopian world, but there’s more to come.
As we’re introduced to Deever, a 1960s hippie throwback, we have the joy of watching one of the most intelligent people alive as well as probably the loosest cannon. While he wants nothing but the best for humanity, Deever continually outthinks himself or underestimates those wishing to own his newest creation: Jennifer.
Jennifer, an AI (Artificial Intelligence) created by Deever, is a unique combination of a highly intelligent creation (being?) with the understanding of a child about the world around her. It helped to add a comic undertone to the storyline and acted as a counterweight to Deever.
As the story progresses, we’re taken from one dystopian society to another, giving our hero the chance to shine despite his string of errors. That alone made the story for me as Deever is very flawed, despite all his intellectual gifts. While there were times I wanted to reach into the book and smack him, he was a lovable character, much like a goofy friend, that was the humanity within the story.
Overall, I think this is a great addition to any Sci-Fi fan’s library, whether they’re a hardcore fan or a casual reader.