Broadcast by Liam Brown

broadcastPublication Date: 15 September 2017
Publisher: Legends Press
Format: eBook
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781787199927
Summary: The idea behind MindCast is simple. We insert a small chip into your skull and then every thought, every feeling, every memory is streamed live, twenty-four hours a day. Trust me – within a few months you’ll be the most talked about person on the planet.

When David Callow is offered the lead role in a revolutionary new online show, he snatches at the opportunity.

Rapidly becoming a viral sensation, David is propelled to stratospheric levels of celebrity. However, he soon realises the downside of sharing every secret with the world.

A prisoner to both his fame and his own thoughts, David seeks to have the chip removed, only to discover the chilling secret lurking at the heart of MindCast, and the terrifying ambition the show’s creator has for him.

I recieved this book from NetGalley in exchange for an open and honest review 

Broadcast is a Black Mirror-esque novel that follows Dave, a stagnating video blogger who is given the opportunity to boost his popularity with a new technology that broadcasts every thought and emotion in real time. However, his life is quickly turned into a nightmare as he slowly realizes how invasive this technology really is.

The themes of this book, surveillance and privacy in the digital era, aren’t very subtle. The opposing viewpoints get spelled out for the reader, often in the form of sweeping monologues. The plot is also relatively predictable. Instead, the strengths of this book are in the horrific descent of madness Dave falls into as the story progresses. Most of this book is written in first person, which gives the reader an intimate connection with Dave.

The story begins slowly, with Dave not even getting the Mindcast inserted until about 35% of the way in. Even after that, it takes some time to get the plot rolling and to see the consequences of the Mindcast. The last quarter of the book was completely filled with action and was easily my favorite part. The last several scenes, to me, very reminiscent of a Black Mirror episode.

There were only two parts I really disliked about this book. Firstly, Dave himself was not a very sympathetic character, and this is remarked upon several times by other characters in the book. He’s selfish, arrogant, and about as shallow as a puddle, personality. It is also because off those traits that the story can happen, but I can see many readers turned off because of it. I also didn’t find one of the character motivations at the end very convincing, but I won’t talk about that too much because of spoilers.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and rate it a 4/5. It was an enjoyable read and an interesting take surveillance technology.

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