Anyone by Charles Soule
eBook review copy; 432 pages
Anyone by Charles Soule is a highly recommended, fast-paced, technological/speculative fiction thriller.
In Michigan research scientist Gabrielle (Gabby) White inadvertently
discovers a way for people to transfer their consciousness into another
person's body. She wants to control how the technology is used, but
that very likely will be taken out of her control. Twenty-five-years
into the future this technology called "flash" has transformed society.
The company advertises the flash as a way to "Be Anyone with Anyone" in
the ultimate out-of-body
experience. However, there is also an underground black market to
the technology called "darkshare," where people rent out their bodies
for paying customers to use for a
variety of deviant purposes. In the future, Annami is renting out
her body through a darkshare establishment in order to save enough money
for a plan of her own.
Chapters in the action-packed, fast-paced plot alternate between
Gabby's discovery and Annami's driven quest to earn money for her own
purpose. Both story lines are compelling and both of the characters are well developed. You know something is going to go terribly wrong for Gabby, and Annami is keeping her ultimate scheme to herself.
Naturally, you have to set disbelief aside as far as transferring one
person's consciousness into another person's body, but once you do that
both time periods keep ratcheting up the tension. Ultimately both
narratives will connect in an unexpected but satisfying conclusion.
Soule does an excellent job presenting this frightening and
fascinating cautionary vision of the future. It could be his work in
comic books has translated well into keeping the action of the dual
narratives intense and quickly moving, while wrapping both narratives in
an irresistible plot. Ultimately, he takes the idea of new technology
and forces us to look at the unintended consequences: the abuse of that
technology, the morality of using it, and the question of identity and
culpability when another body is used.
My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.