Monday, December 2, 2019


Anyone by Charles Soule
HarperCollins: 12/3/19
eBook review copy; 432 pages
ISBN-13: 9780062890634

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.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.

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