One of the reasons I so admire debut author S. Harrison’s Infinity Lost is that it’s great science fiction. The reason I love the book, however, is that it’s also a fantastically thrilling tale full of adventure and just the right number of explosions. Great science fiction—like Star Trek, which imagined automatic sliding doors, and Snow Crash, which showed the possibilities of a virtual reality universe—helps us envision the world we are on the cusp of living in.
And that’s what Infinity Lost does—its near-future setting is both eerily familiar and alluringly different from our present reality. The novel is told from the perspective of seventeen-year-old Infinity “Finn” Blackstone as she and a group of her peers gain access to the highly secretive headquarters of the world’s most powerful technology company. What initially appears to be the soul-searching of one young woman on the verge of adulthood quickly reveals itself to be something much more complex and sinister. The story gently eases you into the futuristic atmosphere even as the plot rapidly escalates around the nature of Finn’s identity. The stakes don’t get much higher than trying to sort out who you are while simultaneously attempting to escape a nearly omnipotent artificial intelligence that really seems to hate you.
In some ways, Infinity Lost reminds me of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but instead of Oompa Loompas, the “factory” is filled with armored robots controlled by an AI with murderous intent and a treasure trove of menacing tools that would make Q, James Bond’s gadget wizard, jealous. The futuristic elements coalesce into an exhilarating story that makes me wonder about just what sort of future awaits us. As for Finn and her fate, I’m eagerly awaiting the continuation of her story in Infinity Rises, out in January 2016.
In the near future, one corporation, Blackstone Technologies, has changed the world: no disasters, no poverty, and life-altering technology. Blackstone has the impunity to destroy—or create—as it sees fit.
Infinity “Finn” Blackstone is the seventeen-year-old daughter of Blackstone’s reclusive CEO—but she’s never even met him. When disturbing dreams about a past she doesn’t remember begin to torment her, Finn knows there’s only one person who can provide answers: her father.
After Finn and an elite group of peers are invited to Blackstone’s top-secret HQ, Finn realizes she may have a chance to confront her father. But when a highly sophisticated company AI morphs into a killing machine, the trip descends into chaos. Trapped inside shape-shifting walls, Finn and her friends are at the mercy of an all-seeing intelligence that will destroy everything to get to her.
With no hope of help, Finn’s dream-memories may be the only chance of survival. But will she remember in time to save her own life and the lives of those around her?