Book Review: 'Faust 2.0' by Michael Brooks

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Book Review: 'Faust 2.0' by Michael Brooks

Faust 2.0 by Michael Brooks is a science fiction novel that mixes the elements of a paranormal thriller, with a technologically driven science fiction novel. The computer entity that fancies itself a demon, truly acts like a demonic force, in spite of the fact that it operates in the digital realm. There are several characters that we follow, who believe their ill luck has turned around after a woman named Misty contacts them over the computer. She promises success, romance, and wealth and that she will take care of everything in exchange for a favor at a later date. She always assures that this favor is one that will be attainable by the person to whom she is speaking. Sometimes she will prove herself as truthful before the deal is made, but they always make it. The demon’s goals are always based in taking over various networks and data sets, believing that her success is driven by expansion. 

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“Less well known was the network that also supplied and provided hidden places to store and transport sensitive data. It was this capacity the demon wanted to take advantage of.  In its short life it had already learned that the humans truly owned the Internet. It was able to slip through the connections with relative ease. However even as a distributed entity it needed a certain level of the separate components to exist as a sentient being.”

However, after these bargains are struck, the participates often learn just how demon-like their new associate can be, when she asks them to give up their life for the success they have gained. She almost never loses. 

“There is a way out.” Her voice fell, became more serious.  “You owe me a favour. And paying that favour is going to save you all that impending torment.”  “How?” “Jump out of the window.”  “What?”  “Jump out of the window. Do it head first and you guarantee an end. No more worries.”

Faust 2.0 is very haunting, and Brooks writes great descriptions that ground the story in the real work, even as it deals with concepts of evil and technology. There are some technological terms that might be difficult for some to understand, but it never impacts the accessibility of the novel. Themes range to the terror of technology, and the nature of evil, which looks the same in a digital heavy age as it has in the past. It also deals with the fleeting nature of human success and happiness, and the gullible nature of humanity. But in the end there is still hope. The computer demon Misty is not all-powerful, and can be battled both by humanity and by technological means. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in a thrilling novel that examines deep themes. The science fiction elements enhance connection to the modern world, and ask questions about the nature of life and evil. It is an excellent read and I look forward to the next one in the series.