The Future is Yours, by Dan Frey

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Dan Frey, Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine, and Del Rey for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

What would you do if you created a piece of technology that could peer into the future and demonstrate what life would be like, scanning emails you have yet to write and seeing search engine results for events that have yet to occur? Such is the premise of Day Frey’s novel, The Future is Yours. Two young men create a system that can project ahead, hoping that it will help people see the path they are bound to take, a likely goldmine. However, the road is fraught with unforeseen (or ignored) paths, such that the future is more likely to ruin, rather than reinforce, life as you know it. A thought provoking piece that touches on the technology, while offering an insight into why one might not want to peer behind the elusive curtain. Recommended to those who love a little tech in their thrillers.

Ben Boyce and Adhvan (Adhi) Chaudry had an irresistible bond in college, fuelled by their love of technology. They worked together on an idea that would create a system that could look into the future, allowing the user to forecast what lay ahead for them and the world at large. While many scoffed at the idea, Ben and Adhi forged on, using their determination to make it work.

Money proved to be elusive, but this could not deter the two men from pursuing their dreams. Ben was the business-minded one, while Adhi worked through the quantum computing, finally coming up with something that could be feasible. Their system, dubbed The Future, caught the eye of many in the tech and business worlds, though there was still a great deal of reticence by those who did not like dabbling into the future.

After Ben brought his wife, Leila, on to act as legal counsel, everything appeared to be running smoothly. However, the system itself needed some strong parameters in order to function well. Could seeing into the future allow someone to alter their destined path? Might this glimpse allow for illegal and unethical decisions to be made? Falling into the wrong hands, might this prove to be an issue of national security? Ben and Adhi are forced to wrestle with this, as well as some of their own personal quibbles, all while The Future rises in prominence.

As emotions run high and business decisions are made, someone will get left in the dust. It becomes a bloodsport to juggle The Future with what the months ahead will bring, including being summoned before Congress to answer for the technology. Ben is armed with foreknowledge of what is to come, but nothing will prepare him for The Future, including the future itself.

This book caught my eye when I saw the dust jacket summary, as I am always intrigued about what forecasting ahead would do for the world. While America has just gone through a political abyss where they wished to see how to make America great after authoritarian rule, many have not seriously thought or hoped to know what awaits them on the other side of the proverbial horizon. Dan Frey offers readers an insight without getting too tech-heavy or delving into the world of sci-fi.

Ben Boyce and Adhi Chaudry offer up wonderful co-protagonists in this piece. While they come from vastly different backgrounds, their passion for technology and looking into the future binds them together. There is some backstory woven into the narrative, mostly to explore how the two met and what brought them here, with a great deal of the focus in the present (and future, to a degree). Ben is the business-minded one whose eye is on the prize, while Adhi struggles with being the tech-savvy geek who is pushed aside and forgotten. These two men grow, independently at times, together in other instances, but surely apart as well. Their personal and professional struggles are front and centre in this piece, as the reader is forced to choose which of them is the more relatable and perhaps liked.

Frey does well to develop some strong supporting characters, some of whom emerge throughout the piece, while others are blips on the radar of this book. The present/future mix allows the reader to see how certain people will influence things throughout the novel, steering the story in directions for a time before letting fate take the lead. This is done so effectively and many of those who grace the pages of the book become influencers of the story’s future, in a unique manner.

While I am not usually a fan of sci-fi, this book really connected with me. It does have the element of looking into the future and using technology to dictate the path, but it does not get too heavy in that regard, keeping it readable and fun for the masses. Frey writes in such a way that concepts are easy to understand and fun for the reader throughout. This is not your typical story, in that it is retold through emails, memos, congressional testimony, and text messages. The narrative flows well using these forms of communication, exhibiting the emotion one might expect from strong narrative and dialogue. The plot is strong and pushes ahead, forecasting and foreboding throughout, as Ben and Adhi face professional and personal struggles throughout. If Dan Frey’s novel says anything, it is that his future is sure to be successful, and one need not look into any piece of technology to predict that!

Kudos, Mr. Frey, for a strong piece of writing that captured my attention throughout. I am eager to see what others think of it and where you will take readers next. The future awaits…

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: