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Monday, July 16, 2012

The Reborn (The Day Eight Series, Part 1) by Ray Mazza

Published in 2012 by CreateSpace


So, I have on the table next to me three books by Ray Mazza. These books make up The Day Eight Series. They are self-published and most experienced readers know that a great number of the self-published are fair to middling and I am usually tempted to grade them on a curve, the thought process being, " Well, it's pretty good considering it's a do-it-yourself job and she did it all herself." This is much the same thought process I have when I do handyman work around the house and I proudly show it off to my wife - it's pretty good but certainly not professional.

I let these three books sit on my to-be-read pile for about a month.

Why?

I was not in the mood for, "Well, it's pretty good, considering..."

So, I pick up book one and about 15 pages in I am thinking, "Where is he going with this?" I read the back cover a couple of times and decided to give it a few more pages. Where are the human simulations running on computers? Where's the "catastrophic event" coming from?

By page 35 I decide I kind of like the main character, Trevor Leighton, and I'll ride it out a bit more.

On page 71, we hit pay dirt. My mind is blown. We are introduced to the simulations. Most importantly, we are introduced to how they are developed. Such a simple idea (and complex at the same time). Good sci-fi takes you to new places and shows you some new stuff. Great sci-fi takes what you already know and puts a little tilt to it, a twist that makes you see everything in a new way. It's all the same. It's all different.

Mazza's series is about human beings simulated on a computer. I figure he knows something about this since his bio shows that he has worked on several "Sims" projects. If you are not familiar with the Sims games, well they create a little world for you to interact in. In a way, they are very, very, very limited versions of Artificial Intelligence. They also show the glaring deficiencies of trying to develop it the way we have so far. This book shows a new path to achieving that effort and the series makes you question if you really want to.

So, in this book, Leighton, a talented programmer working for a tech company called Day Eight is screwing around with the firewall on his company's servers so he can download movies at work. That firewall breach starts a chain reaction that knocks out much of the internet and fries the computers in his office. On his flash drive, though, is a message from a dead girl that claims she is trapped. Since his office is closed for the time being, Trevor decides to do a little investigating and that is where the trouble starts.

These three books are not "pretty good, considering they're an indie effort." They are good. Period.

I rate book one in this series 5 stars out of 5.

Reviewed on July 16, 2012.

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