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on June 01, 2012 :
*** ORIGINALLY reviewed Oct 17, 2011 and posted at http://edenbaylee.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/review-the-collective-by-maxwell-cynn/ ***
As a former banker and fraud consultant, I know how susceptible we are to cyber crime. Sophisticated and organized, computer criminals steal your money and identity without your knowledge. Maxwell Cynn’s newest novel builds on this reality and increases the fear factor.
The tagline, ”If they control your computer, they control your mind,” provides a hint of how vulnerable we all are to The Collective.
The story begins with Dr. John Peterson (aka CG), a clinical psychologist who works at a state correctional facility. He has stumbled upon a computer virus and its devastating effects on his patients. In one instance, a perfectly stable businessman has killed his entire family and has no memory of it.
The Collective refers to an underground organization whose goal is to infiltrate society’s collective unconscious to move it to a “higher level.” They’ve unleashed a virus named Nemesis to carry out their plan and the Internet is its conduit. Despite the trail of fatalities, those working on the Nemesis project consider their cause to be a noble one.
CG attempts to destroy the highly adaptable Nemesis virus, but he’s had to go into hiding to do so. Having developed an anti-virus called ArchAngel, he has come to the attention of the Collective and is now considered a threat. While on the run, CG discovers he’s become a cult figure amongst hackers, and with the help of a feisty, sexy female named Sear, he strives to stop the Collective.
Set against the backdrop of New York, New Orleans, and Zurich, The Collective reads like a cross between George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Identity. Like the protagonists of those books (Winston Smith and Jason Bourne), CG is a highly intelligent man who has suffered mind control. Does he have the mental strength to hold on to his identity and fight for his beliefs, or will he become indoctrinated by the Collective?
Maxwell Cynn has written a novel that seamlessly blends technology with psychology. It’s a story that seduces us into peeling back its layers to uncover the elements of a great thriller—conspiracy theory, intrigue, and suspense.
The Collective is certain to become a modern-day classic. Don’t miss it!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Nov. 25, 2011 :
Fast paced, really enoyed it!
(reviewed long after purchase)
Lissette E. Manning
on Oct. 22, 2011 :
What if someone knew your every move? Who you talked to? What you did on the Internet? What if they could brainwash you and make you do what they wanted?
What would you do? Would you tell someone? Would you keep it quiet and pray that they’d leave you be? Or would you demand answers and try to figure out what’s going?
Dr. John Peterson, a psychologist at a correctional facility, is intent on helping heal those under his care. He’s a discovered a virus – one that’s affecting his patients. Truth be told, he’s not exactly sure what it is. Nor does he know what its true purpose is. This fact does not deter him from finding out exactly what that is.
Digging a little deeper, he discovers that this virus is embedded deep into his computer. And it’s not just his own, but that of the entire world. It can’t be deleted. Nor can it be removed. A firewall can’t block it either.
Everything a person does, everything they say – it’s all recorded. Privacy has been thrown out the window, allowing the group behind it to infiltrate a person’s home, even their minds, without anyone being none-the-wiser. John can only guess as to what The Collective wants. Yet he knows that they must be stopped. People’s lives are in peril, as is the way of life as they know it.
Attempting to destroy this unknown society, he sets off a chain reaction that threatens to bring him down as well as those around him and those he loves dearly. He refuses to stand by and allow them to gain the upper hand. Racing against time, he does his best to thwart The Collective’s attempts, even if it means that he gets caught in the process. Yet one thing is clear – the group must be stopped. No matter the cost!
I totally enjoyed this book. Once I started reading it, it enthralled me so much that I didn’t stop till I got to the very last page. Max’s story, while fiction, does give us food for thought and is quite provoking, to say the least. What if something like this were to ever happen? Who would you turn to? What would you do?
(reviewed within a week of purchase)