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Benjamin R. Smith (1985-) was born in Wichita, Kansas. He attended a rural high school where he excelled in art and theater. He attended the University of Kansas, studied Journalism at the William Allen White School for Media and Mass Communication, and completed a Masters of Fine Arts in Playwriting. In 2009, he was nominated for the David Mark Cohen Playwright's Award. ATLAS is his first novel.
Jami McDonald - Brumfield
on Jan. 20, 2014 :
I devoured this book and can’t wait for the next book from Benjamin Smith. The characters really grab your attention and keep you enthralled to the very end. I really like how the main characters have faced challenges in the past that really explains how they are now. In a way they were damaged brutally and in the end they survived, despite the terrible past they endured. Wrapped up in these intricate characters that really pull on your heartstrings are murder, suspense, politics, and danger.
The book is based in San Francisco 2066. The lead inspector Victoria Rhodes is damaged and has been brilliantly developed into a bad ass who one minute you are cheering on, the next you want to embrace her in a hug, and the next you want to shake her. Benjamin Smith really made her someone you can connect to despite the unimaginable past she endured. In truth, this book would make a fascinating movie or television series.
I’m doing the best I can to steer clear of giving away any spoilers since this is a must read for anyone who enjoys dystopian, police procedural, murder, mystery, intrigue, and science fiction. All I can say is read the book, you will not regret it.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)
on Jan. 16, 2014 :
After I started reading Atlas, I was surprised that I had never heard of Benjamin Smith before, and I wondered why his work isn't on the best seller list somewhere. I find his writing style absolutely wonderful and bordering on the genius. Right off the back, I knew this was a gem of a read and I intentionally slowed just to soak in every word of the story. My eyes read off the glaring monitor while my medulla oblongata processed the book, and I visualized this futuristic stylized drama playing out on the big screen. This is one of those books that should be made into a movie, and I can only compare it to movies like Blade Runner. This is a book I will tell every one to read, and if I could give this a sixth star I would.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)
on Jan. 16, 2014 :
"Atlas" by Benjamin Smith is a solid and well written thriller that takes place not too far into the future. Science has advanced and in the tradition of forensic and technologically enhanced crime investigation the book offers a lot of new gadgets and methods for Detective ehm Inspector Victoria Rhodes and her team.
Set in San Francisco and Northern California the story offers familiar places, some of them still as we know them, some modernised. For example there is a dome for the filthily rich with total segregation from the poor, run by the controversial Atlas corporation.
I liked the set up very much for its realistic and plausible character - too many futuristic thrillers go overboard, Smith has introduced just enough to make this an interesting different world, yet keep relevance to present time humans.
The chemistry between the investigating Inspector and her counter part in the Atlas Corporation regarding a double murder works extremely well. Theirs is not a screwball type "taming of the shrewd" chemistry, there is depth and a horrifying link to their past that gives this much more bite and substance.
The story itself is well plotted and paced with enough action, turns and suspense to keep you glued to the kindle and should prove a winner with fans of the genre. This is a full hearted and well accomplished effort that deserves a place amongst the first in its field.
This is really good stuff and - fortunately for us - only the first in a series.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on March 05, 2013 :
This is a well written first novel from Benjamin Smith. It is based around a murder mystery which takes place in the future. In that world there is an even greater divide between the rich and the poor as well as their neighbourhoods. Fascinating characters and interesting Androids reel you into the story. In the Epilogue, Perpetua leaves you wondering if there might be more to follow...
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on Sep. 03, 2012 :
A great first novel by Mr. Smith. I found his vision of 2066 disturbing, of course, but it was entirely realistic considering current trends. The main characters are people you want to care about and to find out what happens to them.
I'm a big fan of speculative fiction and detective fiction and this book contributes to both genres. It compares quite favorably with J. D. Robb's "... in Death" series (with Philip and Victoria replacing Roark and Eve) as well as my own novel, "Crown of Creation."
(reviewed the day of purchase)