Title: No Net
Author: Noah Nichols
Purchase: No Net on Amazon
“What would you do if the Internet mysteriously vanished? NO NET is the ambitious novel that explores how little or how much people care about the beloved World Wide Web. Spanning across 20 APPs with a hearty assortment of varied characters, this fictional tale begs you to just take a moment and think about how deep we’ve all been sinking in a digital quicksand…”
“No Net” was an interesting novel. The concept of the internet vanishing was complex, but I felt that the characters could have been developed better. After the astounding first chapter (which I mistakenly read at home, alone, in the dark, at night), I felt as though the rest of the novel seemed to decline rapidly. I didn’t feel connected to the rest of the characters, and I grew irritated by the dialogue. Teenagers do tend to speak in a different language than adults, but I felt that the dialogue of the teenagers was too juvenile. I also didn’t believe that the entire population would all run outside and freak out just because one of their technological devices “lost signal”.
Nichols did verbalize that he wanted his novel to be a discussion platform for everyone to think about how attached to technology they are, but I felt that the message was lost in the catty dialogue and shallow characters. In order for this novel to succeed in creating a discussion with its readers, the characters need to be likable to some extent and the plot needs to be believable. In order for this novel to be better, I would suggest changing the plot so that the characters slowly begin to go crazy after days of not having the internet.
Nichols is a gifted author, however. His first chapter blew me away, and I did feel as though I were reading a best seller of a very successful author. An example of his beautiful language is as follows:
“It was encompassing everything, merging the human being and the machine into an unrecognizable slab of dark matter.”
If he can match his novel to be as intense as that first chapter, he will go far. I also liked how the chapters were called “APPs” instead of chapters. This added a fun layout to the novel, as well as the various artwork included in the chapters. I do see how our world is so obsessed with the internet and electronics and I do see how it can cause many people to suffer in their relationships with others. I think that the following description that Nichols presented on how obsessed people are with the internet is accurate:
“It was the type of behavior you’d expect from an out-of-control alcoholic if you permanently took away everything booze-related. Or if you took all drugs away from a toothless and habitual junkie. It was that bad.”
If you are looking for a book that will make you think, then this book is the one. It is very unique and I have not read another novel with the same premise. I think that this novel would be most beneficial for young readers to be confronted with how technology is negatively affecting their lives. Noah Nichols is a thinker and it shows in his work. If he can just update the dialogue and allow the reader to like the characters and connect to them, his book will be more believable.
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