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SEVENTEEN: Book One (Volume 1) by Mark D.…

SEVENTEEN: Book One (Volume 1)

by Mark D. Diehl

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Have you ever considered the vast and increasing amount of power wielded by multinational corporations in our world today? Does it worry you? This book may convince you that it should.

In the dystopian world of “Seventeen,” the corporations have taken over completely. They no longer have to hide their machinations, their efforts to influence government and society. Their power is unquestionable and accepted, and they direct every aspect of human life. Corporate employees are considered very fortunate; their companies protect and provide for them, but in return, workers must completely relinquish control of their own lives. Should they fail to conform in every respect to their employers’ expectations, they may find themselves cast off, their security and comfort entirely stripped away, and chances of survival on their own are slim.

People without company jobs are relegated to the city’s squalid ghetto, known as the Zone, and it is here that much of the novel is set. It is a hopeless place, essentially forsaken by the corporate-controlled government, and inhabitants tend to be soon done in by violence, hunger, disease or exposure.

In the Zone lives a young woman named Eadie. While attempting to help a vagrant man called the Prophet, she is involved in a violent confrontation and draws the attention and wrath of a powerful enemy. The Prophet assures her that she is destined to be a leader, and his prediction seems to be coming true as she unwittingly begins to attract an unusual and variously skilled group of followers who help her evade capture. Eadie becomes increasingly convinced that she and her small army can change the world, and she incites a rebellion against the corporate establishment.

The plot is intense, fast-paced and original. The main characters are unique and engaging, and they very effectively embody the individualistic human qualities (courage, self-reliance, and compassion, for example) that the corporate culture strives to extinguish. “Seventeen” is an intelligent and entertaining read from beginning to end. And one should not fail to recognize that it’s also a warning: if corporate entities continue to grow stronger and more influential, the human race may face a bleak and frightening future. ( )
  justabitoutside | Oct 29, 2013 |
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