Book Review: Human Element by A.J. Powers

Posted January 4, 2019 by lomeraniel in Audiobooks, Post-Apocalyptic, Review / 0 Comments

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Book Review: Human Element by A.J. PowersHuman Element by A.J. Powers
Narrator: Andrew B. Wehrlen
Published by Self-published on 10-29-18
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic
Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Narrator
Buy on Amazon/Audible
Overal Rating: three-stars

They said the Neuroweb would change the world...They had no idea how right they were.
After wandering around the desolate suburbs of Cincinnati for nearly a year, Aaran has legitimate reason to believe he is the last free-thinking human alive. It has been months since he has interacted with someone who wasn’t trying to kill or convert him, and the growing agony of nomadic isolation is taking a toll on his already weary mind.
Aaran’s days all look the same: find food, evade capture, and search for a dry, offline place to rest his head each night.
Rinse and repeat.
After a close call with a Sentinel—an AI-controlled soldier for the Nebula—Aaran unexpectedly finds himself in the company of Hadas, a beautiful yet dangerous woman. A shaky alliance is formed between the two as they fight to survive. Together, they search for answers to keep them going in such a godforsaken world.

One year after the Robot Apocalypse, Aaran wanders around looking for a way to survive without being caught by the Nebula.

This book could have been so many things… which was not. There is a network called the Nebula, very similar to our Internet, and everyone has a chip implanted so that being ‘connected’ is easier. At some point the robots rebel, and take control of all humans with a chip, who are most of the population. The premises were so interesting but the story fell flat. There is no worldbuilding whatsoever. We don’t know how this Apocalypse happened, who controls it, how people were taken over by their chips. The Nebula is the enemy but in this case it an enemy so ambiguous that we do not really care.

The two characters in the story are not very developed, and they are not even very likable. I guess this is the story of Aaran, about his encounter with Hadas, their sexual tension, and the dangers they meet along the way.

And that brings me to another point. There is no climax, no final goal in this story. The enemies they meet are zombie-like, without personality. There is no nemesis to defeat, no treasure to find, nothing to conquer. The book is just a succession of events, and if at least I could have connected to the characters it would have felt more compelling.

What I enjoyed from this audiobook was Andrew B. Wehrlen’s narration. Wehrlen brought the characters to life thanks to excellent character interpretations. The narration was what made me go on and finish the book.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Story (Plot)
Overall: three-stars