Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Cromby's Axiom is a sci-fi thriller by Gary J. Kirchner set in a futuristic dystopia where human minds are all interconnected through an advanced AI interface called Mother, collectively known as the Hive. American Football is the most popular sport in the world, and Tommy Pierre is the star quarterback for the London Knights. During the offseason, Tommy sets off to the Fallowlands of Switzerland, wishing to train in isolation, when he unexpectedly loses his connection to the Hive. Lost and in a state of panic, Tommy's situation worsens when he is kidnapped by a group of rebels, calling themselves the Freemen, who seek to bring down the Hive. As Tommy spends more time with the Freemen, he gains a new perspective and starts supporting their cause. Unbeknown to the Freemen, however, it's Tommy who's the biggest threat to the Hive.
Gary J. Kirchner's meta-commentary on the rising dependence on social media, celebrity-obsessed culture, and the increasing lack of privacy regulations is spot on. Cromby's Axiom is an apt reflection of how over the past two decades - with the rise of social media platforms - people are increasingly trapped in echo chambers with little or no room for independent thought. They find themselves losing the ability to hold rational conversations with others who hold different views. This is primarily a theme-driven story, and the characters act as tools to drive the narrative toward those issues. Tommy is one of the more complex characters, and his arc is riveting to read. Recommended to readers who love dystopian stories.