Book Review: Unanimity by Alexandra Almeida

Unanimity is the first book in the Spiral Worlds sci-fi series by Alexandra Almeida.

Thank you to Shannon of R&R Book Tours for sending me a free copy of Unanimity in return for an honest review.

Unanimity is the first book in the Spiral Worlds series. It follows Shadow, or Tom, who partnered with AI expert Twist, or Henry, to create a simulated reality to help humans confront their dark sides. This platform has then turned them both into ‘gods’ — admins of the world who can make ‘miracles’.

You can find Unanimity on Amazon for Kindle and in paperback, or see StoryOrigin for a full list of retailers, and you can find it on Goodreads.

My review

While reading Unanimity, I could tell that Alexandra is a tech expert. The technology and the world is so well described and well thought-out throughout the story.

Early on in the story, we see a world leader’s opinion radically changed by his experience in the VR world that two of the main characters have created. This is a real testament to how powerful and life-changing this VR world is, and the power that they have, which is an interesting premise to the book and is something that they both struggle with.

There are some really interesting themes throughout the book, too, that really made me think. Should people be brought back to life in the digital world? (Known as xHumans in Unanimity.) The book begins with Shadow being brought back to life in the digital world after dying twice – once in the real world and once digitally. He has severe depression and ended his life both times. One of the characters is motivated by her desire to bring her grandmother back (who did not ask to be brought back digitally). Is it really morally right to bring back these characters – one who hasn’t consented to being brought back (and may not want to), and the other who has obviously been in severe mental anguish? It’s an interesting question, and one that I hope is explored later in the series as this wasn’t discussed much by the characters here.

The characters and concept are really interesting, they are all morally ambiguous with intense emotions. There were lots of different points of views and switches between the past and present day, but I didn’t find this confusing. It’s a great concept and one that sci-fi fans will really enjoy. There are six books planned for the series (one per day) so I am looking forward to revisiting the characters and finding out what will happen next.

The blurb for Unanimity

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Shadow is a reluctant god with a broken mind and a death wish. He used to be Thomas Astley-Byron, an affluent young screenwriter whose creativity and idealism saved a world from the brink of collapse. Together with Henry Nowak, an AI expert, Tom created heaven on earth by inventing a Jungian simulated reality that helps humans confront their dark sides. The benevolent manipulation platform turned the two unelected leaders into beloved gods, but now everything is failing. The worlds suffer as a sentimental Tom descends into his own personal hell, becoming the embodiment of everything he despises and a shadow of his former self.

His journey from an optimistic, joyful Tom to a gloomy Shadow is paved with heartache and sinister interference from emerging technology. Humans and bots fight for his heart, but their aims differ: some want to own it, some to dissect it, and others to end its foolish beat. Estranged from the love of his life—the activist poet Nathan Storm—Tom fails to realize the biggest threat comes from within. None of the sticky stories that steer his life end well.

Now, a young goddess—Estelle Ngoie—has been appointed to replace him, and unlike Shadow, Stella takes no prisoners, and her heart bleeds for no one.

Who’s pulling on Shadow’s heartstrings? Are their intentions malign or benign? It’s all a matter of perspective, and Shadow has none left.

Alexandra AlmeidaAbout the author, Alexandra Almeida

Alexandra Almeida has over 25 years of experience in technology, strategy, and innovation. In her role as Chief Transformation Officer, she acts as a senior advisor to enterprise executives. Alexandra is an experienced speaker at events such as SXSW, Gartner Symposium, and the Women in Tech Series.

For the time being, and to protect her creative freedoms, Alexandra prefers to write using a number of pen names. Her debut fantasy novel, released under another pen name, has received the following awards and recognition:

  • Reader’s Favorite Awards – Gold Medal Winner – Young Adult – Fantasy – Epic
  • Reader Views Awards – 1st Place – Fantasy
  • CIPA EVVY Book Awards – 2nd Place – Fiction – Mythology
  • B.R.A.G. Medallion Recipient
  • Eric Hoffer’s Da Vinci Eye Awards Finalist for Best Cover Artwork
  • The Wishing Shelf Book Awards Finalist – Books for Adults
  • Awesome Indies Approved

Link.tree

Book tour organised by R&R Book Tours

Unanimity tour banner

This book review is part of a book tour organised by Shannon of R&R Book Tours. Check out the other bloggers taking part in this book tour for more reviews, extracts and guest posts:

January 23rd

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off) http://rrbooktours.com

Cheryl’s Book Nook (Spotlight) https://cherylsbooknook.blogspot.com/

Riss Reviews (Review) https://rissreviewsx.wixsite.com/website

@caffeinatedbibliophilia (Review) https://www.instagram.com/caffeinatedbibliophilia/

I Love Books & Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight)  http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

January 24th

@takealookatmybookshelf (Review) https://www.instagram.com/takealookatmybookshelf/

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

@bookishfeatures_ (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/bookishfeatures_/

@wolves_perception (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/wolves_perception/

@latishaslowkeylife (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/latishaslowkeylife/

Books Blog (Spotlight) https://www.booksblog.co.uk/

January 25th

@amber.bunch_author (Review) https://www.instagram.com/amber.bunch_author/

Read Write Run (Review) http://readwriterun.ca/

@read_write_run_ –  https://instagram.com/read_write_run_?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

@readwritefantasy (Review) https://www.instagram.com/readwritefantasy

@vinamkent_author (Review) https://www.instagram.com/vinamkent_author/

@through_the_booking_glass (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/through_the_booking_glass/

@tinabyer (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/tinabyer/

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Spotlight) https://lshadowlynauthor.com

January 26th

@its_b.e.l.l.e (Review) https://www.instagram.com/its_b.e.l.l.e/

@moonlightalesbooks (Review) https://www.instagram.com/moonlightalesbooks/

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

@fathomsamidstthelines (Review) https://www.instagram.com/fathomsamidstthelines/

Not Another Bunny Blog (Review) https://notanybunny.wordpress.com/blog

@marie.sinadjan – https://www.instagram.com/marie.sinadjan/

Stine Writing (Spotlight) https://christinebialczak.com/

January 27th

Emerald Reviews (Spotlight) https://www.emeraldreviews.co.uk/

@my_fair_fiction (Review) https://www.instagram.com/my_fair_fiction/

@booksreadbytracy (Review) https://www.instagram.com/booksreadbytracy/?hl=en

@tm_ghent (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/tm_ghent/

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

@read_dog_reviews (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/read_dog_reviews/

You can find Unanimity on Amazon for Kindle and in paperback, or see StoryOrigin for a full list of retailers, and you can find it on Goodreads.