Book Review: A Calculated Life by ANne Charnock

A Calculated Life by Anne Charnock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publisher: 47North

Summary: Late in the twenty-first century, big business is booming and state institutions are thriving thanks to advances in genetic engineering, which have produced a compliant population free of addictions. Violent crime is a rarity.

Hyper-intelligent Jayna is a star performer at top predictive agency Mayhew McCline, where she forecasts economic and social trends. A brilliant mathematical modeler, she far outshines her co-workers, often correcting their work on the quiet. Her latest coup: finding a link between northeasterly winds and violent crime.

When a string of events contradicts her forecasts, Jayna suspects she needs more data and better intuition. She needs direct interactions with the rest of society. Bravely—and naively—she sets out to disrupt her strict routine and stumbles unwittingly into a world where her IQ is increasingly irrelevant…a place where human relationships and the complexity of life are difficult for her to decode. And as she experiments with taking risks, she crosses the line into corporate intrigue and disloyalty.
Can Jayna confront the question of what it means to live a “normal” life? Or has the possibility of a “normal” life already been eclipsed for everyone?  

I enjoyed this and must say that I've not read so quiet a book in some time. The writing was well done and I found that I would put it down and come back to it but Jayna was always lingering in the back of my mind. Witnessing her becoming self-aware and striving to understand her humanity was fascinating. In a world where she could be carted off & dispatched for saving her allotment to order Chicken Biryani for dinner, I figured the more she tested boundaries trying to gain more understanding of people, their likes, dislikes and lives, things wouldn't end so well for her. And they don't but the journey was worth it and I'm glad that I took it with her. This story had two epilogues and the second was by far, my favorite. Hannah seems to have picked up the torch Jayna's left behind and after the story ended, I was left wondering what Constructor Holdings is going to do with all these models now that they're becoming more self-aware more often. This neatly ordered society is well on its way to some calculated chaos. If there were a second book I'd read it but I'm quite fine musing over this one for a while. I'd recommend this if you're looking for a speculative sci-fi that's also a quick read.

I received a copy of this from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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