Book Review – Future World Parallels Today’s Challenges

As we all fight through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and witness social interaction evolving in we may not have thought possible, Paige Etheridge’s work reinforces how fast a society can change.

Cyber Knot (Photo courtesy of Amazon online)

Alexandria, VA – As we all fight through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and witness social interaction evolving in we may not have thought possible, Paige Etheridge’s work reinforces how fast a society can change.

When asked about the ebbs and flows of humanity and social order, she’ll tell you, “Life will always find a way, even in what we may perceive as a dystopian world. Old and new will continue to blend throughout time. Find your individual way. You’ll see things out of my work that I won’t necessarily see.”

Cyber Knot shepherds us into a bold new world where the physical intertwinement of people and technology is common. Cyber Knot falls in a new genre of science fiction called cyberpunk and biopunk: an intersection of lawlessness, oppression, and technology. MX is a new addictive drug being hard pedaled to citizens by a government looking to control the masses and create a race of unfocused 21st century slaves. The lure of taking MX is a very generous stipend; the downside is losing one’s ability to function normally. Many take the bait.

Paige Etheridge keeps her readers engaged. She touches on many issues in Cyber Knot, from basic survival and drug addiction to romantic pressures. The central character Sky (Keira) lived through a broken home and learned to survive on the street, going as far as faking her own death to escape the clutches of an oppressive gang culture. Self-preservation takes over again and pulls her into a new gang.

Marshall law is the order of the day, but its control of civil order is limited, as marauding gangs and renegade military rule the day. Sky was imbedded with a chip which gave her unusual powers, but then threatened her life. When the chip is removed, Sky learns she is weaponized. Then her fight really begins, as does a new/old romance.

Although Etheridge majored in creative writing in college, her unique creativity outstripped her professor’s comprehension. “In my junior year, I wrote a dog walking horror story. My teacher was (initially) unimpressed. It was our final story for the semester and I let it flow with no expectation of the outcome. The feelings I wrote came from my recent college ex and his friend giving me advice on our breakup. They had a whole other world that I never knew. I ended up getting an A.” Paige capitalized on the axiom fiction writers live by: There is a great deal of material in the theater of everyday life.

Cyber Knot is an entertaining page turner. The author touches on many futuristic uncertainties: environmental issues, militaristic rule, government intrusion, unchecked violence, artificial intelligence, genetic manipulation, and dehumanization. Her characters, Sky, Naomi, Aziel, and Wild are developed nicely. I especially recommend Cyber Knot for sci-fi fans, but non-sci fans will not be disappointed.

Cyber Knot author Paige Etheridge (Photo: Paige Etheridge)

Paige lives with her husband and their puppy Athena near Virginia Beach. She is wrapping up her next work, which is based on the Brazilian mythology of Boto Encantado, a dolphin shapeshifter in traditional Amazon River folklore.

Cyber Knot is published by Solstice Publishing, available on Amazon. A solid Zebra rating of 5 stars.

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