Set in 2036, The Absolved follows the life of wealthy physician Henri, who finds himself slowly becoming fed up the with automation of society. Robots and other forms of technology have slowly begun to make human workers obsolete and for those who cannot work, the absolved, there is very little to do beyond exist. As his annoyance with technology and his life rises Henri begins to make choices that will lead to a much larger change and a shift in the society he has been forced to accept.
This book opens with Henri preparing to cheat on his wife. Their marriage feels forced and frigid to him and while he maintains it, he is completely devoted to his young mistress Taylor. Both women in his life though are chasing technology and embrace the trends and fads of the world as they arise. When he wants to get away from everything Henri goes to a bar that happens to be the meeting place of a number of people known as Luddites, who wish to return to a world with little to no technology. As his life begins to change, he finds himself becoming more closely connected to this radical group, who hope to change the world for what they see as the better.
Matthew Binder works to establish a remarkably detailed futuristic world with a variety of technologies and rising industries that are supposed to make life easier for humanity. Through his main character’s eyes we see the perils of relying on automation and the need to control your own life in order to truly be a human being. Personally I found Henri to be someone who had allowed himself to grow indulgent through the rise of technology and once he began to truly feel obsolete he pushed for a return to earlier and more simple times. Watching his journey is interesting and the closing elements of the story were intriguing. You can pre-order The Absolved now, though the book does not release until December 4th of this year.
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