on July 1st 2018
Genres: Dystopian Fiction, Science Fiction, Thriller Books
Source: Direct from the Author
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Synopsis of Eden Chip (by Scott Cramer):
In Scott Cramer’s Eden Chip: Thanks to nanochips implanted in human brains, the world is at peace in 2055. But not everyone likes having their emotions controlled, or their religion suppressed.
Eighteen-year-old Raissa embarks upon a perilous mission to free the world, just days before the release of nanochip Version 7, which will broadcast every citizen’s thoughts to the Collective.
The countdown has started, and Raissa must make choices that jeopardize the lives of billions, including the only boy she has ever loved.
First Sentence of Eden Chip:
Here is the first sentences of Eden Chip by Scott Cramer:
“The savory odors of minty Tabbouleh and roasted eggplant hung in the air, luring JERUSALEM’S hungry lunch crowd.
Raissa stepped along the busy sidewalk, careful to avoid bumping into anyone and triggering the explosives belt she wore underneath her oversized windbreaker.”
It sets up the beginning quite well. There is elements of setting (smells, location, and some descriptions). There is also a some words that pull you in: explosives belt, woah!
My Opinion of Scott Cramer’s Eden Chip:
Eden Chip was a great read from beginning to end!
I really loved the style of the writing. It pulled you along thread by thread by thread until the book has been completely devoured.
The writing style (not the themes) reminded me of Harry Potter:
- At the start, you are put deep into an action theme and tossed and turned as you try to figure what is happening
- From the beginning, there are secrets you want to know. But they aren’t given to you.
- As one secret is revealed through the action, another is brought out.
- There are moments where you stop and think “What!?” trying to figure out the bombshell that dropped.
It really was a breath of fresh air for me to read a real thriller. A thriller where there is actual substance and not just skin and bones.
I thought “this is what a book should be!” when I was reading Scott Cramer’s Eden Chip.
Although, that might my bias – I do really enjoy thriller movies and novels compared to slower books. If the book actually has an interesting premise or is about a topic that I’m interested in (normally historical narratives) then I will read it anyway.
So my point is: Eden Chip was the book that finally let me scratch my itch for a really good, nice thriller.
The author contacted me through my website’s Contact Me page here. I normally am hesitant to read a book from an unknown author before the other books on my TBR list. But this book was really that good so it went first haha.
I read the blurb and checked out the Amazon page. I really love science fiction notions where future worlds are played out in novels and movies.
Some of my favorite movies recently have been:
- Arrival (2016 movie – aliens and a twist with language!)
- Interstellar (2014, it is one my favorite movies!)
- Edge of Tomorrow (2014, anything with Tom Cruise is a win!)
- Elysium (2013, I saw on the airplane and it was so awesome I had to watch it like three times)
- Oblivion (2013, another Tom Cruise movie haha)
- Transcendence (2014, a human mind to computer movie)
So, you could tell what kind of science fiction stories I love in my books too!
Scott Cramer’s Eden Chip fell in my lap and I had to pick it up to read it straight away!
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You will be sent directly to the Amazon page to buy the book (kindle and paperback version are both available).
If you want to hear more (like what exactly Eden Chip by Scott Cramer is about), then read on.
Scott Cramer writes about Free Will
There are many key themes in Scott Cramer’s Eden Chip. But I think one important one is about free will.
In Eden Chip, humans have nanochips implanted in their brains. These nanochips control their emotions and behaviors which contribute to peace throughout the world.
For example, if someone gets sad or depressed for some legitimate reason the nanochip in their brain automatically triggers the areas in the brain responsible for happiness and pleasure. So, one moment a small child sees some dead bodies on the street and gets upset. But the next moment, the nanochip generates happy thoughts and the child is all smiles. BAM, depression and sadness is ‘cured’.
Another example is how the nanochip prevents people from doing ‘negative’ behaviors:
- Somebody with a nanochip in their brain takes some illegal drugs. BAM, the nanochip starts to destroy their liver.
- Somebody walks into a shop and steals some food. BAM, the nanochip starts to constrict their lungs and force them down to their knees.
- Some thugs go and kill rival gang members. BAM, the nanochip starts to destroy their body and the thug can no longer breath.
- Some people pray on their mats or to their God. BAM, the nanochip causes them to lose their breath and their lungs start to constrict.
So, we can see the reduction of both unproductive emotions as well as ‘criminal’ or ‘illegal’ behaviors.
Of course, there are now some problems in terms of the nanochip preventing people practicing their religion. This ‘God Killer’ upgrade actually started in Version 4 of the nanochip in the book.
But the real issue is:
- Do we really need some kind of external force (e.g. technology) in order to constrict what we believe to be unwanted actions?
- If we use technology to eradicate ‘illegal’ behaviors, is this a good thing?
- Or is this merely reducing people’s free will in wanting to do what they want to do?
- Is forcing people to behave by threat of punishments really producing a ‘utopian’ society?
Probably the answer lies with some old dead philosopher talking about free will.
But one thing I did learn in history class, was this:
- Everyone is free to do what they want, as long as it doesn’t interfere with any else’s freedom (or harm other people).
So according to this general rule of thumb, eradicating behaviors such as stealing, murder, etc. would be beneficial to society. But eradicating religion completely? I’m not so sure. Praying and other forms of worship should be OK as long as it doesn’t harm other people.
What do you think? I guess it is some kind of touchy subject that people say shouldn’t be talked about?
The Characters in Scott Cramer’s Eden Chip
The above issue about destroying people’s free will is a major conflict point for Eden Chip. This actually generates the initial push for Raissa and her trainers in the rebel’s organisation to go up against Dr Petrov and The Collective.
(Dr Petrov is the scientist who stole the M-code from Ashiminov. The M-code is the algorithm which powers the nanochips in everyone’s head.)
Due to some accident in the past, Raissa’s nanochip no longer works. Thus, she is given the mission to assassinate Dr Petrov and use a devourware program to destroy the M-code within everyone’s nanochips.
Her ultimate goal is to help her grandfather practice his religion without being punished by the nanochip lodged within his brain.
The way Scott Cramer setup his characters was really great and enticing.
Within each chapter, the perspective shifts between three different characters: Raissa, Ashiminov, and Caleb. But Scott uses a limited third person to describe the thought processes and actions of each character. There is no over the top commentary on what is happening.
This helps to push the intensity of the overall novel up.
When the action shifts from character to character, the perspective shifts as well.
We never skip a beat in this novel – it’s all go, go, go!
There is also a sort of love interest storyline in the novel too.
I won’t give much away about this, except the below quote:
“Can we predict love?” The way he crinkled his eyes reminded Raissa of her grandfather.
“Excuse me,” she said, but the stranger melted into the crowd.
Did his nanochip have a bug? If he had waited, she would have told him that nobody can predict love.
(from Eden Chip)
So, from the beginning of the novel we have it setup that:
- the main character Raissa believes no-one can predict love.
- the nanochip in controlling and monitoring behavior should also be able to predict who will fall in love.
This tension runs throughout the novel until the very end.
The first time I read the ending, I nearly missed the actual importance of what had happened. But after I re-read the ending, I understood something very significant happened in regards to the development of Raissa as a character.
I won’t give anything away! haha
If you want to learn what happens, I guess you just have to buy the book and read it!
But this is significant in the way authors should write their characters in novels.
In fact, it follows the guidelines of John Truby’s The Anatomy of Story.
The guideline here is:
- Have a Psychological and Moral Self-Revelation for your main character
- Don’t just let the character say what he/she learnt
- Show the readers how they changed through their actions
This guideline is gold for Scott Cramer’s Eden Chip. He worked it in beautifully and I loved the book for that. This is why I think Eden Chip is what a book really should be.
Who is Scott Cramer (author of Eden Chip)?
According to his GoodReads’ profile:
Scott Cramer has optioned two screenplays, written for national magazines, and authored four novels: EDEN CHIP and the TOUCAN TRILOGY (Night of the Purple Moon, Colony East & Generation M). Scott and his wife reside outside Lowell, Massachusetts.
Here are Scott Cramer’s links:
Eden Chip by Scott Cramer is what a book should be!
I loved reading it from the beginning to the end. It really is a true thriller.
Not only that it has all your favorite themes from sci-fi: especially, nanochips implanted in people’s brains controlling their emotions and behaviors.
The Rebels must defeat the evil scientist who controls the nanochip.
The main character Raissa must overcome her own weaknesses and assassinate Dr Petrov to save the world.
I highly recommend this book to all sci-fi, dystopian futures, and thriller lovers.
It is high paced and will force you to keep reading no matter day or night!
Here are my top four book picks if you loved what you read about Eden Chip by Scott Cramer:
My Rating for Eden Chip: 5/5★
(P.S. Got any other books you want me to review? Then…)