Behrg Reviews: The Warehouse by Rob Hart
"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."
The Warehouse is a clever 1984-esque dystopian view of a future where corporate America is the ONLY America. The company called Cloud (with plenty of thinly veiled pot shots at Amazon) has redefined its work force by allowing its employees to live within the constructs where they work, creating a haven (or prison) from the rest of the world and in the process, of course, maximizing revenues and profits. It's an enthralling premise that simultaneously acts as a warning, as the deeper in you get the more you could see this playing out somehow in our future.
What really elevates this novel above the premise are the characters we're quickly introduced to--one coming to Cloud after losing his business to the company and another entering in an act of corporate espionage. Their stories are expertly intertwined to create a dynamic--and tension--the reader cares about. I also really appreciated the humanity that was brought to the founder of Cloud. Though it's easy to hate what he's done and the way he uses the system for greater gain, in lesser hands it would have been easy to make him a villain just because he's evil or wants to destroy the world. You may not agree with his philosophies, but you can see that he's sincere in what he's attempted to do, which added a nice layer to the story.
I could have used a little more complexities with some of the systems in place at Cloud for tracking employees, especially for a business as sophisticated at this conglomerate, and I would have loved to have seen more of the world outside just the one hub, but ultimately this story and its characters captivated me and certainly kept me flying through the pages. A clever concept delivered with care and precision. Almost sounds like a product that could be coming to you soon from your local Cloud epicenter. A solid recommend.
This book isn't available until Aug 20th, but you can pre-order it here. Thanks to NetGalley, the author and publisher for an advanced review copy. This in no way influenced my review, and all thoughts are my own (or the strange alien who may or may not have abducted me last night).