Cyberdrome by Joseph Rhea and David Rhea

Cyberdrome by Joseph Rhea and David Rhea

  • novel
  • action
  • adventure
  • science fiction
  • future
  • virtual world
  • artificial intelligence





Think The Matrix, think Tron and Tron: Legacy, think Star Trek: Enterprise, think Quantum Leap. there is a little of each of them in Cyberdrome at the same time that there is much more of something else. The novel feels like the pilot episode of a TV series, the complementary prequel book of a video game, the beginning of something that might never end.

It's impossible not to compare Cyberdrome's setting to the one of Tron and to Quantum Leap, the TV series with Scott Bakula. The shared elements with the digital adventure of Kevin Flynn are very hard to miss, there is even some Neo and The Matrix feeling at some points since the hero, Alek Grey, is among the very few who have Lucid Dreams, a condition not favoured within the virtual worlds.

From a purely conceptual point of view there isn't much that can't be said to already be out there from the work of the Rhea brothers. But likeness stops once details start to emerge. Of course, there is no way to go around the influences that late XXth and early XXIst Century films, games and novels have on their work. Something that the authors don't try to deny either.

There is more than one moment in which it is hard not to see/imagine the similarities between Cyberdrome and the rebooted Tron franchise. Given the time differences between the two of them it is hard to tell who based what on whom. The good thing with this is that it is easy to imagine the environment in which the adventure unfolds.

Just like in the work of the Wachowski brothers there is no doubt as to where we are. What reality is, nor what the virtual offers in the work of Joseph and David. There is also that barrier between the possible and the impossible when in the virtual world. And the knowledge that if something goes wrong in either one of them, things can become difficult, even deadly, in the other also.

The story and the adventure advance very well, although at times the reactions between the different characters feel a little abrupt and there is no real explanation for their response, it might qualify as more emotional and --randomly-- human but it can make them a little too whiny which, at least in my case, makes it less likely to truly empathize with them. This is just a minor glitch, though.

Besides being the title of the novel, Cyberdrome is a virtual universe where research is being made without the boundaries of the physical world, so that whatever can be found within can be later adapted and used in the real world. In order to do so a few rules are being stretched, and some of them are about to break.

There isn't much really new in the world of Joseph and David but it is being presented in a good way, with more than a few interesting ideas and takes on what today we can consider to be common concepts. A very attractive extra is the step they take to present visual representations of their written ideas through 3D sketches of vehicles, ships, creatures and even the inside of laboratories and some critical places in the adventure.

To a generation growing with video games, Tron, The Matrix and the promise of an ever more immersive virtual dimension what Cyberdrome offers is very much what they might end up living with, living in. If, perhaps, taken a little to the extreme of what can be possible in the near future. Whatever the next decades hold for us, the adventure of the Rhea brothers is certainly worth taking, there are quite a few interesting concepts and a lot of action in a world that makes the one of Neo look like a peaceful place.

Cyberdrome by Joseph Rhea and David Rhea

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Teclado EZ-Reach 2030 por TypeMatrix.

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