Book Review - Market Forces by Richard K. Morgan
I guess I expected a lot more from this sci-fi novel from an author I haven't read before... Market Forces by Richard K. Morgan. I'm not even sure I can do a decent synopsis of the plot, as I'm not quite sure what it was...
Chris Faulkner is a driver for Shorn Associates, an investment firm that backs countries and factions at war with each other. The main form of investment is to be on the side of the winners so that you can secure a slice of their gross domestic product once they are in power. When two investment firms are set to go up against each other for business, they send out a drive team to a defined road course and attempt to kill the other group in a fatal type of "demolition derby". Even within a company, you can eliminate your corporate rivals by issuing a road challenge. And of course, the media follows the drive wars closely and the big names are treated as celebrities.
That's the premise of the book that drew me in. A near-future sci-fi piece that shows a different type of society that isn't necessarily implausible. My problems began when I tried to figure out what the plot was. Higher-ups at Shorn apparently don't want him there, but I never did really understand why. There were alliances and betrayals, but I never figured out how they formed. There was a subplot to get Faulkner to become an ombudsman, but it was beyond me as to what role they served in the new world landscape. The entire time I was reading, I felt like there must have been an earlier book I missed which would have explained everything else. Without it, I was really lost for the majority of the read.
I liked the premise, and I liked the scenes. There was just no story that I found that tied it all together. If given a second chance, I would have left this one on the library shelf.