The Siege

The Siege

by Mark Alpert

Paperback(Reprint)

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The Siege 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
onemused More than 1 year ago
“Siege” is a fascinating continuation of the Six series. In a future where AI has advanced through brutal competition, Sigma has won- and is now fighting humankind. In the first book, Adam and 5 other dying teenagers are transformed into computers, using neuromorphic circuits as their new brains and living inside machines. The technology here is fascinating, as is the take on how the AI would act after being created through violent competition (e.g. killing the other AI and incorporating their programs). In this second book, we learn very quickly that there is a traitor amongst the Pioneers, working with Sigma, but we don’t know who or why. Jenny’s spot amongst the pioneers is replaced by a new teen, Amber, who brings her own challenges. The war against Sigma rages throughout the book, and humanity suffers. There is also quite a bombshell at the end of the book that I did not see coming at all! This was an even better than the first continuation of the series, and I am excited to read the third book and see how it develops. This one is action-packed and fast-paced. We don’t spend so much time on the science of it all but the Pioneers are fighting a difficult war- so we go from battle to intense battle. Without the moral discussion of whether to become a machine or not, the book moves much more quickly, and the moral questions here are mainly about how we treat AI/if we train something to kill to survive, how can it do anything else? Also about evolution and humanity’s potential next steps. We don’t spend as much time learning about the other pioneers/only get small tidbits about each of them as the book progresses- Adam is the real star here. I would have liked to hear more from another pioneer’s point of view (maybe Shannon, as it seems she has some real potential and some real feelings/evolutions of her own). We also don’t flash to Sigma as much in this book or military briefings, as in the first, so the story completely revolves around Adam. I’m hoping we’ll get some other perspectives in the third book! Regardless, this was an action-packed sci-fi/technology adventure that never lets up! I am excited to read the next book in this thrilling series!
ruthsic More than 1 year ago
The Six was a pretty good book, with interesting yet plausible level of science fiction, some intelligent inventions, a good plot but a boring villain. However, here I would like to amend that statement - Sigma rises to the occasion in this book. Initially created in cage match of competing AI, Sigma had conquered to be the top dog, and after recuperating from its arrogance in Six, it now is fixated on evolving itself, hoping to glean useful additions from the human-machine hybrids, particularly Adam who is like a sibling. As the blurb states, the plot this time around focuses on betrayal, and the mystery of whom among the Pioneers would do the unthinkable makes this an book you can't stop reading. While the earlier issues of the Pioneers still remain - the fact that they are not considered even remotely human, people always reacting badly to them, them questioning their existence, the very fact that they are just sophisticated weapons - and they are more or less coping with most of them, there are still chinks in their neuromorphic armor, insecurities which make for prime red herring business. I must admit, I was convinced it was Shannon for a major part of the plot. The addition of a new member to replace Jenny had also raised some warning bells, but she gets her useful part towards the end of the book. Overall, I felt the characters were not as much the focus of the book as the former, considering there is a greater degree of relationships that could have been explored here. And I did feel the writing was subpar, compared to the previous. Moving on to the science part of the book, the robotics, nanotech and engineering explained are, in a word, awesome. But more importantly, I loved the point of evolution being brought up and how it connects to intelligence. As a biologist, I am of the opinion that evolution doesn't always mean the a higher level of organism - rather an increase in complexity that helps it sustain/adapt in its environment, and this point was driven nicely by the ending. And speaking of the ending, what a way to wrap up stuff but also leave a cliffhanger! It was almost brutal realizing that the story hasn't really ended, but also exhilarating to know there is the possibility of another book. In summary, a deserving sequel that upholds the power of the former.