Cloud isn’t just a place to work. It’s a place to live. And when you’re here, you’ll never want to leave.
“A thrilling story of corporate espionage at the highest level . . . and a powerful cautionary tale about technology, runaway capitalism, and the nightmare world we are making for ourselves.”—Blake Crouch, New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter
Film rights sold to Imagine Entertainment for director Ron Howard!
Paxton never thought he’d be working for Cloud, the giant tech company that’s eaten much of the American economy. Much less that he’d be moving into one of the company’s sprawling live-work facilities.
But compared to what’s left outside, Cloud’s bland chainstore life of gleaming entertainment halls, open-plan offices, and vast warehouses…well, it doesn’t seem so bad. It’s more than anyone else is offering.
Zinnia never thought she’d be infiltrating Cloud. But now she’s undercover, inside the walls, risking it all to ferret out the company’s darkest secrets. And Paxton, with his ordinary little hopes and fears? He just might make the perfect pawn. If she can bear to sacrifice him.
As the truth about Cloud unfolds, Zinnia must gamble everything on a desperate scheme—one that risks both their lives, even as it forces Paxton to question everything about the world he’s so carefully assembled here.
Together, they’ll learn just how far the company will go…to make the world a better place.
Set in the confines of a corporate panopticon that’s at once brilliantly imagined and terrifyingly real, The Warehouse is a near-future thriller about what happens when Big Brother meets Big Businessand who will pay the ultimate price.
Advance praise for The Warehouse
“I loved The Warehouse, although and because it made my blood run cold. This is what our world could be by this time next year.”—S.J. Rozan, Edgar award-winning author of Paper Son
“An inventive, addictive, Crichton-esque, page-turning, near-future dystopian thriller.”—Paul Tremblay, Stoker award-winning author of A Head Full of Ghostsof Lock Every Door
|Product dimensions:||9.90(w) x 13.30(h) x 8.30(d)|
About the Author
Rob Hart is the author of the Ash McKenna crime series and the short-story collection Take-Out. He also co-wrote Scott Free with James Patterson. He’s worked as a book publisher, a political reporter, and a communications director for a politician and was a commissioner for the city of New York. He lives on Staten Island with his wife and daughter.
Read an Excerpt
Paxton pressed his hand against the front window of the ice-cream parlor. The menu board on the wall inside promised homemade flavors. Graham cracker and chocolate marshmallow and peanut butter fudge.
Flanking it, on one side, was a hardware store called Pop’s, and on the other was a diner with a chrome and neon sign he couldn’t quite make out. Delia’s? Dahlia’s?
Paxton looked up and down the stretch of the main road. It was so easy to imagine the street bustling with people. All the life this place used to hold. It was the kind of town that could inspire feelings of nostalgia on the first visit.
Now it was an echo fading in the white sunlight.
He turned back to the ice-cream parlor, the only business on the strip not boarded up with weathered plywood. The window was hot to the touch where the sun hit it and coated in a layer of grit.
Looking inside, at the dusty stacks of flared tin cups and the empty stools and the fallow refrigerators, Paxton wanted to feel some kind of regret, about what this place must have meant to the town that surrounded it.
But he had reached the limit of his sadness when he stepped off the bus. Just the act of being there was stretching his skin to bursting, like an overfilled balloon.
Paxton hitched his bag over his shoulder and turned back into the horde shuffling down the sidewalk, trampling the grass jutting through the cracks in the concrete. There were still people coming up in the rearolder folks, people nursing injuries so they couldn’t walk as well.
Forty-seven people had gotten off the bus. Forty-seven people, not including him. About halfway through the two-hour ride, when there was nothing left on his phone to capture his attention, he’d counted. Heavy-shouldered men with the callused hands of day laborers. Stooped office workers grown soft from years of hunching at keyboards. One girl couldn’t have been more than seventeen. She was short and curvy, with long brown braids that reached down to her lower back and skin the color of milk. She wore an old lavender pantsuit, two sizes too big, the fabric faded and stretched from years of washing and wear. The sliver of an orange tag, like the kind used in secondhand stores, stuck out from its collar.
Everyone carried luggage. Battered roller suitcases wobbling on uneven pavement. Bags strapped to backs or slung over shoulders. Everyone sweating from exertion. The sun baked the top of Paxton’s head.
It must have been well past a hundred degrees. Sweat ran down Paxton’s legs, pooling in his underarms, making his clothes stick. Which was exactly why he wore black pants and a white shirt, so the sweat wouldn’t show as much. The white-haired man next to him, the one who looked like a college professor put out to pasture, his beige suit was the color of wet cardboard.
Hopefully the processing center was close. Hopefully it was cool. He just wanted to be inside. He could taste it on his tongue: dust blowing from ruined fields, no longer strong enough to keep a grip on anything. It had been cruel of the bus driver to drop them at the edge of town. He was probably staying close to the interstate to conserve gas, but still.
The line ahead shifted, drifting to the right at the intersection. Paxton dug in harder. He wanted to stop to pull a bottle of water out of his bag, but pausing at the ice-cream parlor had been an indulgence. There were now more people ahead of him than behind.
As he neared the corner, a woman launched past him, clipping his side, making enough contact he almost stumbled. She was older, Asian, with a mop of white hair on her head and a leather satchel looped around her shoulder, making a hard push for the front of the pack. But the effort proved to be too much and within a couple of feet she tripped, went down hard on her knee.
The people around her stepped to the side, gave her room, but didn’t stop. Paxton knew why. A little voice in his head screamed, Keep walking, but of course he couldn’t, so he helped her get to her feet. Her bare knee was scratched red, a long trail of blood running down her leg to her tennis shoe, so thick the line was black.
She looked at him, barely nodded, and took off. Paxton sighed.
“You’re welcome,” he said, not loud enough for her to hear.
He checked behind him. The people at the back were picking up the pace. Walking with a renewed sense of effort, probably at the sight of someone going down to the ground. There was blood in the air. Paxton hitched the bag again and took off at a brisk pace, aiming hard for that corner. He turned and found a large theater with a white marquee. The stucco on the front of the building was crumbling to reveal patches of weather-worn brick.
Broken neon glass letters formed an uneven pattern along the top of the marquee.
Paxton figured it was supposed to spell out Riverview, even though there didn’t seem to be any rivers nearby, but then again, maybe there used to be. Parked outside the theater was a mobile air-conditioning unit, the sleek vehicle humming, pumping cold air through a sealed tube into the building. Paxton followed the crowd toward the long row of open doors. As he got closer, the doors on the end closed, leaving a few in the middle still open.
He pushed forward, nearly running the final few steps, aiming for the middle. As he stepped through, more doors slammed behind him. The sun disappeared and the cool air enveloped him and it felt like a kiss.
He shivered, looked back. Saw the last door close, and a middle-aged man with a pronounced limp was left out in the blazing sun. The first thing the man did was deflate. Shoulders slumped, bag dropped to the ground. Then the tension returned to his spine and he stepped forward, smacking his palm against the door. He must have been wearing a ring because it made a sharp crack, like the glass might break.
“Hey,” he yelled, his voice muffled. “Hey. You can’t do this. I came all the way out here.”
Crack, crack, crack.
A man in a gray shirt that said RapidHire on the back in white letters approached the rejected applicant. He placed a hand on the man’s shoulder. Paxton couldn’t read lips, but he assumed it was the same thing spoken to the woman who’d gotten turned away from the bus. She was the last person on line and the doors closed in her face, and a man in a RapidHire shirt appeared and said: “There is no last place. You have to want to work at Cloud. You are free to apply again in one month’s time.”
Paxton turned away from the scene. He couldn’t find more room for his own sadnesscertainly he couldn’t muster space for anyone else’s.
Reading Group Guide
1. Does Gibson really believe he’s making the world a better place? Did you ever find yourself rooting for him?
2. What do you think are some of the biggest work issues highlighted in The Warehouse? Have you experienced any of these issues at your job?
3. Are there real-world companies that remind you of Cloud? Are any major companies adopting Cloud’s values and ideas?
4. Is the world in The Warehouse a possible future for us?
5. After reading The Warehouse, have you reevaluated how or where you shop? If so, why?
6. Have you seen recent news stories that remind you of The Warehouse? If so, why?
7. Paxton is furious with Cloud for ruining his life, but ends up defending its safety and comfort. Zinnia starts off skeptical of the company’s workers, only to later empathize with them. How did your feelings change over the course of the book?
8. Do you think Paxton has a point about the safety and security that Cloud offers? What are the trade-offs?
9. What do you think happened to Zinnia in the end?
10. Would you work at Cloud? Why or why not? If so, what color would you wear?
11. Do you think consumers have a role to play in improving the way the new retail economy operates?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Rating: 4 stars This latest release by Rob Hart imagines a dystopian future where climate change has radically changed the world, and an all-encompassing corporate giant has radically changed society. In "The Warehouse", most of the world’s trade is handled by a mega company named Cloud. Cloud has also taken over government functions, agricultural functions, just about any product, service or oversight you can think of is now administered by Cloud. Mom and Pop farms and stores have been driven out of business. The story is told from three perspectives. First there is Gibson Wells. He is the founder of Cloud and he’s dying of cancer. We hear from him mainly via blog posts about his future, and his past. We learn what drove him to start Cloud, and what continues to drive him to ensure its success. Then we hear from Zinnia and Paxton. They meet on the day that they are hired to work at a Mega Cloud facility in an unnamed location. Zinnia is a ‘red shirt’, or order picker. Paxton wears a blue shirt, and works for Security. We learn about their history and their Cloud experiences in their alternating voices throughout the book. Is Cloud as benevolent as it seems on the surface? Each push to make an employee to work harder, and use fewer resources seems to be rooted in Wells’ patriarchal view that basically hard work is good for the soul. But how far can a person be pushed, watched, and controlled, and are the motives actually as benevolent as they seem? A group of disrupters is attempting to form a Union. As you might expect this is something that Security is tasked with stopping. Zinnia has a hidden agenda, and despite her better judgment finds herself attracted to Paxton. This book works on many levels. It’s a great dystopian novel. While I was reading this book a special came on CNN about the far reach of Amazon, which Cloud is clearly based on, and whether or not in the long run it will be good for society. I only watched the intro of the program because I didn’t want it to influence my reading and reviewing experience. It did make me ponder though. The book has a touch or romance. Not the lovey-dovey stuff, but romance based on finding camaraderie and comfort that we all needs as humans. The book is also a bit of a morality play. Will the characters ultimately do the right thing? What is the right thing? Will Cloud be taken in a new direction? Who wins? I’m still sorting out my feeling about the ending. At first I was frustrated with it, but now I applaud author's skill in the final scenes. I don’t want to say more and spoil the story. Do yourself a favor and pick this book up soon. I think this is obviously great for Sci-Fi and Dystopian readers. But that is not my go-to genre and I really enjoyed the book too. I like that it was fast-paced, talked about problems that we all could be facing in the near-future, and made me think about the choices I might make if I switched places with any of the characters. ‘Thank-You’ to NetGalley; the publisher, Crown Publishing; and the author, Rob Hart; for providing a free e-ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Can a company become too big, too powerful, and too. controlling? In a fictional story that may be too close to reality, the reader is confronted with these questions in what starts as a case of corporate espionage.
Get ready to explore themes of the greater good, challenging the status quo, and what happens when corporations gain too much power. Is it better to be safe or free? Convenience vs value? How much do you care about your privacy? I loved that The Warehouse makes you think while entertaining you at the same time. Like many thrillers, it’s told from different characters’ perspectives, but it made sense in this story and helped build tension. There are some surprising twists and turns, and I found the ending satisfying and appropriate. I wished there were more opportunities to connect with Zinnia and Paxton emotionally, but the book excelled in other areas: world-building, suspense, sci-fi elements, pacing, conflict, and so on. I give it 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5. You’ll like The Warehouse if you enjoyed Dark Matter or Recursion by Blake Crouch, or The Handmaid’s Tale.
Paxton didn’t want to work for Cloud. The superstore ruined his life and put him out of business. But he needs a job and Cloud is hiring. Zinnia is on a mission. She needs to infiltrate Cloud, and she can’t get caught. She meets Paxton, who has been selected to work for security. Soon, Paxton and Zinnia become embroiled in a scheme that will shake Cloud to its very foundation. When I started reading The Warehouse, I was expecting it to be a book that explored how an online business ran with a dash of mystery thrown in. I was not expecting this book to suck me in from the first page. I finished this book within 2 hours. So yeah, it is a fast read. It also had a well-written plotline with almost no lag. There was a tiny bit of lag when Paxton and Zinnia took their trip, but the author was able to bring plotline back. I liked Paxton. He seemed resigned to the fact that he was going to work for Cloud. He didn’t hold any resentment towards Cloud for making his business to go under. I thought that he was blind to Zinnia’s schemes. How could he not pick up that something wasn’t quite right with her? I mean, he walked in on her using the hospital computer after her accident!! That drove me nuts. I didn’t quite like Zinnia, but I also didn’t dislike her either. Her reasons for infiltrating Cloud weren’t clear at first. I wasn’t happy that she was using Paxton, but if I were in her situation, I would have done the same thing. She was a strong individual, though. The beatdown that she gave that one guy was epic. The mystery angle of the book was well written. While the middle of the book did Zinnia’s first part of her mission, there was a second part to it. The twist to that took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting who it was!! The dystopian angle of the book, I had no problem believing. I can picture what happened to the world in this book (climate change, gun violence, unemployment) happening in real life. I also have no issue seeing an online company (who I will not name) taking over the world. I do want to add that I was grossed out about the burgers. I threw up a little in my mouth when it was revealed what they were made of. Talk about gross!! The end of The Warehouse was pretty standard. There were no dropped storylines. But, I did wonder what happened to Zinnia. I was also thrilled for Paxton and a little mad. What happened to him was not right. I would have flipped my lid if that happened to me.
Think Amazon and Walmart on steroids: What would happen if either (or both) of these already giant companies went wild and, quite literally, took over the world's commerce? At first blush, the yin-yang is easy to envision; virtually all small business would be wiped out and the only "secure" jobs essentially would be low-paying gruntwork (albeit with substantial benefits). On the other hand, the convenience for consumers would be unmatched. With state-of-the-industry order technology, huge distribution centers staffed by hundreds and a sky littered with delivery drones, anything people might want would be at their fingertips almost instantly. The question then becomes - and worthy of note is that it's a question that's being asked today - to what extent are those consumers willing to overlook the exploitation of other human beings in order for their own needs to be satisfied? This entertaining yet often disturbing book gives readers some idea of what life might be like should that happen (some, of course, will argue that we're already at that point). The scene is set at the mothership of a ginormous company called Cloud, which has "campuses" all over the country complete with living quarters, health care and recreational opportunities for the thousands of employees at the facilities. During working hours, they perform jobs assigned to them by managers supposedly according to their skills; to keep them all in line, there's a rating system that, if in any way violated, would land them back in the outside world to fend for themselves (with the promise they'd never again be employed by Cloud). That outside world is dog-eat-dog - pretty much literally - and the long lines of people waiting to submit their resumes to Cloud is a testament to their desperation to escape as well as serve yet another deterrent to any employee who might consider bucking the carefully contrived system. Enter central characters Paxton and Zinnia, both of whom applied for jobs at Cloud, each for a different, nefarious reason. I won't reveal what those reasons are, but only that neither expects to be working there after their goals have been realized. They meet for the first time briefly on the tram ride that takes them to their work and living quarters. Paxton is more interested in Zinnia than she in him, but early on, she sees an advantage in cozying up to him. Meanwhile, Gibson Wells, the creator and CEO of this monster company, is dying of cancer. Considering himself to be the savior of the free world, he starts a blog to lay out the reasons - more like justifications - behind all he's done that will culminate in the announcement of his successor. He's also announced plans to personally visit all his Cloud facilities before he succumbs, ending with the MotherCloud at which Paxton and Zinnia are employed. Told through alternating perspectives of the three characters, readers begin to get the full story - complete with a few timely surprises that keep things really interesting and, in the process, provide some food for thought that carries over to the real world (as evidenced by the twinge of buyer's remorse I felt just after finishing the book as I pushed the "place order" button to get the items in my Amazon cart). Oh well, at least they haven't activated drone delivery in my neighborhood (yet). Thanks to the publisher, via NetGalley, for the opportunity to read and review an advance copy of this entertaining and thought-provoking book.
Ahoy there me mateys! I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . . This book was a very fast read with a bit of an agenda against big business and guns. The setting is in a company called "Cloud" which is basically a stand-in for Amazon. So what happens when Amazon takes over the world? This book is an excellent look at a very negative future where this occurs. In this story ye follow two folks. Paxton was a small business owner until Amazon . . . I mean the Cloud . . . forced him out because he couldn't compete with the pricing and contracts. And then, with limited options, Paxton has no real choice but to take a job with said Cloud. He goes in with the hope of getting some kind of revenge. Only he has no idea what kind or even how to go about it. Zinna is focused, driven, and on a mission. Money is at stake and so she is determined to get into Cloud, finish her task, and get back out again. But success is more elusive than she would like. She discovers that Paxton may be the key to accomplishing her goal. But both Paxton and Zinna find that their time within the Cloud and with each other starts to change the way they view the world and their places in it. The Cloud itself was kinda fascinating. The company is set up to be a utopia. Employees live, work, and play in one complex. It was designed to "save America" and be geared towards worker's rights. Only, like in most utopias, human greed, sloth, and apathy get in the way. Both the systems in place and how they are failing were interestingly juxtaposed. Part of this was in the employee structure. Zinnia finds herself in one of the lowest positions, a picker responsible for putting ordered goods on the correct conveyor. Paxton finds himself in security and in the midst of bureaucratic politics and power struggles. Neither wants the roles they have been given. I absolutely loved following their thoughts, daily struggles, and shifts in emotions towards the Cloud and each other. The utopian ideals are wonderfully portrayed in the form of blog entries from the dying company founder. Interspersed within the overall plot structure, these musings helped cement and articulate both the brilliant veneer and the seedy reality. This only furthers the absurdity and desperation of this version of future America. I really did find this book to be a fun and slightly alarming look in the potential future of big business. The negative for me was the last several chapters of how Zinna's mission resolves and the subplot of revolt. Neither of these elements worked in terms of plot resolution. It felt too Hollywood in its ending and I would have preferred a much more nuanced take. The ending in particular fell completely flat. For all of me dislike of the end of the book, the concepts, characters, and Cloud made it totally worth reading. And for the record, I love Amazon. Arrrr! So lastly . . . Thank you Crown Publishing!
The Warehouse gets a for its satire of the US but a for having more holes than a sieve. Hart takes a bunch of our current socioeconomic problems to their next steps (including unchecked capitalism, climate change, healthcare, guns, and income inequality), so the satire seems incredibly realistic. There are just *too many holes* in terms of these characters' motivations, their backstories, and what happens at the novel's abrupt ending. I guess that averages out to three stars? Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me a DRC of this novel.
Set in the near future, THE WAREHOUSE aims at provoking a reflection on the threat of a corporate Big Brother, if you will. I expected the MotherCloud facilities and the work environment to be idealised, at least at first, and show its cracks later, but the operating philosophy resembles more that of the world's most famous fast food empire than the perfect futuristic workplace. Cloud offers the jobs you take when you can't find anything else. The concept is genius, and Rob Hart creates an eerily believable and richly detailed world that reminded me of the great Philip K. Dick, with the vibrant descriptions that allow the grimness to seep through, creating a plausible near future. Alas, the flattering comparison stops at the worldbuilding. I was very excited to start THE WAREHOUSE, but it did not live up to my expectations, I'm afraid. I wish Mr. Hart had taken greater care in fleshing out the characters. Paxton seems merely a walking and talking tool to be ultimately used by Zinnia. Her persona is slightly more defined, but I found her unlikable: she is condescending and dismissive. Gibson Wells is, strangely enough, a well-rounded character, and I wonder if it's because of how the novel is structured: Paxton's and Zinnia's perspectives are written in third person, while Gibson's is in first person. Zinnis is made out to be so tough that she displays little humanity and for most of the book, Paxton is but a spineless wimp. I loved a secondary character, Miguel, who appeared very briefly, and was much more interesting than both main protagonists. I honestly didn't like either Paxton or Zinnia, and I didn't care how the story ended; that's not how it's supposed to be. The writing is solid, the story flows well, albeit extremely slowly. While I understand the set-up is capital, countless superfluous details could have been edited out, such as Pac-Man games, enumerations of the items sold in THE WAREHOUSE, at one point, a full page. We got the idea, they sell everything. I'm all for establishing a solid foundation, but at thirty percent, we were still at getting around the compound and learning what their jobs consisted of. It needed concrete action and fewer mundane details about life in the MotherCloud. A feeling of unease started to creep in from the beginning, but somewhat stalled; it left barely the tiniest whisper of tension mired in the mundane details of everyday life. Read THE WAREHOUSE as a satire, a standard cautionary tale on the dangers of corporate takeovers of the world, but don't expect a heart-pounding, spine-tingling thriller. It's more the story of Cloud as the first installment in a series. The narrative finally hits its stride around the 75% mark, and for me, it was way too late. The film rights have already been sold, there's already a built-in sequel at the end of the book, and I think that's where my problems with the story originate. I suspect the ending - or even the whole book - was modified for the movie(s), and that it explains all the filler that makes the story drag endlessly. Take chapter 5, which is entirely unnecessary and could have been written in a single paragraph, if at all, because it serves no purpose whatsoever. Chapter 5 seems to have been included to fill pages, as does Gibson's backstory, and a not-so-subtle wink to a sci-fi classic. I'm sorry to say that all the books mentioned by the author in the story do a better job of speculating on a possible totalitarian future than THE WAREHOUSE.
Paxton and Zinnia are new employees at Cloud where they work, live, and have their productivity and location tracked through their smartwatches. Gibson is the dying industrialist who created the Cloud company and is touring the country visiting his facilities. This near-future dystopian sci-fi thriller made me leery of ever shopping online again. (review submitted and used by LibraryReads.org)
An endorsement from Blake Crouch was all I needed to request this book from netgalley. Imagine a world in the not so distant future where Amazon has become even more all encompassing and you have The Warehouse. Most small businesses have disappeared, driverless trucks and drones are the norm, and job choices are slim. The world is crashing and burning - climate change, minimal government, the lack of clean water, out of control migration. Of course, it’s not just Amazon this book derides. Hart has stolen other elements from our lives - Apple Watch, a government more on the side of corporations than humans (the Worker Responsibility Act will scare you silly). We hear from alternating narratives from our three main characters. Gibson is the founder of The Cloud. Paxton finds himself working for the Cloud after they forced his small business to fold. Zinnia is there on an undercover espionage mission. I liked that the different narratives provided us with a point/counterpoint to the capitalism vs. worker argument. If 1984 painted a picture against communism, The Warehouse goes after capitalism. In both instances, it’s the individual that gets trampled. There’s a very dry, subtle sense of humor here. Not just the names of the laws Gibson has enacted, but the commercials. But there’s also a real darkness here, especially as the book progresses. This book did a great job of keeping me engaged. It’s got a fast pace and quite a few interesting side stories. It actually spooked me. As someone who uses Amazon a lot, I really felt like part of the problem. My thanks to netgalley and Crown for an advance copy of this book.
I'll be honest - although the book description intrigued me, it was Blake Crouch's recommendation that made me want to read this novel. After finishing, I had to sit with it a few days because I honestly didn't know how I felt about it. Few people will read this description and not immediately think of Amazon. The Warehouse is a cautionary tale, albeit extreme, that paints a harrowing futuristic picture. Cloud controls or has influence over nearly everything - the business environment, laws, politics. Seemingly nothing is out of its reach. I didn't particularly care about these characters, but their moral ambiguity was intriguing and held me enthralled. Paxton harbors feelings of anger and retribution after his small business is crushed by Cloud - and yet he finds himself working for the tech company. Zinnia will sacrifice anything or anyone to accomplish her goals. And Gibson Wells, the multi-billionaire owner of Cloud, truly believes everything he's done has made the world a better place. This is a well-paced thriller with some suprising plot twists, and the sections showing the monotony of Paxton's and Zinnia's lives are brilliant. The Warehouse is undoubtedly one of the most thought-provoking books I've read this year. It will leave you feeling unsettled, and I guarantee you'll still be thinking about it days after reading. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Let's face it, we all know what corporation this is meant to skewer. It's told from the viewpoints of Paxton, who lost his business to the Cloud and now works for it, Zinnia, who is a spy in the machine, and Gibson, the founder who is now dying of cancer. Everything you thought you knew about working for a megacorporation is here- and more. This is an up or out organization which sucks the workers dry and then spits them out if they can't keep up. Everything about their lives is tied to the Cloud; they aren't paid in money but in credits. There's constant surveillance. Oh and drones. Gibson is delusional about how he changed the US. This is a a carefully layered and plotted novel - wonderfully written with two sympathetic and one loathsome character. It's also fascinating in its detail. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. I liked this much more than I expected to. Read it and then go shop local!
Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to preview The Warehouse by Rob Hart. Wow - this is a book that will have you thinking when you purchase from one of today's big box stores. Futuristic, scary, and thought provoking are the words that come to mind when you reach the last page of this thrilling novel. Two young people are on their way to a new job for Cloud - the only "game in town'big box store where you can buy anything your heart desires. When you order ANYTHING, it is delivered by drone to your home in no time at all. America is no longer a place that has choices for buying anything - CLOUD has the monopoly on everything. Titus and Zinnia, two new recruits to the CLOUD workforce, meet by chance on their way to Cloud - where workers live, work, and play at the Cloud facility. Both have been hurt by CLOUD and have their own personal reasons to work there and their plans are in part to bring it down. But can this congolomorate be broken down? Can one person single handedly take down this giant? Well both have their reasons, but it will take time and will each of them get caught up in this cult like facility to meet their end game? Well, you just have to read this and find out. Fast and furious reading on this one - 4 stars. RECOMMEND.
Yikes! This was an eerie look at a kind of plausible future of Amazon meets The Circle with a little of the Doctor Who Kerblam! episode thrown in. Two strangers apply for a job at Cloud. Cloud is an Amazon-like company where the consumer can order pretty much anything, and the product is whisked to them via a drone. Cloud is a self contained city within itself where the employees live, eat, and work. Paxton is hired and becomes a blue shirt, security. Zinnia is hired and becomes a red shirt, a picker. Interspersed with Paxton and Zinnia's POV chapters are Gibson's chapters. Gibson is the gazillionaire that invented Cloud. This story was definitely satirical, which I typically am not a big fan of, but in this case, I really enjoyed. It was a bit scary to see a possible future dystopian where this company takes over everything, including government. I found it very intriguing and inhaled this book! One last note... Cloudburgers... Nom nom nom! *Thank you to NetGalley and Crown Publishing for the advance copy!*