SYMUTAL by Dean Alexandrou Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young hacker hired to update security for a private company in the future must battle government agents as the world heads towards the point of no return and the arrival of the Algorithm Singularity in author Dean Alexandrou’s “SYMUTAL”.


The Synopsis

“The ping of the oven cut like a shard of glass through brain tissue, tearing apart the cloth of melancholia that she wore like a hood.”

The year is 2057. In one month humanity will have passed the point of no return – the Algorithm Singularity. Automated systems that run society will have cast a net too tight to break free from. As the singularity approaches, Omicore becomes the first private company to build a server farm on the Moon, out of reach of terrestrial interference.

“The counter response from a system too complex for us to understand will be both unpredictable and deadly.”

Page, a socially awkward but prodigal hacker is hired by Omicore to work on their next generation security, using a new form of simulated consciousness. When government agents try to shut the company down the unfinished research is the only thing standing in their way, and must fight back for all of humanity.

Nothing is legal when it challenges the authority of those who make the laws.”

The Review

This was a compelling and gripping sci-fi thriller. The author does a fantastic job of touching upon the theme of the dangers of A.I. and the harm that can come with allowing the technology to advance without any laws or supervision, and the problems that can come with automating every aspect of our lives. The real dangers that technology has gone unchecked can have on everyday life is perfectly illustrated in the opening chapter of the book, showing how the lack of human emotion or empathy can leave a cold and calculating worldview that doesn’t allow for room to grow, and punishes people for possibilities rather than actual misdeeds.

The imagery and tension the author built were perfectly captured in the cold settings and a detailed look at the process of programming and coding, let alone the technology behind A.I. and automated systems in general. The character development balanced the detached technology aspect of the narrative and gave readers an emotional investment in the story as the fight for humanity truly began, even amongst themselves.

The Verdict

Memorable, action-packed, and engaging, author Dean Alexandrou’s “SYMUTAL” is a must-read sci-fi thriller of 2023! The twists and turns in the narrative, the shocking fates of the characters, and the emphasis the author puts on both the possibility and the dangers of A.I. made this story flow smoothly and kept me enraptured with the narrative until the book’s final page. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

I was born in Dubai UAE, moved to England when I was 5, and grew up in London. Currently I live in Bangkok Thailand with my girlfriend. My background has been a mix of different careers and locations, with a lot of technology roles (I have spent a lot of time as a programmer, and digital nomad), and have also had a few forays into the entertainment industry. Suffice to say I find it difficult to completely categorise myself in any normal, sensible way!

Much of this contrasting medley of places manifests itself through my writing, and will be apparent in the book Symutal, whose story is interwoven between Earth, the Moon, and virtual reality, but with a strong interlinking storyline. It is speculative, dystopian fiction, but with occasional scenes borrowed from my own experiences.

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