Technogenesis, by Syne Mitchell (Roc, 2002)

Syne Mitchell’s second book takes us to the near future, where society has evolved and rarefied until everything that matters takes place on the Net. People are almost permanently connected by various technological means, rendering privacy obsolete. They’re constantly bombarded by information, advertisements, messages and entertainment. So what happens when someone is cut off from that society? That’s the question answered by expert data miner Jasmine Reese. When her equipment fails, she’s unexpectedly left stranded in a world that no longer welcomes the disconnected. Then she receives an ominous message, regarding something known as “The Beast.” Now she’s caught up in a bizarre conspiracy, sent to investigate the potential existence of a dangerous Artificial Intelligence, manipulated into infiltrating a dangerous organization. What she does could change the world… or destroy civilization. But does she have the right, or the knowledge, to make the choice? Intriguing and surprising, Technogenesis is another pleasing offering from a relatively new author.

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