I received this book from Dane Cobain for an honest book review.
When Dan Roberts starts his new job at Former.ly, he has no idea what he’s getting into. The site deals in death – its users share their innermost thoughts, which are stored privately until they die. Then, their posts are shared with the world, often with unexpected consequences.
But something strange is going on, and the site’s two erratic founders share a dark secret. A secret that people are willing to kill for.
Let’s begin with how interesting that sounds. When I read that blurb for the first time I was beyond curious. I am not a one to go away from my fantasy genre of reading, but this book really caught my attention. A social media that deals with the dead? All I wanted to know was how, and what is the secret that people kill for?
Former.ly is a small start-up tech company that has a social media website. Think like Facebook but it is private, only the user can see and it becomes public when he or she dies. And our leading character finds himself coding here.
Dan Roberts is the main character of Former.ly, but I could not click with the guy, which caused me many problem because I always seemed to be putting the book down to do something else. Dan is a very chill guy, maybe too chill. Nothing seemed to really faze him and it bothered me. Having girlfriend problems. Shrug. Company founders being sketchy and secretive. Shrug. Someone died for the first time. Shrug.
When Dan finally started showing more effort and emotions about the occurrences around him is when I finally got intrigued and hooked with the story. Watching him risk his safety for the truth that surrounded Former.ly kept me gripped. Watching him from going from a loner and a guy that did not really care about anything to someone who threatens the very people who are capable of stealing his life away was beautiful.
Unfortunately, this took more than half the book. I personally enjoy complex characters that keep you wondering about who they are, and Dan did not give me that.
The plot was slow. Too slow for my personal taste, but once the first mysterious death happens it begins to pick up and questions begin to fill your mind. You, like Dan, will begin to distrust every single character in the story. Then the end comes and catches you by surprise. Let’s just say the “good guy” doesn’t always win.
Cobain writing is simple and straightforward which makes it into a quick and easy read. While it has hints of a mystery novel it does not follow a generic mystery novel scheme. It felt more I was reading a journal, in this case, Dan’s journal as he writes out his experience with Former.ly. Having lack of explanations on certain things made sense, even when it drove me a bit mad, but like many unreliable narrators, this lackness is expected. ( Kinda like Nick was super unreliable in the Great Gatsby )
My only real complaint about this story is that it was too techy. Some of the things would go over my head as someone who is not techy. But if you understand techy coding terms than you should be fine.
Overall, it was an interesting experience out of my fantasy genre. If you are looking for something quick/simple and set in our modern time this is a book you should give a try.
About the Author
Dane Cobain (High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, UK) is an independent poet, musician and storyteller with a passion for language and learning. When he’s not in front of a screen writing stories and poetry, he can be found working on his book review blog or developing his website, www.danecobain.com. His debut novella, No Rest for the Wicked, was released in the summer of 2015.