Dan Roberts is an underpaid freeelancer trying to survive pay-check to pay-check. After an interview that requires morning drinking and a club, he suddenly finds himself working for Former.ly, a social media network that only publishes content after the users’ deaths. When people close to him die, he wonders if there is something more sinister going on behind the scenes.
This is a nifty concept that takes advantage of social media’s continual encroachment into our lives. Why not take it one more step so it hangs around after your death? After all, you’ll be gone and not able to see the inevitable fallout! But how do you sustain money into the business when all your users die?
I actually thought that Former.ly could have worked! The more you learn about the background, the more positive you feel. At the same time, the secrets and turns that are revealed make Dan feel worse about working there. But what choice does he have?
I liked the ending, particularly the way that there were no excuses made for anyone’s behaviour and thus being able to get out of the inevitable consequences of crime. I never felt a particular attachment to any of the characters, so when they died, I was more like ‘Yep, ok, now who’s next?’
I was split between giving this novel 4 or 5 stars. It kept me reading, and I got so immersed in it that I was thinking about it all the time. At the same time, I don’t think there was quite enough depth for me to reread it.