The Enigma Beyond: The Enigma Series, Book 11 - Book Review


GoodReads Rating:
5.00

Book Review of :  The Enigma Beyond: The Enigma Series, Book 11



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The Enigma Beyond by Charles Breakfield and Rox Burkey plunge the reader into a science/technology fiction thriller that presents a story where their protagonist’s expert command and control of AI is challenged by what appears to be a much more advanced implementation of the technology.  The Enigma Beyond echoes many of the real fears of AI shared by today’s scientists and leaders worldwide. In fact, Elon Musk had labeled AI "our biggest existential threat," and in August 2017, he declared that humanity faced a greater risk from AI than from North Korea. The R-Group would probably agree with Musk. The R-Group is a team of technology mavens who have the knowledge necessary to combat all types of cyber and technology crimes.  They even have their own supercomputer, ICABOD,  that can converse with humans.

A group of super villains have control of their own supercomputer which appears to be even more advanced with AI, Artificial Intelligence programming than any of the systems used by the government and military.  Breakfield and Burkey paint a very bleak picture of a world not that far removed from our current reality. They describe a world that is continuously monitored by drones, listening devices (things like Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant), cameras and other IoT objects. They paint a story of AI-enhanced systems being giving the job of managing humans in reeducation camps. The camp’s systems listens to all of its ward’s conversations, distributes their food, water, clothing and even punishes them. This system is the master of all those who are locked up within their reeducation confines.

The R-Group and their associates are tasked with the job of combatting these uber-intelligent computers that are programmed to control and even kill humans. They are up against an enemy that even controls its own army of I-Drones that swarm on their targets like a nest of angry hornets.

Supercomputer systems with advanced AI abilities start taking over military defense systems and managing and controlling all digital communication systems.  Who is behind this nefarious use of Artificial Intelligence to take control of governments, and defense systems and the virtual enslavement of millions of citizens?  Experiments on captured individuals are made to alter their neural network and make the individual respond to events as the captors dictate, virtually making the individual a programed human-robot.

Breakfield and Burkey include an individual who has the mission of alerting others of this new adversary and how all-knowing it is, He must travel thousands of miles without being discovered by those monitoring the Internet of Things, communication channels, drones, etc. The success of his mission is critical to combat this takeover of our world by this unknown adversary.

Breakfield and Burkey offer a rich cast of characters and give a mesmerizing glimpse into a somewhat scary future of technology and culture evolving at breakneck speed.  The Enigma Beyond is clever, fun, inventive, occasionally shocking, and overall a great read with fascinating characters.

The novel will make you wonder if A.I. will have the ability to take over the workforce and society?  Will all of society benefit, or only those who control the A.I. and own the robots? Should we build computers that are as broadly intelligent as humans? Will we eventually have computers that are truly conscious?  I guess these are questions Breakfield and Burkey can answer in their next novel.


Reviewed by: James B.

About Charles V. Breakfield & Roxanne E. Burkey


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Breakfield writes with his co-author Rox Burkey. Together they write The Enigma Series and multiple short stories in various genres. Charles is a technologist who specializes in network connectivity, security and leading edge technology integrations. Charles' love of wine tastings, cooking, and Harley riding has found ways into the stories. As a child he moved often because of his father's military career, which even now helps him with the various character perspectives he helps bring to life in the series. He continues to try to teach Burkey humor. Burkey works as a business architect who builds solutions for customers on a good technology foundation. She has written many technology papers and white papers but finds the freedom of writing fiction a lot more fun. As a child she helped to lead the kids with exciting new adventures built on make believe characters, was a Girl Scout until high school, and contributed to the community as a young member of a Head Start program. Rox enjoys family, learning, listening to people, travel, outdoor activities, sewing, cooking, and thinking about how to diversify the series. Breakfield and Burkey started writing non-fictional papers and books, but it wasn't nearly as fun as writing fictional stories. They found it interesting to use the aspects of technology that people are incorporating into their daily lives more and more as a perfect way to create a good guy/bad guy story with elements of travel to the various places they have visited, either professionally and personally, humor, romance, intrigue, suspense, and a spirited way to remember people who have crossed paths with them. They love to talk about their stories with private and public book readings. Burkey is also conducting regular radio interviews with other authors, which is interesting. Her first interview was, wait for it, Breakfield. You can often find them at local book fairs or other family oriented events. The original series is based on a family organization called R-Group. Recently Breakfield and Burkey spawned a subgroup that contains some of the original characters as the Cyber Assassins Technology Services (CATS) team. The authors have ideas for continuing the series in both of these tracks. They track the more than 150 characters on a spreadsheet, with a hidden avenue for the future coined The Enigma Chronicles tagged in some portions of the stories. Fan reviews seem to frequently suggest that these would make good television or movie stories, so the possibilities appear endless, just like their ideas for new stories. They have completed book video trailers for each of the stories, which can be viewed on YouTube, Amazon's Authors page, or on their website, www.EnigmaBookSeries.com. Their website is routinely updated with new interviews, answers to readers' questions, book trailers, and contests. You may also find it fascinating to check out the fun acronyms they create for the stories but summarize on their website. Reach out to them at Authors@EnigmaSeries. com, Twitter @EnigmaSeries, or Facebook @TheEnigmaSeries.





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