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Publisher's Summary

In the year 2035, robots, artificial intelligences, and neural implants have become commonplace. The Institute for Ethics keeps the peace, using social reputation to ensure that robots and humans don't harm society or each other. But a powerful AI named Adam has found a way around the restrictions.
Catherine Matthews, nineteen years old, has a unique gift: The ability to manipulate the net with her neural implant. Yanked out of her perfectly ordinary life, Catherine becomes the last firewall standing between Adam and his quest for world domination.
©2013 William Hertling (P)2014 William Hertling
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Critic Reviews

“Awesome near-term science fiction.” (Brad Feld, Foundry Group managing director)
“An insightful and adrenaline-inducing tale of what humanity could become and the machines we could spawn.” (Ben Huh, CEO of Cheezburger)
“A fun read and tantalizing study of the future of technology: both inviting and alarming.” (Harper Reed, former CTO of Obama for America, Threadless)
“A fascinating and prescient take on what the world will look like once computers become smarter than people. Highly recommended.” (Mat Ellis, Founder & CEO Cloudability)
“A phenomenal ride through a post-scarcity world where humans are caught between rogue AIs. If you like having your mind blown, read this book! (Gene Kim, author of The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Richard on 05-22-14

Great series of books

Read the whole series of books from this author and couldn't start listening to the next book quick enough. The flow of the story in each book and from book to book was amazing. Would like to see more from this author.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Michael G Kurilla on 03-19-14

The future belongs to AIs

Herling's The Last Firewall creates a semi-dystopian future where artificial intelligences (AIs) have basically all but superseded humans. In a somewhat implausible short span of time, neural implants (basically having your internet connectivity in your head) and AI technology have advanced such that AIs dominate the economic landscape and humans have been reduced to mostly welfare status. Against this backdrop is one AI with megalomaniacal ambitions, an emerging mob mentality anti-machine backlash, two individuals responsible for much of the state of affairs trying to sort things out, and a young girl with growing strange powers due to a unique instance of neonatal implants.

The sci-fi elements are focused on computer artificial intelligence and direct neural connectivity to online computer systems through physical implants. Some rather inventive ways of perpetrating crimes are presented that foretell future issues. The future societal organizing structure does strain credulity as it's hard to envision how AIs performing "work" instead of humans can invigorate the economy when most of the population is reduced to subsistence living and drug abuse. The plot and pacing are well executed and the story is an enjoyable listen nevertheless.

The narration is well done with a solid range of voices and excellent tone and tenor that matches the pace of the tale.

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5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By R. ODELL on 06-07-17

Once through the confusion, it's great!

So at first I found the storyline quite confusing, I tried to follow along several peoples stories, I did find it hard.

I continued and things progressed fast, each story started to make sense and I gained a good understanding of how the stories related.

The last chapters were exiting and I couldn't turn it off, great story.

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By Paul Seward on 05-16-16

loved it

a great listen, the second book i have in the series and cant wait to listen to the third.

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