The year is 2024, and the residents of the Tower, a virus-proof apartment building, live in a state of permanent lockdown. The building is controlled by a state-of-the-art AI named James, who keeps the residents safe but incarcerated. Behind bricked-up front doors, their every need is serviced; they are pampered but remain prisoners.
This suits Eugene just fine. Ravaged by the traumas of his past, the agoraphobic ex-detective has no intention of ever setting foot outside again. But when he finds the Tower’s building manager brutally murdered, his investigator’s instincts won’t allow him to ignore the vicious crime.
What Eugene finds beyond the comfort of his apartment’s walls will turn his sheltered existence upside down. To unravel the Tower’s mysteries, he must confront James… and James takes his role as the Warden very, very seriously.
About the author
Jon Richter writes genre-hopping dark fiction, including his three gripping crime thrillers, Deadly Burial, Never Rest and Rabbit Hole, his cyberpunk noir thriller Auxiliary: London 2039 and his new techno-thriller The Warden, as well as two collections of short horror fiction.
Jon lives in London and is a self-confessed nerd who loves books, films and video games – basically any way to tell a great story! He writes whenever he can, and hopes to bring you many more sinister tales in the future. He also co-hosts the Dark Natter podcast, a fortnightly dissection of the world’s greatest works of dark fiction, available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcast fix.
If you want to chat to him about any of this, you can find him on Twitter @RichterWrites or Instagram @jonrichterwrites. His website haunts the internet at http://www.jon-richter.com, and you can find his books available on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2OXXRVP.
Thank you so much to the author and Blackthorn Book Tours for a copy of the ebook with a request for an honest review.
Set in a world where covid is even more deadly than it has been over the last couple years, The Warden is a dystopian thriller which certainly chills. Eugene, a retired police officer, lives in The Towers, which have been built to house people individually to avoid their demise. There is something oh so sinister going on in the background and I enjoyed discovering more and more as the novel went on.
What I found most disturbing (but in a good way!) about this book as it played into some of my deepest fears: isolation and AI. I find it really freaky how our devices seem to be listening to us – I refuse to have Alexa etc at home and it creeps me out – and the thought of being held essentially prisoner in a little flat with nothing but a screen for company is horrifying. It took what I think so many of us experienced over the last two years to the next level.
I really loved the structure of the book, flicking between past and present and several POVs. The story was, as a result, detailed and in depth and I felt like I really got to know the main characters of Eugene, James (the AI super computer) and Felicity (James’ creator). The short chapters made me keep going just one more chapter and the story did keep me on my toes in the respect that it was very fast paced.
I can’t say the ending shocked me really and I felt like it wrapped up a little too neatly for a book in which the world is falling apart, even if there is a hint at something more sinister in the closing pages. Nonetheless, a neat ending can certainly be rather satisfying!
If you enjoy dystopia, sci-fi, thrillers and it isn’t too soon for you to be reading something pandemic-related, I would definitely recommend The Warden to you!
Further Details and Links
- Purchase link: http://mybook.to/theWardenJonRichter
- Genre: Psychological Thriller
- Print length: 312
- Suitable for young adults? This is an adult book but suitable for mature teenagers 16-18
- Trigger warnings: Covid references; homicide with some graphic violence; references to medical experimentation on humans; swearing; brief animal cruelty (goldfish left to die); references to suicide and mental illness
- Amazon Rating: 4.5 stars