FREE TO FALL by Lauren Miller

Free To Fall
Lauren Miller
Harper Publishers
May 27, 2014

Lauren Miller’s latest novel, Free To Fall, is a powerful story. The plot takes place fifteen years into the future, a warning of how technology can overtake people’s lives. This is a must read for anyone dependent on technology. The storyline is part science fiction, part mystery-thriller.

 

The plot has people’s inner voice and intuition eliminated. They get fulfillment from following what this app, Lux, recommends. But it becomes more than that since everyone seems to be consulting Lux for every aspect of their lives. Taking place fifteen years in the future, Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a conglomerate corporation that allows their new app, Lux, to optimize decision-making for the best personal results. Rory, a sixteen year old, is addicted to this new app just like everyone else. But after being accepted to the Theden Academy, a college prep boarding school, she starts to question her dependence on technology. The mystery begins when Rory, with the help of North, a townie who is anti-establishment, uncovers a truth about her parents, the technology, and her school.

 

This powerful theme explores how everyone communicates mostly through their technology than human contact. Think about today where everyone is attached to their tablets and phones, posting to Twitter, and listening to music on their ear buds.Those who don’t think it is realistic look no farther than a new Facebook app, which can listen to people’s conversations and know their surroundings through the phones’ microphone. Although today technology is not to the point where it is programmed to think for people, the author explores the idea of what technology could do in the not so distant future. In the story Apple’s Suri is being replaced by the next generation Lux, which makes life decisions.

 

Miller skillfully parallels the past, present, and future. She does this by referencing secret societies, John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, John Milton’s Paradise Lost, and the Old Testament. There is a lot of symbolism from the story of Adam and Eve, Steinbeck’s “Timshel,” that emphasizes making good choices, and Milton’s Paradise Lost where Satan replaces the Serpent as a Garden of Eden tale. As with all these references the author shows how some in society think they are more knowledgeable than anyone else and become G-d like.

 

Free To Fall is an engaging and thought-provoking novel. The story line has a lot of action, romance, secrecy, and insightful issues. The topics explored are realistic and could easily happen in the not so distant future, which made the drama very intense. It is a must read for anyone living in the techno-world.