This is a strange novel. I am new to Robert Charles Wilson. He is one author that I haven’t come across yet. I will check out some other books by him just to make sure that I get a more balanced view of his books and how he writes.
The book’s theme is how groups of affinities form in society. In our rapidly changing world of social media, everyday people are more and more able to sort themselves into these kinds of affinity groups. This process seems to be speeded-up by new analytical technologies, genetic, brain-mapping, and behavioral. When one joins one of these twenty-two Affinities, one changes one’s life.
Given our conformist culture and society, it is a bit scary that these Affinity groups exist. It is fine when these groups have good purposes. But what if their purposes for forming are less than good? Then we have to wonder if they are really worth it.
In Affinities, the usual average man – Adam – gets tested to see which of 24 ‘affinities’ he belongs to. He is told he is a Tau, and his life changes dramatically as he joins his new group, lives and plots with them. The love interest is Amanda, who eventually sees Adam as a sideline, since she falls for the brilliant and charismatic Damien, all Tau.
Adam’s dysfunctional family plays into all this, there is some tension between the Affinities as they battle for dominance, and so forth. There was a slight (very slight) story arc, which then collapsed and flatlined at the end of the book.
This is a great read for anyone who wants to broaden their acquaintance with mystery. It is a mystery, but of a truly different kind from the usual.
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth