I really had high hopes for this book, Microchip: The Agenda Is Now by Chey Barnes. I really did. Let me be clear – this is the past tense because after wading through this mush I really wish I could get my time back.
First of all, let’s start with the plot. The world is being taken over by evil bankers who have their sights set on ethnic cleansing, power grabbing, and just plain general world domination. They plan to do this by inserting microchips into the wrist of every human being on earth and using the chips to take control of all humanity. We follow several main characters, Glick, a rather sub-human biker, Toni, a fifth-grade school teacher, Marlene, an uppity political do-gooder, and Shaw, the evil mastermind, as their lives change with the advent of the chip.
Microchip is listed in the “Science Fiction/Adventure, Suspense” category. However, for at least half of the book, I felt as if I was being preached to, lectured at, and just plain bored. This book of fiction even has references and foot notes, for crying out loud. If I wanted non-fiction, I’d be reading just that. Not that I’m against using some reality facts to flush out a science based world or to develop a good foundation, but please – do we want to know every part of the brain and which parts stimulate which feeling and do we need to know the entire history of banking? Also, the preachy comparison of “inserting the mark on the wrist” and “taking the chip” to the biblical reference is plainly obvious. It’s as if Barnes couldn’t really decide if she wanted to write science fiction or a religious diatribe; or maybe the only way Barnes could get this drivel published was to couch her rantings in a sci-fi coating.
Back to the characters. Barnes’ characters are laughable. Again, I really wanted to like them. I really did. I had high hopes for Glick – the Harley riding gang banger who robs old ladies, frequents strip joints, and wakes up in his own puke. Yet, Barnes never keeps him consistent – attributing vocabulary to him such as him saying “Yikes!” and “Yes, sir,” and “toots.” What the hell? Sure, I get it – we knew he would change for the better and I think we wanted him to, but as soon as that happened I lost all interest. Then there is the almost racially painful stereotype of a hard working older black woman named Emma. At least she remains consistent throughout the story, but why even bother bringing her into the story? We follow her and her little grandson for only a few pages then never hear from them again until the last few pages of the story. Marlene the Senator and her husband Curt are the most pampered biggest snobs. I couldn’t even begin to like them, even though Barnes tries to get us to believe that Marlene at least attempts to fight the evil chip masterminds.
And more inconsistencies – the community without chips is supposed to be half in the dark ages yet has these high tech advances in science and power, first rate “minds”, cutting edge laboratories, etc. yet when Emma’s little grandson gets sick, there are only two doctors and only rudimentary medical facilities? Please. Make up your mind.
Then there is also the most annoying writing technique, if that’s what you want to call it of listing every detail about a topic or description with commas between them. For example, Barnes sets the scene in the den of the even bigger evil mastermind, Rothfeller. (Just a coincidence that the name has a slightly Judaic ring to it?) I don’t have room here to quote the paragraph in its entirety to give you the fullest
picture, but basically Barnes turns this ‘den’ into some type of museum. She lists, no kidding, 23 various collections , “A plethora of archaic, venerated treasures filled every corner and every wall within.” This includes mummies, obelisks, and an entire collection of crowns and scepters. Just to name a few. We get it – the dude is rich and has everything. All in one “cavernous den.”
So you get the idea. I think the premise was good and with some very, very, very good editing to correct the inconsistencies, the typos and punctuation errors, to cut out most of the lectures on banking, genetic engineering, organic farming and other topics, there might be something worth salvaging here. But not much. I would not recommend this book.