Editorial Review: Death in the Cloud by E. J. Simon
Death in the Cloud opens with a hijacked commercial airliner full of Russian passengers heading towards a collision course with the White House, and the pace doesn't let up until the end.
When his brother Alex is murdered, Michael Nicholas takes over his loan sharking and betting business. Michael also gains a couple of Alex's enemies in the process but quickly learns how to deal with these new threats. However, the last thing he ever expected was a call from the president of the United States asking him - as well as Alex - for help.
Death in the Cloud is much more than just an action-packed political thriller. It turns out that while Alex is dead, he's not really gone. Instead, he lives on as an artificial intelligence that is still in contact with his brother. Unfortunately, it seems that Alex is not the only one who is still able to influence the world of the living from beyond the grave. As America and Russia stand on the brink of mutually assured destruction thanks to the work of a mysterious hacker, Alex might be able to save the world, but only if he sacrifices himself.
Although Death in the Cloud is the fourth book in the Michael Nicholas series, it reveals enough of the backstory to make it an enjoyable stand-alone read too. This novel also features a cast of characters that would be the envy of any Hollywood blockbuster. From rogue priests to deadly assassins and Nazis, there's danger around every corner. The fact that everyone is so dependent on technology makes the capabilities of one of the antagonists extra terrifying as there is nowhere to hide. Death in the Cloud is a gripping and fast-paced read, but it also explores the relationships AI Alex maintains with his brother and other loved ones. These scenes add to the drama and intrigue of the story without slowing down things too much. E. J. Simon has built up quite an interesting cast of characters and all of them get a chance to shine in this novel. The author knows how to build suspense and resolve plot twists in a satisfying manner, which makes Death in the Cloud a real page-turner.
Death in the Cloud features a nice mixture of current technology as well as some futuristic elements that don't feel forced or out of place. Thankfully, the story doesn't get bogged down with unnecessary technical details either, which makes it easier to concentrate on important matters. This also means that Death in the Cloud is a very accessible book even for those who are not tech-savvy and it will appeal to all readers who enjoy action, intrigue, suspense, and even some humor.
Overall, Death in the Cloud is an engrossing thriller with an entertaining plot and plenty of thought-provoking elements. Fans of the genre are in for a treat and world that E. J. Simon has created is compelling enough that readers will want to go back and read the rest after finishing this novel.