by Joshua Packard, Fullness of Happy
“The Imaginarium Machine” by John Adrian Tomlin is set in the future where the technology behind gaming systems has reached its peak. A new gaming technology by Sony is being launched, which taps into your brain functions. The sensations within the game environment are input directly into your mind and your senses, so that it feels as if you are really in the game environment.
The events of this short novel are described in present tense. Some of the action could've used a little more elaboration. But then again, you might like it that way. Narration of events is quick, to the point, and abrupt. There is not much embellishment. The author simply states what is said, what the characters do and what happens.
What I did like about this story is that in part because of the abrupt, very quick and direct description of the activity in the plot, there are some ridiculously hilarious chapters. One of the games included on the Imaginarium Machine's roster is just laugh out loud hysterical. The brevity with which it is described makes it even more so. I laughed for quite a while reading one of the chapters. Also, some of the more intimate encounters in the novel are described so quickly that I let out a chuckle.
Once the Imaginarium Machine is actually released and after the reader has been given a treatment of how it works and what it can do, and the main characters have already begun to use it, the actual dramatic parts of the story begin. The main characters are brothers whose father is in a coma. He was working with the FBI and protecting a person when he was in a car accident and went into a coma. The brothers try to use the machine to re-awaken their comatose father. But something sinister is being planned with the new device. It turns out their father will have to get to the bottom of it in order to save most of the United States from being taken hostage by a sick genius. He wants to exploit the mind bending capabilities of the Imaginarium Machine for his own purposes.
Will you enjoy reading “The Imaginarium Machine”? It depends. It deals with a topic of technology that is unique. While the writing doesn't go too much into the deeper implications of the subject matter, it might inspire you to think about where technology can go and what might happen when it is in the wrong hands. If you just want a story, and not a lot of extraneous description, you might like this book.
The ending of this novel has me wondering what happens in the aftermath. The good news is that the author has written a sequel called “The Imaginarium World”. I am considering getting my hands on a copy of that to find out where the author brings this story.