The Warehouse by Rob Hart

warehouseBoy oh boy, is the world Rob Hart has created in The Warehouse ever messed up. And it’s just near-future enough, and realistic enough, that it’s creepy as all get out. If you enjoy dystopian novels that hit close to home, this is definitely a page-turner. It’s smart and clever in a relaxed, never-pretentious style.

Gibson is the CEO of an online retail giant named Cloud. Gibson doesn’t seem so bad at first, but then you get to know him on a deeper level. His portrayal is so, so good. It’s not over-the-top, look how evil this guy is. It’s way more subtle. You get the feeling Gibson truly believes what he’s doing is good for people. And then you start understanding why he thinks that way, and it messes with your head. I loved hating him.

I mean, we’ve got out of control climate change, a prison system full of low-level, nonviolent offenders (outstanding parking tickets, failure to pay mortgages and student loans), an abysmal job market, corporations tracking employees’ every move, CEOs sponsoring legislation, privatized everything. It’s a nightmare. Cloud seems like a utopian oasis in the midst of all that. Seems like.

I loved the Le Guin reference, so perfectly incorporated into what was happening. And there’s a quote at the end that makes my anarchist-leaning heart super happy and energized. The Warehouse is an entertaining novel, for sure, but we should pay attention to its messages and consider ourselves warned.