My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publish Date: August 14, 2017
The Store knows you better than you know yourself.
The Store can deliver anything to your door via drone, even anticipating needs and desires you didn’t even know you had. New York City writers Jacob and Megan Brandeis go undercover by relocating their family to the The Store’s distribution center in the New Berg, Nebraska. They plan to dig up The Store’s secrets and expose them to the world in a tell-all book. At first, it appears to be an idyllic town and workplace. But slowly they realize that The Store knows what they are doing and will do anything to keep them quiet- including murder.
The Store doesn’t just want your money–it wants your soul.
I heard about the buzz on this book, which put it on my radar. Then I encountered this New York Times article and it mentions that the Store is “loosely” based on the online behemoth Amazon. The article also mentions that the author, James Patterson, whose publisher, Little, Brown & Company, had a public feud with Amazon a few years ago and speculates that Mr. Patterson is getting revenge with this book. I love hearing the backstory on novels. It’s fascinating. Don’t mess with authors!
The Store begins with an inside look into the life of a writer and a peek into publishing world. Jacob and Megan Brandeis’s latest book is declined by The Store, and it gives Jacob the idea to go undercover.
Jacob and Megan are hired by The Store and move their family to New Berg, Nebraska. At first, their new surroundings seem perfect – an amazing smart house, nice neighbors and colleagues, and their two kids are happy at their new school.
At this point, the story turns dark and creepy. It’s not technically a horror book, but it lives up to the classic definition of “intended to, or has the capacity to frighten, scare, disgust, or startle its readers or viewers by inducing feelings of horror and terror.” Yes, this book is definitely creepy.
Jacob and Megan slowly realize that their environment has a Stepford-ish vibe. Everyone and everything is too perfect. They notice small cameras planted in every single nook and cranny of their house. They realize that everything that they say and do is being recorded. They notice things moved around their house, things fixed, laundry folded & put away, and supplies refreshed when they return to their house after work or outings. Like magic elves live there.
This book is creepy because the premise is very real. The convenience of the internet is at our fingertips. We can search and find information on anything online. We can order anything online. But the drawback is that every step is tracked and monitored. Anything that you do online tells the world a little more about you. That information can be used against you. Information is power, and having that power means being in control over everyone and everything. It’s a very thought provoking concept.
This book is a very easy and fast read, with a quick pace. It rates high on the un-put-downable scale. It takes relatable circumstances and makes you wonder if Amazon really tracks us this closely, because they can. The ending is good, it has some unexpected twists that were very satisfying.
I really enjoyed reading this book and I recommend it.