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  • Writer's pictureSeema M. Fazil

The Humane Algorithm (The Streetlighters Trilogy #1) by Trevor Wynyard

Title: The Humane Algorithm

Series: The Streetlighters Trilogy

Author: Trevor Wynyard

Published: August 1, 2021

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Rating: ★★☆☆☆


Empathy or algorithms? What should decide between life and death?
In a near future, the world is struggling with resource scarcity. Losing his father, Matt Turner has provided for his mother and younger brother since he was a teenager. But a cold-hearted government continues to force consumption limits upon the nation, monitoring every bit of electricity used.
As his mother becomes gravely ill, Matt is determined not to let her grim prognosis ruin the family’s one shot at the streetlights—the coveted enclaves for citizens worthy of investment. Seeking medical treatment, he plummets into a dark web of family lies, treachery, and political intrigue reaching far into his past—with staggering implications for his own future.
Can Matt find a way through the government’s system in time to save his mother’s life?
The Humane Algorithm is the ominous first book in Trevor Wynyard’s dystopian trilogy The Streetlighters, a powerful series exploring dark, gritty impulses at the root of human nature itself.


My Review:

Finally finished this! Can't believe it took me almost a month!

As I mentioned earlier before, dystopia is not my cup of tea, but if you know me, as someone who has an obsession with brothers and bromances, I was excited to check it out, especially after skimming through the excerpt a bit. Based on the excerpt, it seemed to have the brother trope I love where the older brother takes care of his younger brother. So I couldn't pass up the opportunity when it was available for purchase free of charge on Kindle!

Trevor Wynyard's The Humane Algorithm takes place in a world where the government limits the usage of electricity and controls who has access to treatment. So what happens when Matt Turner's mother becomes really ill and he finds himself in really bad need of that treatment? I was impressed with how it almost depicts the world we are living in today; control, control, control. When you think about it, there are actually some dystopian elements around us in real life. For instance, during COVID-19, how the whole world had to wear a mask, and how we couldn't do anything or enter anywhere without taking the vaccine. Also, the part when Matt finally took his mother to the Grid hospital and was asked stupid questions reminded me of how when my parents fill a paperwork, they get asked complicated questions, and the process never ends; they just keep asking more from you.

I agree with one reviewer on Goodreads mentioning that The Humane Algorithm is a "disturbingly realistic setting of how the world could look like". I'm not gonna lie but reading this book did scare me a little. After all, we are already being controlled as it is, and this book only reminded me that the world could get worse later in the future. 😅

Unfortunately, though, I didn't really enjoy this book as much as I hoped I would. I don't know if it was just me, but I felt like it was more of a plot-based book, which means, I felt like the author didn't dive much into the characters for me to care much about them. And as I probably mentioned earlier before, what would be the point of a good, intriguing plot when you don't care much about the characters? When writing a good story, characters ALWAYS come first. I mean, in the beginning, I admired Matt for taking care of his family and being willing to go to lengths to do anything for them. But later in the story, I found myself losing respect for him. There was one part in the story where I felt like he was a complete idiot. Even risked the life of a child!

I felt like the book was mostly dragging with most of the story basically only revolving around the brothers taking their mother from place to place trying to find the best treatment for her. Also, since dystopia is not my cup of tea, all that social commentary really drained me, and many things confused me.

But why did I pick it up in the first place? Well, the thing about me is that, whenever I have a feeling that I would like the characters in a particular book, least favorite genre or not, I would just automatically pick it up. And if I end up feeling attached to the characters, then I wouldn't notice that I'm reading my least favorite genre.

In the case of The Humane Algorithm, sure, I may have liked the characters a little, but unfortunately, not enough to be invested in them and root for them. As I said, the author just did not dive much into the characters for me to care about them.

There may have been a few brother moments here and there, but not so much. As I said, I just wasn't invested in the characters.

Overall, this book was just all right I guess. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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