The Warehouse by Rob Hart Bantam Press August 15th 2019
Change and unemployment have ravaged the nation, and an online retail giant named Cloud reigns supreme. Rob Hart has taken our current reality and transformed it into a terrifyingly recognisable future.
Paxton never thought he’d be working Security for the company that ruined his life, much less that he’d be moving into one of their sprawling live-work facilities. But compared to what’s left outside, perhaps Cloud isn’t so bad. Better still, through his work he meets Zinnia, who fills him with hope for their shared future.
Except that Zinnia is not what she seems. And Paxton, with his all-access security credentials, might just be her meal ticket.As Paxton and Zinnia’s agendas place them on a collision course, they’re about to learn just how far the Cloud will go to make the world a better place.
The Warehouse is brilliantly devised and fantastic world-building. Set in the confines of a corporate panopticon that’s at once brilliantly imagined and terrifyingly real, The Warehouse is a near-future thriller about what happens when Big Brother meets Big Business–and who will pay the ultimate price.
The Warehouse should come with a warning as it will seriously play havoc with your mind. The idea of a large company that had literally taken over most of the companies, distribution and selling in a future America felt altogether too real, as your thoughts immediately fled to Amazon. Could this happen? Will Amazon finally take over everything or was it just an authors mad thought processes going into imaginative overdrive?
Whatever your thoughts The Warehouse was an addictive and thrilling read. Its characters were real, their motives for working for The Cloud different, yet it was when their lives collided that the story came alive.
Paxton, with just a little grudge against a company that ruined his own business, was merely looking to make a living. You could feel his resistance to his allotted security role, but it was interesting to see how The Cloud, its perks, its expectations slowly pulled him in, won him over before he became completely institutionalised.
Zinnia was the oddball, sent into to do a job, to sabotage The Cloud. She was a tough nut, strong on the outside with just a slight soft centre as her relationship with Paxton turned from one of need to one that challenged her feelings.
Gibson, founder, God in the eyes of so many, the saviour of America, but was he? Was he just an egomaniac, a control freak, a rich man who wanted more, who couldn’t stop, felt the need to take over everything. Hart left it up to us to decide and I couldn’t help but dislike him, felt no empathy for his predicament.
Harts descriptions of the MotherCloud were clinical and stark, no home comforts for the workforce. It almost felt like he was taking us back in time to a need for the ultimate control of the workers, output to be maximised, consequences for those not fast enough, profit at its maximum.
The technology was mind blowing, sustainability at its heart, a glimmer of hope until you reached the latter parts of the novel and your stomach churned, reasons you will need to discover for yourselves.
For all it’s thought provoking concepts, at its heart The Warehouse was a fabulous, tense story. It had drama aplenty, espionage, intrigue and a smidgeon of a good old fashioned bit of love. The narrative was fast, almost cinematic and it didn’t surprise me to see that Ron Howard has already optioned it to be made into a film.
The Warehouse was a brilliant read from a debut author with a bright future. I loved it and devoured it!
I would like to thank Transworld for a copy of The Warehouse to read and review and to Anne Cater Of Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.
About the author
Rob Hart has been a political reporter, the communications director for a politician, a commissioner for the city of New York and is currently a publisher. The Warehouse is his first standalone novel and has been optioned for film by Ron Howard, director of Rush and Solo: A Star Wars Story. Rob lives in Staten Island, New York.