Cover Image: No Signal

No Signal

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Member Reviews

I absolutely love the terrifying, but totally realistic, near-future setting of this series. It’s set in the UK where everyone uses compulsory embedded technology enabling complete monitoring of the population. It results in some pretty boring and dull police work, until four tourists disappear from the system.

In this second novel we have a game at the centre of the story, which is definitely a big plus for me. I loved the way it was all set up, and if felt really cleverly done.

I really like how technology is used through the story, and it’s great to see our main character Clive question it even as he’s using it ti help solve crimes.

This is a fantastic sci-fi mystery, which can be read as a standalone. Although I highly recommend the first book Proximity as well!
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Ten players have entered the game and are eager to get a chance to go to The Forbidden Island – but what exactly is the cost of getting there?

Having been really intrigued by the blurb of No Signal, I requested it and then realised with some trepidation it was the second book in the IMe series. Although you don’t quite get as much backstory into Detective Clive’s life, which I assume is explored in the first book, on the whole it didn’t really matter that I hadn’t read Proximity. The crux of the plot is new to the series and the world building is so detailed and well done that I didn’t feel out of my depth as a new reader. I really enjoyed the premise of the book – the idea of a watch that tracks not only your health but is also the main way to pay and get around in the UK is seemingly quite close to reality (she says with a Fitbit watch on her arm). The main plot of a game with 10 competitors fighting to get to ‘The Forbidden Island’ was also engaging and I liked the insight into the 4 main players and their backstories.

I really enjoyed the character of Clive – an old school detective with a sweet tooth and diabetes who just wants to enjoy his life and have some chocolate. However, with the governmental tracker on his arm giving him lifestyle tips, making him change what is in his fridge and scheduling him appointments with experts who look down on him, he is understandably frustrated at the system. It’s a great premise and shows just how important free will is, even if that can be detrimental to our health. I must admit I didn’t really empathise or understand Clive’s relationship with his ex (work) partner’s mother. It didn’t seem to add anything to the story and she was a bit of a non-character in the end. I also would have liked a bit more insight into Ava’s character although that may have been explored better in the previous book. There is a good setup to the next book and I will try to pick it up when it’s available, as well as perhaps get round to reading Proximity at some point when my TBR is a little less overbearing.

Overall, No Signal explores a thought-provoking premise and is a well-constructed read with detailed world-building. Thank you to NetGalley & Serpentine Books for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This is the follow up to Proximity which I do recommend that you read first to get the full picture of the world in which the series is set and the technology that is introduced therein and continued in this book.
This book is based around an Augmented Reality game. Many try to enter, only the best ten are selected from around the world. Then, in a series of challenges, the ten is whittled down to the most elite four. They are then sent to the UK, initially as tourists. Then they go dark. If you've read Proximity then you'll know that everyone is connected and monitored so going dark is a big thing. Losing four people in swift succession piques the interest of DI Clive Lussac who also has his own health and personal issues to contend with. As the case continues he struggles to keep on top of things, especially when others in the police don't listen to his theories. It soon transpires that there is a very nefarious reason for what is happening, can Lussac get ahead of the action and stop the very worst from happening?
As with Proximity this book is action packed all the way through with new technology matching the intrigue and suspense it delivers. I already connected with Lussac in book one and have sympathy for what he has to contend with along the way. He has a new partner in this book to also get to grips with but also reconnects with an old colleague from the first book.
The story and technology contained within the book is quite scary. Government controlling everyone's movements and many other things including diet and exercise. It's incredibly plausible and there are shadows with what is going on in the world today with Lockdown and the threat of the Nanny State coming in when we do reach the new normal that the current government is whispering about. But it's for your own good they say...
As a series book there are things that are left open at the end, obviously to continue on to the next one. Not that I wasn't satisfied at the end of this episode, I was. A book that I am really looking forward to getting my hands on. Hopefully not too long a wait. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
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Unfortunately I was not able to get into this book. I think this is a combination of not having read book one and a case of the wrong time for me. I may come back to it but for now I do not want to throw the ratings off so I will stick to the average star rating at the moment. Apologies to publisher.
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Although I did not read the first book, it was fairly easy to pick up on Night Call. The characters and world-building is superb. It feels like a fully realized future that one could live in. A timely commentary for our lives. An enjoyable read for those looking for a sci-fi thriller.
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I loved the scifi mystery elements in the story, this was a really good read that had what I was looking for in a technothriller and it had me on the edge of my seat from the beginning to the end.
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This second book in the series did not disappoint, though Clive's apparently deteriorating relationship with his girlfriend has left me curious about the trigger for their troubles. I suspect it is more than routine apathy and hope it will be revealed in book three. The plot for this book was clever, unique and really intriguing. I am hooked on this series and am very much looking forward to the next book where I hope Clive will triumph over all attempts to coerce him into accepting his life being controlled by the implanted iMe.
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I am an avid Fitbit, Apple Watch user, and I am one of those that finds it creepy to see things I’ve said pop up on a Facebook timeline. Do I believe in Government conspiracies? Is it through the technology we have grown so comfortable in using?

This novel, although I haven’t read the first, touches on the crimes of the government and their ability to overstep into our privacy and take those rights away from every day citizens. It creeped me out, and made me really consider how much technology I really own. 

It wasn’t the best story I’ve ever read, but the story was fun. Exciting. Thrilling.  It was about IMe’s and meeting people’s needs with them. 

The characters are well written and brought to life beneath the pages. I enjoyed reading it this evening. Although, the ending was a bit ambiguous, this tells the reader to be ready for book three in the series. I will be ready to take a look when the time comes.

3.5 stars 

*Thank you Netgalley and the Publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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No Signal by Jem Tugwell is the second book in the iMe series, I admit I haven't read the first one but you can definitely understand the storyline without having done so. With iMe peoples every need are met, their every move and action measured and stacked against a model citizen. Tugwell builds a future that feels more like looking at a new article from a few years from now. Very surreal and the characters are brilliantly written. 
Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book
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Overall I was disappointed with this book. The story is based on futuristic technology that is embedded into the characters. Although about big issues such as privacy and the government having access to all the details I found the details a bit too far fetched and distracting from the storyline. I haven’t read the first book in the series and perhaps this affected my enjoyment of the book as this was second in the series.
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As an avid user of an Apple Watch, I can very easily empathize with the people of Jem Tugwell's No Signal - their every need met through their iMe, their every move and action measured and stacked against a model citizen.  Tugwell builds a future that feels more like looking around the next curve, rather than straining to catch a glimpse through fog.  This nearness ramps up the realism, creating a setting for a story that feels like it could be a news article from a few years from now.  His characters feel real, with their struggles sometimes outweighing their better natures, and the actions they take make sense (to them).  Easily read as a stand alone novel (I haven't read the first in the series, Proximity), Tugwell does a nice job crafting a pleasant story- while he moves to tackle issues currently facing society, those issues (privacy vs control, government overreach, technology in every-day life, religious overbearance) serve more as the backdrop for our actors, rather than the focus of the story.  As part of a series, No Signal sets up a sequel nicely, with many loose ends ready to be knotted and woven together.  I'll definitely keep my eyes out for the next one.
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