Bandwidth masterfully combines speculative genres, pitting political thriller against climate change science fiction to create a compelling narrative that constantly keeps you on your toes. The character development is spot-on, showing us a protagonist with a difficult past whose career and life choices are coming back to haunt him. The novel surprised me at every turn with its web of intrigue and ever changing loyalties. It’s a wonderful read and I can’t wait to dive into the sequels.
The characters are full of life, lending realism to the narrative. Our protagonist, a highly lauded lobbyist for the good and corrupt, finds himself thrown into the middle of a conspiracy that could undermine the entire global system of data sharing. We see flashbacks to his past, transferring through foster homes, never finding love or human connection to ground him. Through the book’s events, he begins to grow, altering his mindset for the greater good instead of the greater profit. The cast of supporting characters are where the real intrigue lies. I’m amazed at the author’s ability to create so many complex characters. I got a sense of who they all were, deep down, which is a rare feat, especially given a novel that isn’t an enormous epic.
Climate change is a very real, very terrifying issue, and Peper shows us a future that could be not so distant without major changes. The villains in the story use it for profit and the heroes try to turn things around using methods that stray dangerously close to villainy. It’s a constant revolution of pure and questionable behaviors that fuel the drive of the book. Everything is just too interesting to reveal any more details.
Overall, Bandwidth is an exceptional piece of storytelling, laying the groundwork for a series that’s sure to entertain until the very end. I look forward to continuing on the journey of these characters.
By Eliot Peper
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.