The Warehouse by Rob Hart
Published by Crown on August 20, 2019 (expected)
Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, thriller
Format & Length: e-book, 368
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Cloud isn’t just a place to work. It’s a place to live. And when you’re here, you’ll never want to leave.
“On the surface, The Warehouse is a thrilling story of corporate espionage at the highest level, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a terrifying cautionary tale of the nightmare world we are making for ourselves.”—Blake Crouch, New York Timesbestselling author of Dark Matter
Paxton never thought he’d be working for Cloud, the giant tech company that’s eaten much of the American economy. Much less that he’d be moving into one of the company’s sprawling live-work facilities.
But compared to what’s left outside, Cloud’s bland chainstore life of gleaming entertainment halls, open-plan offices, and vast warehouses…well, it doesn’t seem so bad. It’s more than anyone else is offering.
Zinnia never thought she’d be infiltrating Cloud. But now she’s undercover, inside the walls, risking it all to ferret out the company’s darkest secrets. And Paxton, with his ordinary little hopes and fears? He just might make the perfect pawn. If she can bear to sacrifice him.
As the truth about Cloud unfolds, Zinnia must gamble everything on a desperate scheme—one that risks both their lives, even as it forces Paxton to question everything about the world he’s so carefully assembled here.
Together, they’ll learn just how far the company will go…to make the world a better place.
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 is a dystopian thriller that feels startlingly and terrifyingly possible.
This is told from three perspectives: Gibson, the man who created the giant tech company Cloud; Paxton, who was put out of business by Cloud but now is going to work there; and Zinnia, who was hired to infiltrate Cloud and discover its innermost secrets. Through these different points of view, the story unfolds to reveal that things are not always as they initially appear. Cloud is easily comparable to Amazon but that’s just a reference point; The Warehouse explores a near future in which our culture relies solely on one mega-corporation because that’s what “the market dictates.”
I wouldn’t call The Warehouse a true thriller as the pace starts out gradually, ramping up slowly but surely right up to the high point of the final action, but Hart uses these pages well, building up the world and characters in a way that feels realistic. The plot is reminiscent of other dystopians (most obviously The Circle, by Dave Eggers) but manages to stand quite on its own. What first seems a fairly straightforward story has many layers for the reader to peel back for a thought-provoking read.
Ultimately, The Warehouse was a well written and compelling story that left me thinking about it after each time I put it down.
*Thanks to the publisher for providing an arc of this edition via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.