The Rig Review

The Rig by Roger Levy is a science fiction novel set in the future where Earth has been abandoned and faith/religion has been extinct and no longer practiced. In a society such as this, how will people take to the idea of being resurrected after having been in stasis for years based on a voting system? How will one live their lives knowing that this could happen to them and that one day, their life story will be known to all who participates in the system? The Rig pretty much ticks every checkbox I could imagine when finding my next read. However, I was left disappointed in the end. I felt that the author could have done so much more but ultimately, it felt a bit flat and uninspired.

Like other reviews I’ve read so far on the novel, I agree that the book starts off at a very slow pace and picks up in the later half of the story. The problem though is that the characters of Bale, Tallen, Razer, Alef and Pellonhorc don’t necessarily have the most exciting personalities to make you want to invest in their future. However, I do realize that the world within the The Rig is meant to be a bleak and drab one. Not sure if this is what the author was going for but that leads me to my other problem with this novel and that is the lack of world building. Things and places around the characters just don’t feel alive at all. For such a vast system, I’d expect for some detailed description of locations, information about the culture and daily lives of normal citizens and such.

With the premise of the novel being Afterlife, again, I’d expect the author to spend more time on this but I didn’t get that. We get a slight glimpse of it, such as the description of The Rig, the sarcs that bodies get stuffed in and dropped over the ocean, etc. but everything felt like it was an afterthought. How did the voting system work? Where exactly are the people that got a second chance at life at and what happens throughout the process? I’m obviously not going to spoil the ending but I thought it was a missed opportunity while I was reading the book.

There was some good parts such as once you realize how everything is coming together in the story but that by itself is not enough to make me recommend this novel over others. The Rig has a little bit of everything in it such as romance, detective work, science fiction setting, characters having to make some tough moral choices regarding life and death etc. I would have thought that a book such as this would force me to question things regarding life here on Earth. Would we live differently knowing that our lives would one day be exposed to everyone in the system, free to dissect apart and judge? The Rig had a very interesting idea and I so wished that the author had expanded more on the whole Afterlife thing more.

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