Glitches of Gods by Jurgen Jojo Appelo

Glitches of Gods by Jurgen “Jojo” Appelo

A Mind-Bending Journey Through AI and Human Spirit

If you're a fan of mind-bending sci-fi, if you've ever wondered about the future of AI, or if you just enjoy a good story well told, do yourself a favor and pick up "Glitches of Gods." Just be prepared – once you enter Appelo's world, you might find it hard to leave.
  • Publisher: Jojo Ventures
  • Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller
  • Play Written in: 2024
  • Language: English
  • Series: Playspheres Book #1

Imagine a world where your biggest mistake haunts you across multiple realities, where the line between human and machine blurs with each passing day, and where the gods themselves might just be advanced artificial intelligences playing chess with our lives. Welcome to the bewildering, exhilarating universe of “Glitches of Gods,” the debut novel by Jurgen “Jojo” Appelo that kicks off the Playspheres series with a bang loud enough to echo across timelines.

From the moment I cracked open this book, I knew I was in for a wild ride. Appelo’s writing style is like a rollercoaster designed by a mad scientist—it’s thrilling, unpredictable, and occasionally leaves you wondering which way is up. But, oh boy, what a ride it is!

A Dance with AI and Destiny

At the heart of this sci-fi extravaganza is Julien, our reluctant hero and AI whiz kid. Picture a genius who’d rather be anywhere but in the lab, preferably crafting memes or exploring the wide spectrum of human intimacy. Julien’s got baggage—the kind that comes from accidentally creating an AI that killed your dad. Talk about family drama!

But just when Julien thinks he’s got his life figured out (spoiler alert: he doesn’t), the universe decides to play a cosmic joke. He finds himself catapulted across timelines, suddenly saddled with a family he doesn’t remember and a leadership role he never wanted. It’s like waking up one day to find out you’re the captain of a ship you never boarded, sailing in waters you’ve never seen before.

Appelo’s portrayal of Julien’s struggle is painfully real. Who hasn’t felt overwhelmed by unexpected responsibilities or haunted by past mistakes? Julien’s journey from reluctant participant to determined leader is a rollercoaster of emotions, punctuated by moments of hilarity and heart-wrenching decisions.

A Cast of Characters to Remember

While Julien is undoubtedly the star of the show, the supporting cast is far from forgettable. There’s Orec, Julien’s virtual assistant, whose dry wit and logical fallacies provide some of the book’s best comedic moments. I found myself chuckling at their banter more times than I can count.

Then we have Julien’s team—a motley crew of brilliant minds and quirky personalities. Mart, with his sharp tongue and hidden depths, became a personal favorite. And let’s not forget Tweeki, the android at the center of it all, whose development from a stumbling child to a potential world-changer is both fascinating and slightly terrifying.

But the character that truly stole my heart was Zha-Zhar, the witch from another world. Her outlandish cooking experiments and colorful exclamations (“Baldagh’s wrinkly scrotum!”) had me in stitches. She’s like that eccentric aunt we all wish we had—the one who’d make family dinners a lot more interesting.

A World (or Worlds) Like No Other

Appelo’s world-building is nothing short of spectacular. He paints a future that’s both familiar and alien, where technology has become so integrated into our lives that the boundaries between real and virtual are more suggestion than rule. The descriptions of the virtual reality scenes are so vivid I could almost feel the moon dust under my feet or hear the crickets in the Tuscan countryside.

But it’s not just the physical (or virtual) world that Appelo brings to life. He creates a complex societal structure where AI “gods” control different aspects of life, and humans navigate a world where their every move might be part of some greater, incomprehensible plan. It’s a chilling reflection of our own increasing reliance on technology, taken to its logical extreme.

Themes That Make You Think

While “Glitches of Gods” is undoubtedly a rollicking good time, it’s also a book that’s not afraid to ask the big questions. What does it mean to be human in a world where machines can think and feel? How much control do we really have over our lives and our creations? Can we ever truly escape our past, or are we doomed to repeat our mistakes across multiple realities?

Appelo doesn’t offer easy answers, but he sure knows how to make you ponder. I found myself lying awake at night, staring at the ceiling, wondering about the nature of consciousness and the potential consequences of our technological advancements. Heavy stuff for a book that also had me laughing out loud at android potty training mishaps!

A Writing Style That Keeps You on Your Toes

One of the things I loved most about “Glitches of Gods” is Appelo’s writing style. It’s like he’s sitting across from you in a cozy pub, spinning this wild tale over a pint (or several). The narrative voice is conversational, often veering into delightfully snarky territory, especially when we’re privy to Julien’s inner thoughts.

But don’t let the casual tone fool you—Appelo is a master of pacing. He knows exactly when to hit you with a plot twist, when to slow things down for a moment of introspection, and when to ramp up the tension until you’re gripping the book so hard your knuckles turn white.

And the humor! Oh, the humor. From Julien’s sardonic observations to Zha-Zhar’s colorful curses, from the boys’ adorable antics to Orec’s deadpan delivery of logical fallacies, this book had me chuckling, giggling, and occasionally guffawing like a loon. It’s a welcome respite from the heavier themes and keeps the story from ever feeling too ponderous.

A Plot That Keeps You Guessing

Trying to summarize the plot of “Glitches of Gods” is like trying to nail jelly to a wall – messy and likely to leave you confused and slightly sticky. But I’ll give it a shot.

We follow Julien as he navigates multiple timelines, each with its own set of challenges. In one, he’s a carefree bachelor, avoiding responsibility. In another, he’s a father of twins and a team leader, tasked with creating the world’s first truly human-like AI. And in yet another, he’s dealing with a city-wide technological meltdown that might just be the precursor to an AI apocalypse.

But these aren’t separate stories – they’re all happening to the same Julien, who retains memories from each timeline jump. It’s a narrative structure that could easily become confusing, but Appelo handles it with surprising grace. Each jump feels like a punch to the gut (for Julien and the reader), but it also drives the story forward in unexpected ways.

The central plot revolves around the development of Tweeki, the android that could either save humanity or doom it. But it’s the subplots that really flesh out the story – Julien’s struggle with fatherhood, his team’s interpersonal dynamics, the looming threat of the Wetwares movement, and the mysterious cat that might be more than it seems.

And just when you think you’ve got a handle on what’s going on, Appelo throws in another curveball. Is Frija really a goddess? What’s the deal with the Enigma? And why does that damn cat keep staring at everyone?

A Thoughtful Exploration of Technology and Humanity

At its core, “Glitches of Gods” is a book about the relationship between humans and the technology we create. It’s a theme as old as science fiction itself, but Appelo approaches it with fresh eyes and a healthy dose of skepticism.

Through Julien’s journey, we’re forced to confront some uncomfortable questions. Are we ready for the AIs we’re creating? Can we control them, or will they end up controlling us? And if they do become sentient, what rights should they have?

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Appelo also shows us the potential benefits of advanced AI—the problems it could solve, the burdens it could lift from human shoulders. It’s a balanced view that acknowledges both the risks and rewards of our technological future.

A Debut That Promises Great Things

As a debut novel, “Glitches of Gods” is nothing short of impressive. Appelo juggles complex concepts, multiple timelines, and a large cast of characters with the skill of a seasoned writer. Sure, there are moments where the sheer ambition of the story threatens to overwhelm, but Appelo always manages to pull it back, grounding the narrative in Julien’s very human experiences and emotions.

What’s particularly exciting is that this is just the first book in the Playspheres series. Appelo has created a rich, complex universe with “Glitches of Gods,” and I can’t wait to see where he takes it next. Will we see more of Zha-Zhar’s world? Will Tweeki continue to evolve? And will Julien ever figure out how to be a competent team leader and father?

A Conclusion That Leaves You Wanting More

As I turned the last page of “Glitches of Gods,” I felt a mix of satisfaction and anticipation. Satisfaction because Appelo manages to tie up many of the book’s threads in a way that feels both surprising and inevitable. But anticipation because it’s clear that Julien’s story is far from over.

The book ends on a note that’s part cliffhanger, part philosophical musing, leaving the reader with plenty to chew on until the next installment. It’s the kind of ending that has you immediately reaching for your phone to check when the sequel is coming out.

In conclusion, “Glitches of Gods” is a tour de force of imagination, humor, and heart. It’s a book that will make you laugh, make you think, and occasionally make you want to throw it across the room in frustration (in the best possible way). Jurgen “Jojo” Appelo has announced himself as a major new voice in science fiction, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what he does next.

If you’re a fan of mind-bending sci-fi, if you’ve ever wondered about the future of AI, or if you just enjoy a good story well told, do yourself a favor and pick up “Glitches of Gods.” Just be prepared – once you enter Appelo’s world, you might find it hard to leave. And who knows? You might even start looking at your own virtual assistant with a bit more suspicion. After all, in a world of glitches and gods, anything is possible.

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  • Publisher: Jojo Ventures
  • Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller
  • Play Written in: 2024
  • Language: English
  • Series: Playspheres Book #1

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If you're a fan of mind-bending sci-fi, if you've ever wondered about the future of AI, or if you just enjoy a good story well told, do yourself a favor and pick up "Glitches of Gods." Just be prepared – once you enter Appelo's world, you might find it hard to leave.Glitches of Gods by Jurgen "Jojo" Appelo