Cover Image: The Warehouse

The Warehouse

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Really enjoyable sci-fi near future thriller about two new employees to The Cloud, a company clearly modeled after, each of which has their own agenda for joining the firm and moving into the company housing city. Hart shines at plausible descriptions, from bars to restaurants, the tedium of work, and how a citizenry can be managed through perception and beliefs. The ending felt a bit weak, but still, one of my favorite books so far in 2020. And it makes me glad I don't work in the warehouse at Amazon too! :-)

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An intriguing and affecting fictional take on a company you'll surely recognize, in a future that looks almost too plausible for comfort. Hart's writing is clever and insightful, and his characters are vividly drawn and made me care about them. There are moments too where the story made me a little uncomfortable, but that seems part of his plan. And he seemed prescient, predicting a world in which most of us are homebound and relying on a monolithic company to get us our needs and wants. I think that company is even using drones now, as the company in this book does. He also takes the employees to an extreme place, that turns out isn't so much worse than some real employees' lives.
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Hart's clever, dystopian cyberthriller is chillingly realistic. The Cloud dominates life and everything; it's an entertaining narrative and a warning.  The all-encompassing nature of the Cloud corporation (which feels eerily similar to a future Amazon) is terrifying, for the disembodied narratives and policies it enacts do little to create a thriving society and everything to buttress an autocratic class of oligarchs. It's a scary proposition, and heck of a good read.
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Set in the near future, THE WAREHOUSE is a cautionary tale about an Amazon-esque company that employs and houses the majority of the population because it's essentially all that is left. Entire cities and towns are desolate, and the climate crisis has made living conditions outside of Cloud harrowing, if not impossible. Sadly, it's not difficult to imagine this being eventual reality, and that's a big part of what makes the story so compelling.

I don't want to spoil anything about the plot, so I'll just say that this was a really solid read/listen for me (I alternated between print and audio formats). The world-building was very well done, and it is easy to imagine a film adaptation being successful. In many regards, I think it might even work better on film.

I loved the complexity and layers to the character development for the two protagonists, especially Paxton. It was interesting to see how his motivation for joining Cloud morphed/changed over time based on his experiences working and living there.

I will say that the pacing was great until about the 85% mark. Then things took an unexpected turn, and the ending was rather underwhelming. Usually I love surprises and endings that go in different directions, but here, there were several things that felt unfinished and really changed the tone of the entire story for me. 

It took me a while to get into the audiobook narration for this one, which is why I ended up alternating with a digital print copy. The best part of Emily Woo Zeller's narration is her AI voice. I also loved the voicing for Gibson, the CEO of Cloud, by Jason Culp. That really brought his character to life for me and was far better than just reading his blog posts.

Even despite the ending, I'd recommend this one. There was a lot to appreciate, and although I wish it had been a 5-star read, I'm holding out hope that the film adaptation will provide the more satisfying ending I craved.

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I LOVED THE WAREHOUSE!!  It was fast paced and sucked me in from the get go!

I am telling you, something like this is right around the corner!!!
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All the political commentary of this was absolutely fabulous, if downright terrifying when drawing real life parallels.
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This was a book where the premise was more interesting than the actual executive for me. I also thought the ending felt anticlimactic and left too many unanswered questions and plotholes.
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THE WAREHOUSE • Rob Hart • Started & Finished August 2019 • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy Publication Day to The Warehouse! Thank you NetGalley and Crown Publishing for this eARC in exchange for an honest review.  Everyone should read this book. I’ll give you three reasons why, but trust me when I say I could list plenty more.

1. The Plot — The Warehouse is a near-future thriller about what happens when Big Brother meets Big Business. It is a book similar to 1984 or The Handmaid’s Tale, though with a large corporation named Cloud at its focus. (Think Amazon x10 + drones and employees living on site)

2. The Characters — This story is told through three point of views: Gibson Wells, the CEO of Cloud; Paxton, a past prison guard and entrepreneur turned new Cloud employee; and Zinnia, a corporate spy. Each character added something to the plot while also giving a different perspective on the bigger themes that this story tackles.  My only problem with this book lies with Paxton.  He feels almost like a tag-along character compared to Zinnia.

3. The Twists — The story takes some time to setup; a picture needs to be pained about what the world currently looks like and how Cloud operates, but once the story gets going, IT GETS GOING. 👏🏼 I also found the buildup fascinating. The inner workings of Cloud and the reasons for why it was setup that way proved to be both interesting and thought-provoking.

Hart not only writes a good story, but also one that serves as a true cautionary tale of what could be if Americans keep ignoring things they perceive as not directly effecting them. This book definitely gave me a lot to think about.
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I love books that make me think.  A year ago, if I had read this book, I would have thought that this could never happen.  After seeing the world basically shut down because of.a virus, this book freaked me out because it could actually happen. 

Imagine a company (ahem, Amazon) that took over our lives and we all live and work in buildings called, "The Cloud." You never left the building.  You work, eat, socialize, and play within the confines of the same building.  The Cloud dominates the market, and those that don't work within the building of The Cloud are basically left to fend for themselves in a world that is barely surviving. 

The story is told through three different points of views.  Gibson Wells, the creator of The Cloud, is slowing dying from pancreatic cancer.  He wants to make sure that his legacy survives him. Paxton, a man who loses his dream of owning his own company because The Cloud puts him out of business, decides he has no other choice than to work for the cloud himself.  Then there's Zinnia, who has been hired as a corporate spy to infiltrate The Cloud to discover its secrets.

Does working within The Cloud make your life better?  Would it help our world and the environment by having everyone live in a environmentally-friendly building? That's the part that makes you think. I would recommend this book.

I was given this book for my honest review.
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Author Rob Hart ( published the novel “The Warehouse” in 2019. This is Mr. Hart’s seventh novel.

I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains Violence, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is set in the near future. There are three primary characters. Paxton a new security guard. Zinnia a new picker. Gibson Wells owner of Cloud.

Cloud is the superstore of the future. Think of it as a combination of Wal-Mart and Amazon mega-company. Drones make the deliveries and the store carries everything. Employees live at the massive distribution centers. Each is a small city with entertainment, restaurants, and shops. The company over the years has taken over many government functions. It has also replaced most other businesses.

Wells has found out that he is dying and plans to make a road-trip across the US visiting company facilities. Paxton and Zinnia are new employees at Cloud. They meet during the on-boarding process. Paxton has been a prison guard. Then he briefly had his own business until competition from Cloud forced him to close down. Now he wants to earn enough to get back on his feet.

Zinnia isn’t Zinnia. She is a corporate spy sent into Cloud to find information. Zinnia and Paxton begin a relationship. She is not sure if she is using him or if she has real feelings for him. She has no idea who has hired her.

I thought that the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 348-page mystery novel were interesting. I thought that the plot was off to a good start. Sadly, the book had a disappointing ending. There is only a mediocre mystery. I am not a fan of the selected cover art. I give this novel a 3 out of 5.

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Liked this book, but was expecting something more from it. A bigger twist or bigger reveal at the ending (finding out what Cloudburgers were made of was bad enough, but it wasn't what I was looking for). So much of this was a really smart satire of current society and our over-dependence on Amazon, that I really wanted more in the way of a satisfying conclusion that just wasn't there.
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The Warehouse by Rob Hart
Hart postulates a future reseller who has changed the world.   In that future world the gap between haves and have nots has widen and employment is at a premium.   The utopia offered by Mother Cloud may not be what it seems. 
Hart may not have written 1984 or Brave New World but there are distinct parallels to his work and social commentary.   His examples of small businesses being crushed by online retailing behemoths hits close to home having had two small businesses and finding those businesses dramatically impacted by goliaths unaware or uncaring about my very existence.  The book is thought provoking or muck raking depending on your perspective. 
Is the potential good for a distant future reason enough to surrender current freedom?  Is a capitalistic dictatorship a better alternative than a corrupt democracy?  Hart provides fodder for thought.   If I was still teaching, I would assign this book and revel in the discussions that would ensue. 
I recommend the book.
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The Warehouse offers us a look into the future, one that becomes more real every day. Very intriguing!
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Interesting premise and book. It is basically - what if Jeff Bezos decided he was going to take over the entire world and created communities where all other businesses cease to exist. 

The beginning of the book was really strong and I liked the back and forth between characters, it all worked really well. But the ending took a turn for me that I did not like and it lost steam. I think I would like more understanding of what the outside world was like and more about Claire actually, who I think has a backstory here that we never learn. 

One twist I did not see coming, the other I did. So it is not a predictable book and kept my interest.
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It's a fun and fast-paced story that seems not too far from our current reality. 

I'll admit, it took me a few chapters...and get into the book, but once I did, I couldn't put it down. The ending also seemed a bit clunky, and left me with quite a few unanswered questions. 

But overall, it's a good book, and turns out, one of those "read it before it becomes a movie," since director Ron Howard has reportedly optioned the rights.  I can definitely recommend The Warehouse. 

Full review at soon.
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Disclaimer: I received an advance copy of this book via NetGalley.

When I opted to read this book, I skimmed over the description, and it sounded interesting. I looked at the cover art, and I thought, "meh"...maybe the story will be better. 

The story did not disappoint! It had a good pace and the characters were very relatable. The story itself was very dystopian/realistic. It hits close to home...Amazon or Walmart could easily be the equivalent of a MotherCloud one day. Who is to say we don't revert to the commercial equivalent of a factory town, driven by metrics that are impossible to maintain?

I gave this book three stars because, although I enjoyed it, I felt like the characters could have had a little extra...something. I felt like the connection between the main characters in the story was a bit of a stretch towards the end, and kind of conveniently fell into place. It took a little away from the story (for me). Other than that, I thought this was a good story, and would read another book from this author.
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I received a copy of this story from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My first thought was "DON'T read this while practicing social distancing during a pandemic!"

Okay, for real. This book was okay. I actually probably would have given it 4 stars if it hadn't wrapped up the way it did. I felt like it was building and building to all these things and then they either didn't pan out or were forgotten or resolved in a crappy way. I finished it feeling cheated.

The corporate espionage angle that was probably meant to be exciting lacked momentum for me. Zinnia is a great character (easily my favorite) but there wasn't enough surprising action for me. Every new challenge or bit of info she got to further her assignment seemed too perfect. I would be like "ah yes, that makes sense" and I wanted it to be unexpected.

While I think the plot is a little weak, the world-building is fantastic! This absolutely seemed like a direction America could go in in the near future. It was TERRIFYING to think about and for that, I'm glad I've read this. Humans could easily mess up Earth so badly that something like this happens. The plausibility here is off the charts.

I don't know that I'd recommend this book, but I also don't know that I'd talk someone out of reading it.
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A fast and engaging read that fell just a bit short with its ending. 

A dystopian that is just a little too real to the life we're living now. This hits the mark because it computes - because I could see this happening in the next couple of years. Whose side would I be on? Would there even be a side to choose?

The concept was there, the writing was there, and I loved the messages it was portraying. Having three  perspectives brought a lot of dimension to the story - especially because they were all so different in their views and goals.
I could not put this down for majority of time, but somewhere in the last 10 percent of the book things fizzled out. Slowly, slowly and when I noticed that nothing really paid off it was too late - the book was over. 

Overall I am still very happy that I read it, it was a great diversion and a time well spent. Big thanks to Crown Publishing and Netgalley for a digital arc of this.
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This book has Amazon written all over it. I loved the story, the characters, the writing. And it really makes you think how far companies like Amazon can go once they know they have a monopoly on the market.
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I received an advanced digital copy of this book from the author, publisher and Thanks to all for the opportunity to read and review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

Blatantly anti big corporation, this book was a bore to read.  It might as well been named, "I don't like Amazon", it's so transparent in it's politics.

1 out of 5 stars. Do not recommend.
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