The Algorithm of Power ★☆☆☆☆

algorithmofpower (Custom).jpgThis review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Algorithm of Power
Author: Pedro Barrento
Translator: Craig Patterson
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 701
Format: Digital Edition



In 2061, the world decides to be run by a computer program instead of governments and to divide the world up into 100 regions where various ideologies, religions, philosophies and whatever can have their own little place without needing to elect anyone or be in contact with anyone who disagrees with them.

One storyline, in 2300, follows a young woman who leaves her region after her sister’s death and in the new region comes across a young man who has unfettered access to the network. She falls in love with another man and through machinations, ends up on a boat with both men heading for this Control Center.

The second storyline is about the rise of the Network and how the world we are introduced to in the beginning of the book came about.


My Thoughts:

Pig Ignorant Eurosnobbery.

North Korea, China, the US Army, they’re not all going to just sit back and let something like this happen. A lot of individuals wouldn’t just sit back and let this happen either.

And the passive energy field that separate the regions? Beyond handwavium, their application is completely ignored. That kind of tech would have gone into somebody’s military and then gone to the world’s militaries. World War III was much more likely of an outcome than what is shown.

Don’t even get me started on the lack of Religious intelligence here. This author obviously doesn’t understand ANY religion. I know that Christians wouldn’t accept being corraled into one little part of the planet. The whole point of Christianity isn’t to live with people you agree with, but to spread what you believe to others. You can’t do that, there is no point in being a Christian. Then the muslims and their jihads? You think they’re just going to lie down? Ahhh, the lack of understanding in this book was appalling.

I also didn’t like a single character.

The writing. I’ve got conflicting data here. Antao, in his review, states that this was originally in English. The kindle edition I got states:

Translation: Craig Patterson

So, was that translation of certain phrases in the book, translation from English to Portuguese or from Portuguese to English. Mr Barrento lives in Portugal, so I wouldn’t think he would need help translating his book to that language? I couldn’t find which language this was written in first, nor did I look that hard. Not worth it.

Either way, no matter, the writing was choppy, didn’t flow and kept me at arms length. I always felt narrated AT while reading this book and that was off putting.

I doubt I’ll ever come across another book by this author, but if I some how do, I certainly won’t be reading it.





64 thoughts on “The Algorithm of Power ★☆☆☆☆

    1. Way to go Lucinda! Of course, on most of the book reviews, there aren’t a lot of comments. I tend to be a bit too opinionated sometimes and that lowers that threshhold.

      I certainly can’t recommend this book. Now, Manuel Antao loved this and he and I like a lot of the same stuff, which is why I gave it a chance.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think you can ever be too opinionated! It makes for a far more interesting review.

        Hmmm, if it’s a marmite book I may have to remove it from my present ideas list. Thanks for the heads up!

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh sorry, it’s a British thing. Marmite is a yeast spread that you put on toast with the marketing slogan “you either love it or hate it”. So if something’s marmite it divides people into either loving or hating it, with no one in the middle.

            Liked by 2 people

  1. Book worthiness is in the mind of the reader…

    In my view, if you put your writing out, you’re supposed to be sensible about not pleasing every reader, and thick-skinned about bad reviews. that’s the nature of “the beast”…readers tell writers they don’t like their books for similar reasons they tell them they do. There are slings and arrows that sensibly thick-skinned creative people understand are part of the same ‘writer id’ that also produces the caress of praise.

    A far worse review is the one wherein the reader writes the post to tell the writer they quite liked it but preferred an earlier book or a book by someone else…lol.

    NB: My dear Sir, I took offence about the Eurotrash (or something akin to it) bit…lol. I know I’m European,Trash and and a card-carrying Snob (all of them with gusto!) But I don’t care…I’m happy just the same…lmao!

    Thanks for this review.

    NB: I also like to give writers Hell in my quality of the card-carrying Snob:

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Eurosnob. While americans are loud, fat and boastful, I can spot a Euro-attitude a mile off 😉 Of course, if you keep eating so much hotsauce, you’ll be fat too!

      I know that I would be a terrible writer. I would have to have Mrs Bookstooge keep on the lookout that I wouldn’t sneak-read any reviews. I’d probably melt down and become a badly behaving author for all of 15min and then disappear forever 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It would have been fine, I think, if the focus had been one country. But this was worldwide boiled down to one state.
      It would be like me thinking that everyone in the world values individualism and responsibility because that is what New Hampshire values (well, kind of sorta, more than other states anyway)


    2. Mogsy, your call whether to feed the troll or not. But if you do, please don’t hold back.
      Shill commenters like this are yet one more reason I tend to not review indie books.


      1. Meh, everyone’s entitled to their opinion and for all I know they really did enjoy the book 😛 I’m not going to second guess, for I have not read it. My comment was simply in response to your descriptions. (Hmm did you get linked to some fan site for the book/author or something?)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Somebody linked this review to something on Facebook. I got triple the traffic yesterday, all from facebook, all to this review.

          And that is part of what led to me finding about about Sir Bookstooge Booker :-\

          Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m not sure I’ve got my head round the whole concept- either I’m totally dense, or it’s really stupid or both. I don’t know, robots taking over I can understand- plausible or not- but what’s with that 100 thing (why is it always 100?!) And this sounds like the guys a little lost on the whole concept of religions/ideologies. Maybe I’m overtired or something, but the concept for this one’s leaving me a little baffled. I’d look into it more, but without characters you can root for and with choppy writing, there’s no chance I’m gonna read it anyway 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t spend a lot of time trying to explain because it just wasn’t worth it for me.
      In 10 years I’ll look, see 1star and go, “oh, ok, that book must have sucked” and move on 😀

      Liked by 1 person

        1. It was a really cool idea, and if things had focused on one country, and not worldwide, I probably would have dropped some of my issues. But the writing still would have killed it for me 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmm I read this book and found it totally gripping, very readable and with a unique premise. It’s dystopian sci-fi. This review suggests the world depicted is not one that could ever come about but I think the author shows very cleverly exactly HOW it could happen.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ever since I published The Algorithm of Power” I’ve been wondering if devout Christians would take offense (because of my vision of Integralia). In purely logical terms they shouldn’t be any more offended than hippie revivalists (because of the way New Shangri-La is depicted) but I had this gut feeling that somehow they would… Now I have confirmation.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. This book is a dystopian fantasy. It’s not real. I’m American, so I’m not a Eurosnob. I may be pig ignorant, but I am a Christian and didn’t read anything in the book that could be construed as anti-Christian. But then, I wasn’t looking for it either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for upping the comment numbers on this post. According to Robert/Jarod over at Reading Over the Shoulder, that should help out with the googlemetrics.


    1. Ah! The old “show don’t tell” thingy… Unfortunately this is not so clear-cut as one might think. It’s much harder telling than good showing, and sometimes some narratives need telling instead of showing. Kind of have to take that old essay adage (tell em, tell em what you told em, tell em again) and figure out whether to remove two or three tell ems (and usually insert one show em) and which tell em (succinctly executed, of course) emphasize your show em most effectively. That’s the way to do it. Saying no “to narrate at” is just wrong. As with all writing “rules”, it depends on a lot things… suffice to say that night on impossible to write a whole book without any telling at all, especially when one needs to handle pacing; the best way imo is switching between showing and telling. Look at Brandon Sanderson and Steven Erikson. The first uses “telling” from beginning to end (bad); Erikson uses both (and in some volumes more “telling” than showing). Which one better…?

      DNF a book because it’s telling instead of showing, means you’d have to DNF almost all of fantasy (Rothfuss, Rowling,etc.) ! Not so much with science fiction, but the thing also crops up here unfortunately. It’s all genre fiction…If one just wants showing and no telling, you’d have to go for the likes of Murakami, Saramago, etc. Much of the crap that’s being published nowadays in SF is just telling, telling, telling with no finesse at all…

      SF = Speculative Fiction

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Life is very odd. On Goodreads there is a very long review (in portuguese) of The Algorithm of Power by a guy called Artur Coelho where he praises the book and says that it’s all show and no tell. Then you have Bookstooge saying it’s bad because it’s all tell and no show. After 6 years of writing and three books I’ve given up trying to make sense of reviews.


    1. That’s the way with art! 🙂 As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it’s impossible to please everyone. And really, how boring the world would be if we all loved or hated the exact same things! I know I’ve loved books that bookstooge hated, and vice versa, I’m sure. There’s not really one single “correct” way to feel about a story, but I think that’s why reviews are great because they are different interpretations which might help prospective readers decide whether a book is for them or not. Whenever I check out reviews on Amazon, etc. I always read the 5 stars and the 1 star reviews because that’s how I think one gets the best picture. Also may I just say, how awesome that you’re weighing in with your comments in a level headed way. Thanks for the input!


  7. I’ve thought of a setup like this before, but more in terms of something that could happen if cheap interstellar travel became available suddenly. Many planets would suddenly open up, and each planet’s colonists could be like, “This is how we run things here, stay with us and accept it, or hop on the next ship out.”

    Of course, that would only last a little while. Today, we have tons of Californians moving to Texas because they’ve made such a mess of California, and they bug the Texans, “Why don’t you run things like we did in California?” Not to mention all the middle easterners moving to American and European cities and trying to impose sharia law in their new neighborhoods.

    Speaking of this author not seeming to understand religion, I’ve got a review on the back burner of a British author’s book, and it seems like the guy has never met a religious person in his life. Maybe in modern-day Europe, you can go through your whole life without meeting one?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There may be a cultural problem at play here. One of the “Regions” in my book is called Integralia and was created “as a refuge for all Catholics who repudiate the conclusions of the Second Vatican Council”. The Region isn’t depictred in the most favourable terms and, to American eyes, it probably sounds like an all-out attack on conservative Christianity. To European eyes, though, it’s just a funny depiction of the lifestyle of Southern European countries (Portugal, Spain, Italy) in the 1950’s (which, casually, corresponded to the ideals of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s Catholic Integralist Movement) transposed into the 24th century. So while many Americans may read that part as highly anti-religion, Europeans read it as a clever (I hope) mix of the 1950’s with sci-fi.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you have a look at Italian films of the “golden age” of Italian cinema, like La Strada or Padre Padrone, that’s what Integralia is related to, but obviously it’s highly improbable that an American reader will establish the connection.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Among others, that’s one of the things I liked about the book, i.e., challenge some preconceived notions about religion. A big problem for a non-religious world view is to fill those psychological needs satisfactorily, and come up with a cohesive foundation to cohere around which suits our modern, globalised world of competing faiths, cultures and ideologies. A contemporary story of what Truth is for us all, and what values we Ought to share and promote, which we can universally cohere around. Something like Human Rights, which is made universally appealing and intellectually grounded as a Truth we share. On a global scale. At the moment there’s something of an anarchic void developing, as our religious and secular institutions no longer feel like trustworthy rocks anchoring us to a shared world view (this the European vision). Religions and ideologies are competing tribal enemies.


      2. I haven’t read your book, so I’m not sure what vibe I would’ve gotten from it.

        In the other author’s book I mentioned, a character will tell people “your religion is causing problems, so you need to drop it”, and the religious people will say “OK”.


        1. The Algorithm of Power is not about religion. It’s about politics and Information Technology. Religion only appears for “indirect” reasons (as do many other things) and, as far as I can remember, nowhere in the text is it defended or attacked in a voice that could be construed as being the author’s. The text is 150.000 words long though, and it’s perfectly possible that someone who is hipersensitive to religious issues may find something in there that riles him/her. On a totally different level, the direction that humanity takes on my book can be seen as incompatible with a Marxist view of history (if you’re very ideological) or some religious views (there are probably more than a thousand different religious views out there) of the role of humanity. But that’s on the level of extrapolations from the text, not something that is directly described in the story.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. I believe it is a European thing. We recently had some church leaders hold a conference for our geo-area (which is one of the hardest to proselytize here in the US) and they were in communication with some churches in Sweden and the issues that European Christians face were extremely similar to what is happening here in the North East. A truly post-Christian society is emerging.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s odd that this thread is so much about religion because The Algorithm of Power is 100% about politics and Information Technology, it is NOT about religion. It’s about the rise to power of a new Movement (Digital Alternative) that causes the collapse of traditional forms of government. Religion is a “decorative” element in that book, with a similar role to Hippie Revivalism, Communism, etc. The book is supposed to make you think about the role of the algorithms that are ever more present in our society. It’s supposed to make you question Google, not Christ.


        1. I have to admit Pedro, I’m a bit surprised you haven’t had all these conversations over on Manuel’s blog. He gave you a glowing review and yet with all this activity, and facebook time, this is the one that’ll come up more often on google.


          1. You’re the first person to write a review criticising the book so this is the only place where there is something interesting to discuss. What can you talk about on the other sites if people are all praising the book? All I can say there is “Thank you so much for your nice review, I’m gad you enjoyed my book so much”.


            1. Ahhh, gotcha.

              Well, from my perspective you are doing a great job interacting with the others here. And I don’t know if it was you or one of your fans who put a link up on facebook, but it’s been tripling my traffic, so I’m ok with that 😀

              Liked by 1 person

  8. I like how “Pig Ignorant Eurosnobbery” gives a nice P.I.E. acronym. Honestly thought you’d cue that up with something related to pie. 🤣

    I couldn’t understand how the premise even worked when I read it, but once you completely destroyed it by analyzing the religious aspect of it.. well.. it all seemed implausible and crazy.

    What stuns me more is that you didn’t DNF it.. How did you go through a whole 700+ pages of this and end with 1 star!!! 😮 😮 You must have superpowers to survive such a thing……

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First, the actual page count was a lot lower. I just use the “official” page count from Librarything. I think when I used the “page count” plugin in Calibre, it was just over 300? So not as big a commitment as it seems.
      Second, Manuel Antao gave this such a glowing review. Even when I disagree with him, which isn’t often, I still respect what he has to say. So I wanted to see this through for myself.

      You know what? I didn’t even NOTICE the pie acronym. Dang, I could have had some fun with that! Oh well, another brilliant opportunity missed. next time though…
      (because obviously, Pig Ignorant Eurosnobbery is going to be a key part of every review from now on 🙂 )

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Let’s just clarify this point: you read a 150k words book (paper edition = 409 pages) out of a sense of “duty”, and not because the story was in the least interesting. There aren’t many people in the world today with that kind of self-discipline.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, I usually follow the 10% rule (I forget the name of the lady that the ‘law” is named after) but like I’ve said in earlier comments. Manuel and I are pretty good friends online. It probably helps that we’re 3K miles apart 😀

          And for all my talk and blather about encouraging others to DNF books, I have to admit, I have a really hard time actually doing it myself.

          Liked by 1 person

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