Monday, December 17, 2018

Review: The Agora Files by Adam Oster

The Agora Files

My Take:
Cyrus Rhodes is about to reach the AoA, the Age of Accountability. For a teen, that is usually good news, but for Cyrus, it means his days as a Runner for the Agora are coming to a close. And that's a shame, because he's the best runner they've ever had. While running contraband could get you executed by the US Government, kids under the AoA are exempt, which is why the Agora use them.With only a few weeks left before his birthday, he gets a lucrative opportunity, one last run, a cross-country footrace against time to deliver a package from San Francisco to Boston. In fifteen days, on foot.

Even for an ultra-marathon athlete like Cyrus, that's not going to be very likely. Assisted by his brother The Geek, who acts as GPS and DJ for Cyrus via some very high-tech equipment, and the surprise help of Eve, a runner from his past, he just might make it. But little does he know that the package is something critical for the Rebellion. Something that might trigger the overthrow of the government. Frankly, he really couldn't care, he's just in this for the money. But when the oppressive US Government learns of this race, they throw everything they have at stopping him.

Armed with only a taser and an incredible amount of self-confidence, Cyrus pits himself against a multitude of bounty hunters and the US military to deliver the package on time, all while wondering whether he is racing to his death. And whether the package should be delivered at all.

Drug Content:
PG - There is one scene where Cyrus races through Reno, and there are many drug addicts and homeless laying in the street grabbing for him. No real discussion of drug use, though there is a brief mention that Cyrus has run drugs as well as guns.

PG - There is quite a bit of gunfire in a few scenes, and in one scene tanks and turret mounted machine guns are deployed. An airstrike occurs. A bullet or shrapnel injures a person. A few people are tasered.

PG - very light sprinkling.

Adult Content:
PG - There's some love interest between the two runners, but it's tame.   

Christian content:
Nada. There is a bit of struggle in the main character with right and wrong, and a character arc, where he begins as a free spirit, an arrogant self-centered opportunist with no moral compass, but reaches a point where he actually seems to care about this impossible task he's been given. Loyalty and self-sacrifice, redemption and perseverance are broad-brush themes. The dystopian regime of the US presented some of the evils of absolute power and the intrusive nature of a corrupt but powerful government. This hints, but doesn't say, that mankind is basically evil.

Final analysis:
While I found the idea of a cross-country footrace to deliver a package a hard theme to suspend my disbelief over, especially given the fact that encrypted messages and documents can be sent instantaneously anywhere in the world, the concept presented challenges and obstacles that kept my interest, while the sarcastic wit of the main character kept me in stitches as often as not.

Fast-paced and entertaining, with a little romantic angst thrown in, The Agora Files would be a fun frolic for anyone who has ever been into running, or just looking for an adventure. Five Stars!

About the Author:
Adam Oster hates writing bios. If you ever find him working on an auto-biography, you'll know he's finally been taken over by some sort of memoir-loving group of pod people.

That being's a little bit of information about him.

Originally hailing from Columbia, SC, Adam lives in Eau Claire, Wisconsin with his gorgeous wife and three adorable kids. He spends a lot of his time trying to figure out what part of this world he'd like to visit next.

When he's not traveling or writing books, he's working a rather mundane desk job, dreaming up further tales of adventure.

His favorite activity is to explore, whether it's his current hometown, or anywhere else he happens to end up. When he's not exploring, he often finds himself enjoying stories in whatever form he can find them, through television, movies, books, comic books, and video games.

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