#Book Review – Atomic; N. Aland

Book review stop! Today I’m delighted to be the host for Atomic, a sci-fi novel written by N. Aland.

First thing first, let me thank the author for providing me with an e-copy of this book. Much obliged *hat tip* 


What may we anticipate when immersive virtual reality environments eliminate physical and social boundaries?

Set in 2040, Atomic is the story of Jim Stroud and Lisa Bellweather, partners in an innovative startup enterprise that seeks to exploit a perceived weakness in “MiU”, a global virtual reality (VR) environment, that will allow users to experience a blend of real-world physical stimulation and virtual reality limitlessness. Their starting point is a line of VR-connected pleasure toys, with a twist: the toys are modeled off recognizable personalities and users will rent a share of their conscious attention in order to enjoy truly personalized experiences. Success follows, and so do a host of interested parties, as Jim and Lisa risk being swept up in an even grander master-plan that promises to transform human experience for those who can pay.

Atomic is a black comedy that explores the presence of underlying perversity that is exposed when limits and boundaries are removed within the context of a plausible near-future reality.

350 pages

Publication date: 15/01/22
Purchase links



Cover: Oh my God XD

A debut again, and a peculiar one to boot—I’ve got to say I’m enjoying my lucky streak 😀

First thing first, Atomic is hilarious. I’m not talking about an open guffawing, belly-laughing kind of hilarious here, no; the humor is there, it’s often subtler than you’d expect it to be, but it’s well-executed regardless. Does said humor border on crass territory here and there? Sometimes. And it’s a good thing. A spade is a spade, and I appreciate a lot more someone willing to call it by its name rather than coating it with a PC layer. 

As you might guess, Aland’s style is maybe Atomic’s stronger suit. 

The story itself is simple and entertaining. My reaction to sex and sex-adjacent topics span from polite interest to facepalm, depending on how it’s portrayed in a story. Here, the humor element helps a lot, giving Atomic a feeling of lightness. Plus, the sci-fi/sex toys combo is quite ingenious. 

Atomic features multiple POVs done well, a medium-sized cast of characters, and two MCs with a good chemistry. My favorite is Jim, but Lisa reads just as strong, so it’s only a matter of personal preference.

Flaws. While Aland’s style has much potential, I’d suggest working on the execution a little bit more. Repetitions, epithets, and too long descriptions can be axed without giving them a second thought: I know I’m repeating myself here, but less is more. Say, things like ‘The ginger-haired man’ do nothing to help the plot along; they only slow down the flow.

All in all, Atomic is an entertaining book. It just needs a little polish to shine.

4 stars on GR.


Neif is an Australian author based in Melbourne, Victoria. Atomic is his first novel which was written over a period of two years while traveling across the United States. Neif has studied Literature and Philosophy at universities in Australia and the United Kingdom and traveled extensively. Neif may be contacted at neifaland@protonmail.com

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