#BlogTour – #BookReview of #BeautifulShiningPeople by Michael Grothaus @michaelgrothaus @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours #RandomThingsTours #OutofThisWorld #SF

I’m delighted to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for stunning speculative fiction novel  Beautiful Shining People by Michael Grothaus. Thank you to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this outstanding book.

About the book:

It’s our world, but decades into the future … An ordinary world, where cars drive themselves, drones glide across the sky and robots work in burger shops. There are two superpowers and a digital Cold War, but all conflicts are safely oceans away. People get up, work, and have dinner. Everything is as it should be…

Except for seventeen-year-old John, a tech prodigy from a damaged family, who hides a deeply personal secret. But everything starts to change for him when he enters a tiny café on a cold Tokyo night. A café run by a disgraced sumo wrestler, where a peculiar dog with a spherical head lives alongside its owner, enigmatic waitress Neotnia…

But Neotnia hides a secret of her own – a secret that will turn John’s unhappy life upsidee down. A secret that will take them trom the neon streets of Tokyo to Hiroshima’s tragic past to the snowy
mountains of Nagano.

A secret that reveals that this world is anything but ordinary – and it’s about to change forever…

About the author:

Michael Grothaus is a novelist, journalist and author of non-fiction. His writing has appeared in Fast Company, VICE, Guardian, Litro Magazine, Irish Times, Screen, Quartz and others. His debut novel, Epiphany Jones, a story about sex trafficking among the Hollywood elite, was longlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger and named one of the 25 ‘Most Irresistible Hollywood Novels’ by Entertainment Weekly.

His first non-fiction book, Trust No One: Inside the World of Deepfakes was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2021. The book examines the human impact that artificially generated video will have on individuals and society in the years to come.

Michael is American..

My Review:

Beautiful Shining People by Michael Grothaus is a stunningly beautiful slice of speculative fiction that I know will stay with me always. Set in an all too plausible near future, it is a gorgeously written and gently paced character driven story that is unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

In a world where cars drive themselves, drones are commonplace and robots work as servers in restaurants and cafes, there are two world superpowers and a digital Cold War that is safely many miles away across the sea. But seventeen year old tech prodigy, John, in Tokyo to make a deal on his tech code, hides a deeply personal secret that haunts his every waking hour. But then, one cold night, everything changes when he stumbles upon a tiny cafe that’s run by disgraced sumo wrestler Goeido, who lives with Inu, a peculiar dog with a spherical head, and its owner, enigmatic waitress Neotnia…

As John and Neotnia begin to get to know each other, their lives are changed forever when Neotnia reveals a secret of her own. A secret that turns John’s life upside down as it takes the pair on a journey from the bright lights of Tokyo to the snowy mountains of Negano. A secret that proves once and for all that this world is anything but ordinary…

With a larger than life cast of characters, Beautiful Shining People is so much more than what it appears to be on the surface. Yes, it is a dystopian tale of a strange new world, but it’s also a story that delves deep beneath the surface of exactly what it means to be human. It completely swept me away on a tsunami of emotion that took me completely by surprise as the story continued.

Beautiful Shining People is far from an easy book to review. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked this book up and, yes, some of the tech details went way over my head, but as the story began to unfold, I was completely caught up in the growing relationship between these two fascinating characters. Michael Grothaus’s writing is stunning as he brings John and Neotnia vividly to life as their secrets are slowly brought out into the open. Intense, honest and raw in a way I wasn’t expecting, the story becomes more and more extraordinarily beautiful as it moves forward.

Beautiful Shining People is breathtaking, a masterpiece of not only world building but of skilfully bringing these memorable characters to life in a moving and believable way. The setting of a near future Tokyo drew me into the story from the very first page and I honestly can’t praise this beautifully written and moving book highly enough. Beautiful Shining People is a highly emotive read that stole my heart and is one that will stay with me always.

My favourite read of the year so far. Highly recommended.

Beautiful Shining People by Michael Grothaus is available to purchase now: 

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