Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)
A copy of the book was given to me in return for an honest review.
The Fi Experiment follows Alice, who visits her cousin, Dicky, who has previously left his job and moved into an old family home, now long abandoned. Alice hasn’t seen him in years, but when she meets him again, he’s desperate for her help to record something that will change the world. At first, Alice thinks he’s lying, but upon closer inspection, she begins to discover the secrets behind the mysterious beings that visit her cousin. Told through a written narrative, along with linked videos, The Fi Experiment is an interesting read.
The premise and the execution of this book were different and very exciting to read. I found myself kept on my toes, especially since the narrator has a lack of knowledge which continues through the novel. I thought it would be irritating, knowing there’s part of the book we’re missing out since she never experiences it herself but the way Dicky reveals it himself was intriguing. The story narrative also includes QR codes which link to videos of Dicky’s video diaries about his interaction with the aliens. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this format before, so it’s what appealed to me the most about it and it lent itself well to the plot.
[Spoilers (I think)] I think my favourite overall part of it is a fact we don’t know if Dicky is ever telling the truth. The book ends with Alice believing him, but we never really see what Dicky saw, and I liked that. It’s up to the reader to decide for themselves what was the truth.
The book doesn’t explore the political landscape of discovering aliens, nor does it show much of the scientific or technological aspects in so much detail. Much of the events happen in retrospect, but their weekend meetings/filming sessions are catch up session on events after they unfold. This lead to a much of the story being more telling rather than showing, and we witness Alice’s response in real time. Although I wanted more detail on how things happened, the book does progress at a rather fast pace that kept me surprised until the very end with an ending that I didn’t expect.