[Review] Unfettered Journey by Gary F. Bengier

A look at the intersection of artificial intelligence and philosophical questions about greater meaning, Gary F. Bengier’s novel follows Joe, a leading mind on A.I. as he takes a sabbatical to delve into the depths of these subjects.

Thank you to the author for an advance copy of this book for review.

about the book - Copy


B & N | Goodreads | The Storygraph

Published: 7 September 2020

Publisher: Chiliagon Press

Age Group: Adult

Genre(s): Scifi

Set in a richly envisioned future world, Unfettered Journey is the story of an AI scientist who seeks to create robot consciousness and discovers the resilience of the human spirit. He travels to a small college to progress his quest, but instead finds love, a secret plot by unjust forces, and the answers to his fundamental questions—the nature of the conscious mind and free will.

This book is a profound, many-layered journey. It is a love story and an adventure. It traces struggle and resilience in an imperfect world. It is a deep philosophical exploration, resetting the conversation at the intersection of science and religion, challenging you to begin your own journey to a purposeful life.


Joe seemed to falter between his reliance on certain aspects of technology & A.I. and his fear/disdain for advanced parts. This duality as it was laid out throughout the novel was an interesting examination because it reflected human nuance.

I wondered whether the crux of Joe’s issue was that he couldn’t conceive of existing without a purpose, why he dislikes bots so much at their early stages: because he was failing at his purpose to create completely independent A.I. that can feel and act as if human. Was it that he was failing so profoundly that the mere act of a bot being able to do its job competently a hostile act to him? What then would a human being happy in a seemingly parallel state be like?


For all that Joe had “decided” in regards to humanity and emotions vs. A.I. and emotions, his understanding of the former was an issue that nagged at me at some points and was a problem, I think, that held him back.

The Levels system in the book was certainly something. It’s basically the way that things are allocated (the Levels Acts dicate, within the book, who can get specific jobs, get married, leave the country, etc.) and the way that some side characters talked about it, even the way that Joe did at times (he was comfortable with his level, he had earned his Level…) was teeth gritting.

favorite quotes[6698]

“Joe, my degrees are not compelling reasons. Let the truth of the argument win rather than blindly accept any authority.”


An academic fiction novel that brings together A.I. science and philosophy, Unfettered Journey is a thoughtful book that brings to mind the university setting of the story itself and piques the questions within the mind of the reader themselves about the roles A.I. has in our lives now and may have in the future.

about the author - Copy


After a career in Silicon Valley, Gary pursued passion projects, studying astrophysics and philosophy. He’s spent the last two decades thinking about how to live a balanced, meaningful life in a rapidly evolving technological world. This self-reflective journey infuses his novel with insights about our future and the challenges we will face in finding purpose.

Before turning to writing speculative fiction, Gary worked in a variety of Silicon Valley tech companies. He was eBay’s Chief Financial Officer, and led the company’s initial and secondary public offerings. Gary has an MBA from Harvard Business School, and an MA in philosophy from San Francisco State University. He has two children with Cynthia, his wife of forty-three years. When not traveling the world, he raises bees and makes a nice Cabernet at the family’s Napa vineyard. He and his family live in San Francisco.

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. Quotes included are from an advanced reader copy and may not reflect the finalized copy.

All media belongs to the respective owners and is used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.


DC Blog Tour – Teen Titans: Beast Boy by Kami Garcia (author) & Gabriel Picolo (artist) – PREVIEW

Welcome to DC’s blog tour for Teen Titans: Beast Boy by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo. 👏

Among my favorite superheroes, seeing this cast of characters portrayed by one of my favorite artists has been a blessing since I picked up Teen Titans: Raven back in June (see my review here).

Now we’re in for a treat with Garfield Logan aka Beast Boy’s entry in the series. Utilizing Gabriel’s art style and Kami’s storytelling, I’m looking forward to seeing how they’ll build upon the foundation of volume one.

about the book - Copy


B & N | Bookshop | Goodreads | Indiebound | The Storygraph

Published: 1 September 2020

Publisher: DC Ink

Age Group: Young Adult

Genre(s): Graphic Novels/Fantasy/Superheros

Garfield Logan has spent his entire life being overlooked. Even in a small town like Eden, Georgia, the 17-year-old with green streaks in his hair can’t find a way to stand out–and the clock is ticking. Senior year is almost over. If Gar doesn’t find a way to impress the Chosen Ones–the social elite at Bull Creek High School–he will never know what it’s like to matter. Gar’s best friends, Stella and Tank, don’t understand why he cares what other people think. They miss their funny, pizza-loving, video game-obsessed best friend.

Then Gar accepts a wild dare out of the blue. It impresses the Chosen Ones and his social status soars. But other things are changing, too. Gar grows six inches overnight. His voice drops and, suddenly, he’s stronger and faster. He’s finally getting everything he wanted, but his newfound popularity comes at a price. Gar has to work harder to impress his new friends. The dares keep getting bigger and the stakes keep getting higher.

When Gar realizes the extent of his physical changes, he has to dig deep and face the truth about himself–and the people who truly matter–before his life spirals out of control.

about the author - Copy


Kami Garcia a #1 New York TimesUSA Today and international bestselling author and comic book writer. As an award-winning, Bram Stoker Award-nominated young adult author of 12 novels and graphic novels, she has been published in 51 countries and 38 languages and her books have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. Kami’s best known works include the Beautiful Creatures series, Teen Titans: Raven, The X-Files: Agent of Chaos, The Lovely Reckless, Broken Beautiful Hearts, and the DC Black Label comic Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity. She is also a cofounder of the Kid Lit book festival YALLFest and co-organizer of #Creators4Comics. Learn more about Kami at kamigarcia.com and follow her on Instagram and Twitter @kamigarcia.

Photo Credit: Vania Stoyanva


Gabriel Picolo is a Brazilian comic artist and illustrator based in Sao Paulo. His work has become known for its strong storytelling and atmospheric colors. Picolo has developed projects for clients such as Blizzard, BOOM! Studios, Harper Collins, and DeviantART.

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All media belongs to the respective owners and is used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

I received a copy of this book from DC Comics for review.