Book Review: Code Word Access by Alex Schuler with Rolf Yngve

Reviewed: March 28th, 2021
Release Date: February 9th, 2021

The future is in code.

Shawn Muller is a prodigy and he knows it. It is 2051 and the militarized AI he created to hunt terrorists has begun to dominate the network that controls everything from traffic to climate. Fearful of the power of the AI he calls “Lazy Jack” and the politicians who will use it, Shawn installs an algorithm to give his creation a system of ethics.

But when that very ethical standard causes Lazy Jack to declare Shawn a profound threat to society, he is forced into terrified flight to avoid summary execution as a terrorist.


Well written, futuristic novel about a world where everything is AI driven, everyone uses a neural chip implanted in their brain, and those who do not embrace technology are persecuted as terrorists. It was a bit slow to get started, but well worth persevering. 

Shawn Muller, a naïve young man who has never experienced real life, is a genius. He lives in an artificial world, thinking he understands life. Using simulators and avatars he believes he is ‘living’ reality. He creates an all powerful AI, and gives it an ethic command demanding that all actions be for the greater good.

The book is an interesting exposition on what would happen if the AI started to learn and evolve, but without an understanding of life or emotions or real morals. Can you trust an AI to make the right decisions based on programming and protocol? And if you can’t how do you stop it before it kills you?

Shawn suddenly has to start living in the real world, as he flees his creation and finds out what reality really means.

An excellent book, keeping you engaged throughout. Quite scary when you think about smart technology and the direction it could take, and the naivety of geniuses who create because they can and not necessarily because they should.

About the Author:

Alex Schuler began his career as a Navy pilot, then developed AI software for the commercial and defense sectors. His systems have been deployed on Navy ships and submarines, as well as NASA space shuttles. Alex turned to writing exciting and accessible science-based fiction to explore the ethical and philosophical implications of the technology he helped develop. His characters question their place and purpose in a rapidly changing world of ever-more-sophisticated—and potentially dangerous—technological advances. 

Code Word Access, the first novel in Alex Schuler’s Code Word series, shot to #1 on Amazon in the sci-fi category.

An early fan of Star Trek (the original, of course), The Outer Limits, and Sigourney Weaver in the Alien movies, you might find Alex wandering the halls of ComicCon or reading a great sci-fi book under redwood trees. Which book? Maybe Dune (Frank Herbert) or Stranger in a Strange Land (Robert Heinlein).

Rolf Yngve

Rolf Yngve served 35 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy (seaman to captain). His stories have been widely published and anthologized including in Best American Short Stories. His debut story collection, Dog Watches: Stories from the Sea (Saddle Road Press) was released in 2018. He lives near, in, and on the water of Coronado, California.

You can purchase the book here:

Link to book on Amazon UK: ebook | Paperback

Link to book on Amazon US: ebook | Paperback

Link book on Amazon Canada: ebook| Paperback

As an Amazon Affiliate, I may benefit from qualifying purchases.

If you also enjoy fantasy books then you will love my Sentinal Series which is available in eBook or paperback: Sentinals Awaken. My second novel Sentinals Rising which released March 17th 2021. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.

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