A thinly, really thinly, veiled stab at Amazon is located in The Warehouse.
The Black Friday Massacres drive people to shop increasingly online. The Cloud (ahem, Amazon) picks up the slack and becomes the world’s biggest employer. It opens modern factory towns, called MotherClouds, worldwide where workers use their money to pay for rent and food.
In the distribution centers, drones make deliveries easy. However, automated watches and shelves make the pickers’ jobs untenable and injuries common. Enter industrial spy, Zinnia, who is trying to determine if the Cloud is faking its “fully green” environmental policy to grab valuable government incentives.
I have a nephew and a niece who used to work as pickers at Amazon. They had talked about the inability to reach the bathrooms during breaks and the hectic work schedule required to avoid getting fired (though both eventually were let go). In addition, my job went on a tour of the Amazon warehouse in town. I’m part of the County’s Purchasing Department but it appears anyone can request a tour. I have seen all of the moving shelves (currently just on wheels—not automated bugs like in the book but I’m sure someone is testing the bugs at some other Amazon warehouse). I have seen the frantic pace of the pickers and boxers.
Maybe it is because I knew too much about Amazon, but I didn’t like The Warehouse. There wasn’t much new to me and I think the author could have pushed it to a more absurd level. This book felt like it was projecting only about a year into the real Amazon’s future. I had some high hopes but this was a miss for me. However, I am still giving it 3 stars because the writing was good and the characters seemed genuine.
Thanks to Crown Publishing and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.