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How would you feel if I could read your mind?
If I could see every thought you had, your deepest desires and all your motives for doing the things you do each day?
Would you feel violated? What if you could see the same in me? Would our shared insight into each other be a blessing? Could we finally know if we could really trust each other?
Now, imagine if everyone in the whole world could do that, read and share each other’s thoughts. How would that make you feel?
How would it make you feel if you were one of only a handful of people who couldn’t?
Sixteen year old Kira is struggling through her teenage years (which we all know was hard enough on its own) but she’s also dealing with the fact that she can’t read minds and share her thoughts. She’s one of the lowest classes of people, an untrustworthy ‘Zero’.
This isolation instantly endeared me to Kira. Anyone who was ostracized throughout school would probably be able to relate to what Kira goes through at school. This was a great ploy by Susan to make you feel something for Kira. It’s too often when reading we might not quite feel for the characters.
That is almost where my attachment to the characters ended. ALMOST…
I liked Raf, but the other characters just didn’t mean anything to me. There’s a scene where the reader should be gutted; snot-covered face and bright red puffy eyes and all, yet I was not. Not even a sniffle or a single tear was shed. This was because I didn’t really care for most of the characters. If there was one thing I’d like to see Susan work on, it’d be the characterisation of the other characters so that the reader can connect with them more.
The story unfolds quite quickly and leads to the revelation that Kira is actually not a ‘Zero’, but a ‘Jacker’. Inevitably, things get out of control; Kira ends up in a world of trouble and makes a tonne of small and large mistakes that progress the story.
Some of her decisions were a little silly and I didn’t really think they were plausible, or even rational, but generally speaking, the way the story progressed made logical sense to me. If you keep in mind that this is set in the future (2110) you can just imagine what the world would be like, Susan did well building a sense of futurism into the story. I would have liked a little more exploration into the science behind how humanity got to where it is in the story, but it worked as it is, if you take it as some light entertainment and don’t take the whole thing too seriously.
I was a little confused with some of the new terms used to describe other words (mesh, pravers etc) but after reading them a couple of times and looking at context it became apparent what they were meant to mean. I think a glossary would be useful just to help readers getting frustrated when it doesn’t immediately become obvious what the words mean.
Pick this one up if you like the Young Adult genre or enjoy less science-y dystopian themes. The language used is quite young, more aimed to young adults rather than adults who enjoy the Young Adult genre, so if you don’t enjoy that style of language, perhaps steer clear or go in knowing it’s not really skewed to adults.
I would probably describe this as a mix of the Hunger Games, Alias and The Secret World of Alex Mack.
A few things I noticed:
Chapter 28: He'd had (delete had) been beaten...
Chapter 33: make him to (delete to) tell me...
**Note: I received an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**