Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Review: Bluescreen by Dan Wells

Title: Bluescreen
Author: Dan Wells
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

Los Angeles in 2050 is a city of open doors, as long as you have the right connections. That connection is a djinni—a smart device implanted right in a person’s head. In a world where virtually everyone is online twenty-four hours a day, this connection is like oxygen—and a world like that presents plenty of opportunities for someone who knows how to manipulate it.

Marisa Carneseca is one of those people. She might spend her days in Mirador, the small, vibrant LA neighborhood where her family owns a restaurant, but she lives on the net—going to school, playing games, hanging out, or doing things of more questionable legality with her friends Sahara and Anja. And it’s Anja who first gets her hands on Bluescreen—a virtual drug that plugs right into a person’s djinni and delivers a massive, non-chemical, completely safe high. But in this city, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, and Mari and her friends soon find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that is much bigger than they ever suspected.

Dan Wells, author of the New York Times bestselling Partials Sequence, returns with a stunning new vision of the near future—a breathless cyber-thriller where privacy is the world’s most rare resource and nothing, not even the thoughts in our heads, is safe.
Review by Nara

In Mirador, Earth has evolved into a world where basically everything can be done online through a device named a djinni. Main character Marisa is someone who is quite skilled with a djinni, and together she and her friends are people who take advantage of their skills every day. But her friend Anja one day comes across a virtual drug named Bluescreen, and it's from there that the stakes get higher.

There were some aspects of the novel that were somewhat unbelievable, although I suppose that sort of issue does often arise in YA novels, where the main characters are able to do genius level things that no one else in the world can apparently do. I kind of didn't really feel attached to any of them either. Wells makes a good attempt at making the characters quite diverse, but at times I felt like that diversity was the only thing that defined them, seeing as though they weren't particularly memorable characters in general.

The plot is probably the best aspect of the novel, with there being quite a high pace and many interesting events occurring throughout. There is the mystery of the drug "Bluescreen" niggling at you initially, and when you find out more and more about the circumstances surrounding the drug, the stakes get higher and higher, meaning you find it more and more difficult to put the book down.

While I did enjoy the book overall, it definitely wasn't at the standard I expected, considering how much I enjoyed Wells' Partials series. I probably will still continue with the series, as I feel like Wells will likely be able keep my interest going in further novels.

Liked it
Overall: 6/10
Plot: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
World Building: 2.5/5
Characters: 2.5/5
Cover: 2/5