29 February 2016

Bluescreen

Author: Dan Wells
Series: Mirador #1
Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Buy

After the Partials series, Wells pretty much guaranteed I would give a shot to anything and everything else he writes.  I've been anticipating Bluescreen for a few months now, and it did not disappoint.

LA in 2050 is exactly what you would probably expect it to be (although, to be honest, by 2050 I would expect LA to be a wasteland due to a water crisis, but there are always technology advances that might remedy it).  Technology is key, and everyone is plugged into their devices.  Not only do smart devices reign supreme, but now they are chipped into people's brains so that you can be plugged in 24/7.

It's a scary world, and yet it is coming.  People are obsessed with social media and tweeting and checking in when they go out to eat and then taking pictures of their food or their outfits or a selfie with their dates.  The world that Wells creates feels not only possible but probable.  And the resulting issues that arise - such as the power of Bluescreen - are terrifying because I can see them happening at some point.

The plot is great.  It is fast paced with a lot of moving parts that come together well.  Romance is minimal (though the small spattering of it could have been hinted at a bit better; it feels a bit forced and disjointed when shoved into the plot), and you have a strong female lead in Marisa, who is imperfect but tries her best.  I love the parts of the novel that look into her family life and how she's a role model for her younger sister, since she is effectively the oldest child.  Mari is a great example of what I hope to see as a strong female lead in YA - though she skips school, she is intelligent.  And while she, like everyone else, is plugged in, she sees the dangers and pulls herself out.  She's protective of her family, and she tries to look out for her younger siblings, even when they annoy her.

A few parts are somewhat predictable (such as the identity of Lal) and another few are somewhat annoying (such as the tease about the accident when she was young right at the very end), but on the whole I really enjoyed Bluescreen.  This is definitely a series I will be continuing and adding to my personal connection.  This series is everything that I thought The Mortality Doctrine series should/could have been.

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