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Saturdays in Books

Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.

Currently reading

The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent
Kathryn Morrow, James K. Morrow
Acid - Emma Pass This is an epic level of mediocre packaged with a summary that is half outright lies and half willful misrepresentation. Seriously, the mystery hinted at on the back cover isn't something the main character thinks is a mystery, and is solved in a single paragraph on the same page it's introduced to her. Well past the 300 page mark.

Also, there's never any reason given for her to have been in an all male prison. Ever. It's scarier than one with a mixed population? Or prison rape doesn't happen in women's prisons? (Not that it happens in this book. This is good, clean YA - where teenagers share beds without moving past hand holding.)

Pass hits the highlights for most of the classic dystopias you were forced to read in high school, but with less effective regimes. Remember how Winston Smith had a single place in his apartment that he didn't think his screen could monitor him from? Under Acid's rule, citizens are advised to keep their screens on for so many hours a day, and the indication is that they just monitor power usage, and only if they get suspicious. Which strikes me as odd since the current day best selling console peripheral is already capable of better surveillance than Orwell described. The UAV's and helicopters described are just idiotic in terms of both usage and design. Of course, while hardware and software technology levels will have fallen over the next hundred years, you can now get extensive plastic surgery, to include changing hair color and texture and eye color, seemingly overnight with no swelling and very short recovery periods.

Also, apparently everyone gets married and starts working at 17, so we have a society devoid of individuals with higher education. That probably explains pretty much every issue I have with the oddness of their society and how dumb and ineffective the supposedly "brutal, controlling police force in history" is. Though, how the hell has their biomedical engineering gotten so fab?

It's not actually terrible, just kind of bland and not as advertised. Some of the action sequences are even fun. Pass misses an opportunity for delving into some interesting territory on the nature of identity in favor of . . . getting to kiss a boy.


I guess at least there's no love triangle?

God how my standards have been lowered.