Sunday, January 16, 2011


Humanity, like computers, can be upgraded. And old versions disappear. . . .

At some unspecified point in the future, when technology is as advanced as possible and we are a race of super beings, some old audio tapes are discovered. On the tapes is the story of fourteen-year-old Kyle Straker.

Hypnotized, Kyle missed the upgrade of humanity to 1.0. He isn't compatible with our new technology. And through the recording, he narrates what the upgrades really mean. And it's absolutely terrifying.

Beth says 3.5 Stars...

I'm rather divided about this novel. It had a really interesting premise, and once it got going was very good. The main issue was that it took about two thirds of the book to get going. The formatting was very fun with random little side notes throughout describing the world that the book is written in. The asides provided just as much insight as the text until late in the book and turned out to be helpful in the beginning. My personal favorite was one about reality television and it's ridiculousness. Some of the slang I didn't quite understand as this is a British novel, but the notes helped to explain some references that otherwise would have been lost on me. The pacing was the biggest problem because the ideas were definitely there and the writing was of a decent quality. I just didn't get sucked into it until the end.

Kyle was definitely a passable main character. He had enough depth to make him slightly intriguing, but because of the shortness of the novel he couldn't grow as much as I would have wished. I will say that there was some character development, but he was always relatively mature. The supporting cast of characters was very limited because of the very premise of the book. Lilly was mediocre and didn't really interest me very much; I found the main adults more fascinating. The chemistry between Kyle and Lilly fell flat and went nowhere.

Overall I think that this book really had potential that it failed to live up to. If you can make it through the first part of the book it's definitely worthwhile for the questions it asks. This is a debut, so if Lancaster can solve his pacing problems I could see some stellar novels coming from him in the future. If you want some thought-provoking sci-fi grab this one when it hits shelves in March.
Book from Publisher


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