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.
Three and a half stars: An exciting, fast paced read with plenty of twists, but the world building lacked detail.
Marissa high fives her friends in the virtual world after their latest online gaming victory. Then it is time to return to the read world to face school. Marissa lives in Los Angeles in the year 2050. LA is a sprawling metropolis, bigger than some of the smallest states. Life here is tough, as there are gangs, crime and drugs. For Marissa, life is all about being connected to the virtual world courtesy of her djinni. A djinni is a smart device implanted right into the brain, allowing the user to be constantly connected to the Internet. Unfortunately, there is a new drug on the street called Bluescreen. At first it appears to be a harmless virtual drug, that gives the user a blissful high without chemicals, but when one of Marissa's closest friends uses the drug, Marissa learns that there are some serious repercussions. Who is behind Bluescreen and what are their intentions?
What I Liked:
- Bluescreen is a book that kept me glued to the pages. I loved the futuristic world, the computer hacking, the action and danger, and the jaw dropping finale with its twists and revelations. If you want a adrenaline packed read full of futuristic tech devices and an exciting plot, this is one to try.
- I liked the futuristic world Mr. Wells created. In 2050, humans have moved beyond carrying smart phones. These days, the Internet is implanted directly into their head with a device called a djinni. That way one can be connected to the Internet 24 hours a day. I liked all the tech stuff, and I enjoyed the world.
- Marissa, the main character, is a smart and savvy teen who is a genius when it comes to computers. Marissa can hack practically anything. Marissa has a tight knit group of friends both in the real world and online who come to her aid and her help her when danger strikes. I loved watching the group hack together. I did have some niggles, but for the most part, I liked the characters.
- I liked exploring Bluescreen. In the future, a new drug hits the streets. Instead of users getting a chemical high with a traditional drug, Bluescreen is delivered via a drive which is input into the user's djinni. The Bluescreen drive uploads a quick high, which seems harmless, but of course, there are some sinister consequences. When the truth was revealed about Bluescreen, I was horrified. Scary stuff.
- I loved the fast pace of the book. The story is riveting and it doesn't let up. If you like books with lots of action and danger, this is a read you should try.
- The ending is fast and chaotic with plenty of stunning developments. There were some big surprises, a couple which I didn't see coming. After the dust settles, it seems like everything is going to end in a happy spot, but then there is another revelation that left me eager for more. Not really a cliffhanger, but the author drops a tantalizing lead right at the end for the next book.
And The Not So Much:
- What held this one back for me, was that I felt like the world building was a bit weak. You are thrown into a LA in the year 2050. You get the bare bones of what is going on, such as life isn't so easy, there is crime and poverty. Gangs rule the streets, forcing business owners into a mafia relationship. Beyond that, though, I had little idea of what the world was like. There was mentions that the government was corrupt. What happened to the United States government? Had there been any world conflicts? I wanted a bit more depth and detail as far as the state of the world.
- I was bothered by the whole concept of the djinni. You get this cursory explanation that a djinni is a smart device implanted into the brain, and there are plug ins into the skull, but that is about it. I felt a little lost. I wanted a better understanding of the djinni. How were they implanted into the brain? How did they work? Were they easily accessible? What was the cost? At what age do people get a djinni? I wished that there was more detail on the djinni, especially since they were so important. I also didn't have a clear understanding of what the VR parlors were.
- I was a bit put off by some of the unnecessary details. For instance, the author went into lengthy descriptions. when it came to what the girls were wearing. I could have cared less about their attire. I was more interested in learning more about the world and the djinni.
- Even though I liked the characters, I did struggle a bit with Marrisa's blatant disregard for rules, and I didn't like that she was disrespectful to her parents. She comes off as spoiled. Speaking of spoiled, Anya was the character that I didn't like. She is wealthy, and she takes the Bluescreen without any hesitation. I was annoyed by Sahara as well because she constantly had small robots following her and filming everything she did for a webcast. Ugh!
Bluescreen was a fast paced, futuristic read with plenty of high tech computer stuff. I enjoyed the story and the characters, but I struggled a tiny bit with the world building. Still it was a solid read, and I won't hesitate to grab the next book.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.