Well, that was… okay.
This was another audiobook that my husband and I listened to on our recent trip. This was a going-home book rather than a going-on-vacation book, and I don’t know if that made it more “meh” for me or what. I was at least as happy to be going home as I had been to be going on vacation, but I was also exhausted from three weeks of action.
Because this book should have hit all my hot buttons. YA, sci-fi, female lead character who is kind of badass, mystery, suspense, AI, the internets… I should have loved it. But it was just kind of okay.
I did learn about some interesting technology from the main character, a teenage girl who happens to have congenital blindness. For example, she has a USB braille reader. That’s pretty damn cool. I had to google it to find out what it actually looked like. And huzzah to any book that inspires me to google.
Very cool, yeah?
Okay, so while our protagonist has been through multiple procedures and trials in the past, eye examinations, all sorts of things, there’s a fella in Japan who is doing some experimental things with implants in the eye that digitize data and send it to the brain, basically unscrambling the crazy signals that get sent crosswise and cause her blindness.
But when she gets said implant (oh the description of this is icky. I would have skimmed it had I not been listening via audiobook!) weird stuff starts to happen. Somehow, apparently by magic because it is never really explained in a way that makes sense, she sees the internet. And in seeing the internet, she discovers a life form just coming into being.
“Not darkness, for that implies an understanding of light. Not silence, for that suggests a familiarity with sound. Not loneliness, for that requires knowledge of others. But still, faintly, so tenuous that if it were any less it wouldn’t exist at all: awareness. Nothing more than that. Just awareness—a vague, ethereal sense of being. Being . . . but not becoming. No marking of time, no past or future—only an endless, featureless now, and, just barely there in that boundless moment, inchoate and raw, the dawning of perception . . .”
So, the writing here is okay. The story is okay, although there are some plotlines that had pretty big holes. Like could-drive-through-them-with-a-semi holes. A lot of stuff in this book is out of date. I mean, it’s only six years old, but the world moves fast these days, which can make books like this outdated really, really fast. The voice of the teenage girl is a little strange… strained perhaps. It isn’t always natural or believable. So, overall, it’s an okay book. Not more or less.