Friday, December 2, 2016

Bluescreen (Mirador Book 1) by Dan Wells

Bluescreen is the first book in the YA dystopian series, Mirador. In Los Angeles in the year 2050, the world is controlled by robots, and almost everyone has a djinni. A djinni is basically a chip that is implanted in your head. Imagine putting the smartest computer in the world inside your brain. That's basically what it is, and for the people who have it, being online is their life. They can literally "plug in" to a virtual world and be anything they want. The problem? Privacy is a thing of the past, and everyone can find out anything, especially if they can code. 

Marisa Carneseca is a genius coder. She can hack basically anything, and get anything that she wants. Normally, she is just a normal girl who helps out in her family's restaurant and goes to school and hangs out with her friends online. Everything changes when her friend Anja gets her hands on a new drug called Bluescreen. It plugs into your djinni, and gives you a temporary "high". The problem is that then the user passes out and then sleepwalks for 10 minutes. When Marisa investigates the code written for it, she finds a secret that lands herself in a conspiracy that threatens everyone in the world, and she knows that she has to stop it.
 
I think that the year this book takes place is very unrealistic. 2050 is only 34 years later than we are currently, and to have robots and chips to implant in your head and all this technology would be pretty impossible to happen in that amount of time. In the book the cars are basically the same as what we have here. In a world with robots and virtual worlds they still have normal cars. Somehow I find that strange.

Also, the language was hard to understand. Not in the sense of reading level, but so much information is just thrown at the reader that it is hard to understand. There were so many names of things that I kept having to stop and try to remember what it is. No background information is given about anything, and a reader has to constantly infer. The characters are not very memorable. There is so much technology that it completely takes away from who the people actually are. I just read the book, and when I think of the characters, I literally have to think for a few seconds to remember who they are. That should not happen! 

However, there were a lot of things in the book that I love! For one, the cover. The cover gives a really cool look into the story. The character on the cover is Marisa, because of the robotic arm that she got after a car accident. One can obviously tell how she is feeling, and if you look closely, you can see streaks of electricity on the buildings and in the air in the background. The detail on her clothes and on the buildings is really quite amazing. 

The pace and plot were how every writer should write their books. The pace was perfect. It escalated in the right moments and deescalated where it should have. Right were I would go "wait, what???" Then it would actually slow down for a page so the reader can process what happened. There were a lot of twists that I never saw coming, especially with the different characters being evil or good. The sense of betrayal was convincing and fit in perfectly. 

The book also teaches how dangerous technology and social media can be. Everything can be tracked and you cannot delete every trace of what you post or take it back. What you post on chat rooms, anything can still be seen and traced and hacked. The book was basically a very escalated version of what can happen, and gives a painful reminder about what coders can really do. 

The setting was incredible, and I was able to follow and picture all of the settings. They went a lot of places, and I vividly remember every single one. The ending was a cliffhanger and it was not. It was in the fact that it left room for another book (which is coming) but it still gives an ending to the book and leaves the adventure with a satisfying ending.

I am quite torn about his book, so I will recommend it and readers can judge for themselves. The second book, Ones and Zeroes, will be published on February 14, 2017. I will be reading it!

Title: Bluescreen (Mirador Book 1)
Author: Dan Wells
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Pages: 352 pages
Series: Yes, book 1
Rating: 3 Stars

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