- The creation of a myth. I love how the author references the previous book through a group called the "Strakerites" that believe the tapes produced regarding the original software upgrade for humanity are real. The author created his own myth that the new characters could then choose to believe or disbelieve.
- The over-dependence on technology. Throughout the book we see hints at an underlying message: people are too dependent on technology, and that is NOT a good thing. At one point the narrator comments on how people share information and updates over the Link with people they don't even know just to feel connected. This is exactly how people today use sites like Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, Facebook, etc.
- The corrupted memories and ghosts. I loved the mystery of the corrupted memories and the photo "ghosts". The inventive way the corrupted memory was solved was really interesting, too, and I felt it tied back in with the previous point about over-dependence on technology really well.
- The filler chapters. I didn't care for the filler chapters throughout the book that showcased aspects of the culture like top apps, top virtual realities to visit, etc. Rather than adding to the story, I felt they just broke up the reader's train of thought.
- The re-hashing of the first book's plot. At one point, the author introduces ghosts that start appearing in photos. Then, rather than pursuing this train of thought and figuring out what in the world is going on, we follow the narrator on a completely different quest. While it is eventually revealed what was happening with these photographs, the way we arrive at that realization is boring, mostly because it is nearly identical to the plot of the first book.
"I'm needy. Something trifling like the end of the world is not a good enough excuse for you to stop calling."
Near the end of the book, the narrator's father references a book called "The Travel Diary of Lilly Dartington", which supposedly picks up right where the first book left off and talks about the experiences of those left behind in the initial software upgrade to mankind and how they deal with their new life outside of technology. I think this would have been a MUCH better choice for a second book than what we were given in "The Future We Left Behind", which could have been good, but missed the mark due to its overwhelming similarity to the first book.