The GoodThe desensitization
. In the Community, all the drones are tapped into ‘the Link’ and are therefore unable to feel emotion, see colors, etc. They are worker drones, and because of their lack of emotion or sensitivity to many things that make us human, they are easier to control and less prone to rebellion. This is one aspect of Anistasiu’s world that made sense and was interesting.The cyborg elements
. Everyone has panels in their forearms and USB ports on the backs of their necks which allow them to interact with the technology present in their world, but it also makes them easier to manipulate. Instead of attempting to persuade someone to do something, you simply plug a jump drive into their port and voila! Program executed and problem solved. I have read other dystopian science fiction novels that incorporate technology into the characters. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. This is one case in which I think it worked well and added an additional obstacle for the characters to overcome. Not only are they being constantly observed through cameras, they’re being constantly bombarded with information as well over ‘the Link’ and through their ports.
The BadThe fake curse words
. Usually I am a fan of authors inventing their own slang and curse words. For example, in Beth Revis’s Across the Universe series, people say, “Frex!” I love this, and it felt really natural coming out of the characters’ mouths. Anistasiu did not do such a hot job in this department. From “Godlam’d” to “shunting,” I felt like the dialog would have been better if she’d just man up and let the characters drop the f-bomb every couple pages.The plot holes
. One thing kept bothering me throughout this entire book. If everyone is plugged into ‘the Link’ and there are cameras hidden in all the hallways and common areas, why wouldn’t the Community also place cameras in bedrooms? I understand the privacy aspect, but clearly this isn’t really an issue. Security appears to be the ultimate concern and yet the characters are able to meet in bedrooms and other places completely undetected.Numerous confusing plot twists
. I am all for throwing curve balls at readers. I think it’s important when writing to give clues as to where the story is going without making the ending so predicable that there’s no reason to even finish reading the book. With this book, particularly near the end, I felt like there were so many plot twists and things you thought you knew but really didn’t that I got confused and at some point lost interest.Max
. I just hated this character. He was a horny little drama queen with attention issues and mild schizophrenia. I understand he played an important role in the book, but I really just wanted someone to kill him so I didn’t have to deal with any more of his nonsense. His motivations were very flat and he, as a character, just didn’t have a lot of depth.
This one just missed the mark with me. It felt like Anastasiu wanted to jump on the dystopian bandwagon but nothing about this book jumped out at me as being particularly engaging or unique.