Title: Bluescreen (Mirador #1)
Author: Dan Wells
Synopsis: 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.
Huge thank you to HarperTeen for sending me a copy of this for review!
When I first heard about this book I was SO EXCITED! I was a huge fan of Wells’ previous series (despite having a few issues with it) and I was all HELL YEAH CYBER THRILLER. Then I started to hear some negative reviews and got a little worried…
I’ll be honest. The first 100 page or so of this? Boring and made me want to put it down. I didn’t care about the games they were playing and the whole “the only way to live is to be in a gang despite having honest ways of living that are way harder no thanks I’ll just join a gang oh shit I’m in poverty and can’t get a job now cuz I joined a gang FUCK THE GOVERNMENT” attitude was REALLY off-putting. If you have a kid and girlfriend who depend on you get a fucking job.
Thankfully once the Bluescreen drug showed up things picked up and I couldn’t put this down! I LOVED Marisa, she was really cool, smart, and actually had her shit together. I enjoyed her friends, a nice mix of rich and poor kids of all different ethnicities and talents. Sadly this book wont get thrown up there with the #weneeddiversebooks bundle because… well, reasons. But since we feel the need to point out any book with POC (deletes rant here) this one should be pointed out. Marisa’s family is Hispanic and there’s a TON of Spanish and Mexican culture in this. I’m not sure how true-to-tone it is but I’m just gonna throw that out there. Anyways, I liked all of the characters in this and hated the appropriate ones.
Also Wells’ must be some kind of Japanophile because he litters his books with obscure Japanese references that only other otaku/Japanophiles will get. Because I lived in Japan for over seven years I tend to catch them. In Partials he made them swear in Japanese. In this there were a few shout outs that I wont get into but, well played sir. I nod to you. I also wonder who else caught them?
Anyways, this book is really action packed, and a very quick read once you get to the heart of things. I will admit that I tended to skip over the parts that were “in game”. I just didn’t care that much about them. I also saw elements of some of my fav TV shows in here (Dollhouse, that Battlestar Galactica prequel that’s name I forget…) which was kinda neat. I guess this just spoke to my cyber thriller loving self. And while it started off shaky and I was going to give it a 3, I’m rounding up to a 4 because I literally read more than half of it in one sitting and only stopped because I had to sleep.
I’m very curious to see where the next book goes!