Bluescreen (Mirador #1)
Balzer & Bray
February 16, 2016
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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.
Dan Wells, author of the New York Times bestselling Partials Sequence, returns with a stunning new vision of the near future—a breathless cyber-thriller where privacy is the world’s most rare resource and nothing, not even the thoughts in our heads, is safe.
I enjoyed Bluescreen on so many different levels. It was the virtual reality/gaming aspect that first appealed to me. That was only part of what I ended up liking, though.
I really liked that there was racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, language, family structure diversity throughout the book and that it was used to further display what society in 2050, in Los Angeles and beyond, was like. It wasn't a thing but part of the story. There were the rich kids, the 'street kids' as one character refers to them, there were all types of families (two parents, lots of siblings, one parent, step-parents, no parents, etc) and different characters had different roles in their families.
Everyone's (or almost everyone's) focus on and reliance on technology did a great job setting the scene for Bluescreen. You understand some of why it would appeal to certain people living then, but as an outsider it's also easier to see the potential dangers. Dan Wells did a great job having characters view the technology and even Bluescreen differently but having it fit their characters and having it believable that they were friends.
When you add in the street gangs, the drugs, the police corruption, and the mob-ish family, it was another layer to the story I hadn't expected. (But definitely enjoyed.)
It's really nice how the different pieces of technology (gaming, virtual reality, the bots, the computers, etc) are so integrated into people's lives that they almost don't think twice about them. And to see where that could be dangerous.
Bluescreen is a thrilling, creative virtual reality filled near future science fiction read. The character, the wold and that ending have me looking forward to Mirador Book 2.
Dan Wells is a thriller and science fiction writer. Born in Utah, he spent his early years reading and writing. He is he author of the Partials series (Partials, Isolation, Fragments, and Ruins), the John Cleaver series (I Am Not a Serial Killer, Mr. Monster, and I Don't Want To Kill You), and a few others (The Hollow City, A Night of Blacker Darkness, etc). He was a Campbell nomine for best new writer, and has won a Hugo award for his work on the podcast Writing Excuses; the podcast is also a multiple winner of the Parsec Award.
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