This one surprised me a bit. When the author contacted me, asking me to read what she described as a techno-thriller, I thought I might enjoy it. I didn't really expect to get so drawn into it, though.
Jason is the son of a brilliant but misunderstood inventor. His father invented a computer that allows people to enter a virtual world and exist in whatever reality can be programmed. As the story opens, we see that Jason and his brother love the virtual world, because it allows them more freedom an opportunities than the real world. But then, their father goes missing. At the same time, evidence links their father to an ongoing investigation of a serial killer.
If you like the Matrix, or things of that genre, you'll enjoy this book. It has that ongoing theme of uncertainty, where neither the characters nor the reader know what's real. The plot is highly engaging and well paced. The murder investigation blends well with the science fiction aspects to create a clever resolution.
Watching Jason discover the pitfalls and huge downsides to virtual reality made for excellent character development. He goes from preferring the imaginary world, to understanding that real life (though flawed) is preferable because it allows real contact with real people.
In addition to this, the book touches on subject like death, souls, and the possibility of the afterlife. It's a bit too subtle about it all, almost to the point of being to vague, but at least the ideas are there.
I did feel as though the character arc provided for the secondary characters--Boston (aka love interest), and Bruce (the detective), were most noticeably shafted in the story department. Boston goes from understandably distrusting Jason, to loving him completely. Bruce is struggling with a new marriage (to a woman who just doesn't get what she signed on for), and this also comes to a rather abrupt and ill explained resolution.
Again, if you like a little computer based sci-fi in your young adult novels, you will like this book. It's smart, fast paced, and a lot of fun. 4 stars.
Now, as an added bonus, the author has generously agreed to give away one signed copy of DiSemblance to a lucky winner! Just follow the directions on the form bellow for your chance to win. Open to all entrants. Giveaway ends September 11, and the winner will be announced shortly thereafter. Good luck!
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