Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Today's read... Disconnected by Riley Cross

After yesterday's trip into the past, I'm switching gears and heading into the distant future. This tale heads into the realm of science fiction and a dystopian world, where AIs, nanobots, coding, and all other sorts of high-tech goodness are melded into every aspect of society. There's something about the cover, which gives me a slight chill and, yet, it's intriguing enough to make me want to glance at it again and again. Plus, it gives me almost Terminator vibes...but with a more disturbing gentleness. (See, I love covers!)

Anyway, let's take a peek at this one.

by Riley Cross
Monarch Educational Services LLC
Young Adult Science Fiction
302 pages

MAY 10!!!

Chiara was born a mistake. An Anomaly. In her struggle to belong in Unity’s genetically engineered social system, Chiara finds herself in the crosshairs of Auto, the ever-watching AI.

When her parents and grandfather are killed in a series of mysterious accidents, the teen is plagued by disturbing fragments of memory that suggest the deaths were no accident. Only Kaynine, her loyal robot dog, knows for sure what happened, and Chiara must find its corrupted memory files. She is desperate for the truth even if the cost is abandoning Silas, her long-time friend and unsanctioned crush. She is on the verge of losing it all: honors-class ranking, best friend, and her dream of becoming an inventor.

The virtual realm and reality collide as Chiara’s coding skills enable her to search for answers in the Forbidden Library. And when her journey takes her past Unity’s city limits and face-to-face with other social outcasts, Chiara realizes that one girl with a book just might be dangerous enough to crash the entire system of lies.

Fans of dystopian science fiction will love the novel’s deadly plot twists as it explores the darker nature of chasing perfection.

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/75294377-disconnected
AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Disconnected-Riley-Cross/dp/195765614X
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/disconnected-riley-cross/1142839644
BOOK DEPOSITORY: https://www.bookdepository.com/Disconnected-Riley-Cross/9781957656144


High-tech rules in this exciting fight for human survival, where nothing is as it seems.

Riley is an anomaly, a child born through natural means without DNA modifications. Stranger still, she's at the top of her class. When her mother and grandfather pass away, the last year of her schooling goes downhill as she suffers from sudden seizures and memory lapses. When her teacher finds a way to block Riley's success, weird things begin to happen, and Riley begins to realize that more sinister things are happening than she could have ever imagined.

This one is packed with AI and high-tech goodness, letting a futuristic world unfold in the unique ways. The set-up of the society, at first, rings cliche and reminded a tiny bit of Divergent but only for a moment before it steered in its own direction. The book does hold a mix of familiar, dystopian elements, which set a stabile ground for dystopian fans, and at the same time, weaves an original direction to keep the reader uncertain of exactly what was going to happen next. In other words, dystopian fans who love science fiction tech are going to enjoy this one.

To say that this is fast-paced is almost an understatement. While it's not super heavy on action, there is something always happening to move the plot along. This made it a bit hard for me to sink into during the first chapters, since the plot took control and let character and world development fall a little behind...which also left Riley as a character an arm's length away. Luckily, this switches gears a few chapters in to let Riley grow more sympathetic, and the world finally settles in. Also, Riley is only thirteen when this begins...making her fourteen or so (?) at graduation. She comes across older and wiser, though, during much of the read, and is easy to root for. The rest of the characters carry interesting personalities and weave into the plot at all the right times. Throwing many of these in as AIs made for an intriguing mix. 

And there's romance, but only a little. This doesn't carry a huge drive on the plot, which I was happy to see, but adds a nice hint of hope, warmth and sweetness, which considering the cold end of tech, was a great touch.

It's a fun read once it gets going and leaves food for thought.

And here she is...

Riley Cross is a language arts educator with a penchant for all things dystopian. She teaches creative writing courses by day and turns into a coffee-fueled writer by night. Riley resides in New Jersey with her family, who graciously tolerate her need to listen to epic movie scores or country music while working on her next project.

1 comment:

Mary Aalgaard said...

You have a healthy attitude about yourself and your writing life. Congrats on completing another novel!
Thanks for co-hosting IWSG today!