Parole sucks. Some drug has given everyone super powers and they are now looked over by SkEye, a mass surveillance system that kills anyone who disagrees with the main authority that put everyone in Parole. On top of that, everything is literally crumbling, with entire buildings and blocks sometimes disappearing. Oh yea, and the entire undercity is on fire. Like I said, Parole sucks.
But all is not lost. In the midst of this are a group of people who fight relentlessly against the dark.
When I first found this book, it was billed as a good book for finding hope when everything looks bad, which, I mean given that I’m in the United States at the moment *gestures broadly*.
Needless to say it appealed to me. It was also billed as a book with good Asexual representation, which is lacking in books I’ve read. But what did I actually think?
I absolutely loved this book. More, I needed this book right now. Even outside of representation, the image of so many people fighting relentlessly in a hopelessly dark situation filled me. With the relentless passion of the complex cast of characters and quotes such as “So I can either cry and scream and self-destruct and live in fear, or I can live in that love and do as much good as I can.” Which I would consider for my first tattoo if I got one, or “There is enough air.” Which I know someone has tattooed on their arm.
The relentless pursuit of a better world in the face of darkness was uplifting and inspiring. The characters themselves were all complex and real. The fighters had flaws and struggles, none of them were perfect and all of them had doubts. Even the characters who had done horrible things in their past or were the antagonists were complex and real and conflicted.
The plot was thrilling and intense and the worse things get the more you just want everyone to get out and live a better life. The plot twists are great as well.
As far as themes and representation, wow. Poly rep, transgender rep, Ace rep, disabled rep and probably more that I’m forgetting or missed. It’s all done wonderfully and wrapped up in themes of found family, identity and the resiliency of humanity in the face of evil.
This book was a fantastic first installment to the trilogy this will be a part of and I would recommend this to fans of Biopunk, dystopia, or anyone who needs a burst of hope in the darkness.