The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Freedom and Slavery, as written by one of the most dauntless minds in literature, today. :)
Of course, it's also a very clever novel of freedom and slavery, written within a couple of very interesting premises, but by this point, I'm willing to assume that this great author is always going to push the hell out of boundaries.
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August brought out being different lives by reliving the whole damn life within one person, and Touch polarized the concept of identity by hopping from body to body while always being the core someone within, and The Sudden Appearance of Hope turns it all around once again.
What are the real consequences of living a life where no one can remember you? Turn thief, hacker, and be endlessly jealous of others who can at least have some way to define themselves by how others perceive them? This premise is much bigger than it first appears. This isn't a super-power or a mild tale of the invisible woman. Hope is a complicated and rather brilliant woman who is absolutely free to do whatever she wants except for the one thing that's denied her. Home, Love, and Hope.
The second wonderful premise is the idea of Perfection. Think about a social app on steroids that makes facebook look away in shame, that pushes each user to to become their better selves with recommendations and rewards that gets so big that the whole damn world is enraptured by it... even if it is Culture As Pure Marketing, soulless and enslaved.
Hope is the diametric opposite of Perfection, and most of the novel is a dance between both of these ideas. It's a thriller and an introspective and horrifying SF all at once. And it's deep. Very deep. I can't recommend this tale enough. It's very much a social tale and one that revolves around identity, but it also has a good deal of Tor browsers and high-tech theft, too, so I personally thought it was fun as freaking hell. :) Tour de force. :)
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