Firebreak by Nicole Kornher-Stace
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was an honestly fun, if not brilliant, near-future dystopia where corporations have fully consumed one another to the point where every necessity of life, especially expensive water, is now under the company store.
Sound familiar? Well, yes, it does rather resemble our world. And the more of an oligarchy this novel becomes, with the burdens and the problems of maintaining life and sanity, the more it looks like ours.
And the story, after the all-powerful clamp down on even the smallest voices that might expose an injustice -- such as the little issue of sweeping up lost children to turn them into gaming superstars in the equivalent of a never-ending war, pretending that they are mere digital avatars, and controlling all related narratives -- the novel quickly becomes one that graduates from a cyberpunk corporate greed novel to become a full riot of rebellion. In one way or another, the core is also familiar, I'm sure. Many a YA novel has this little quirk.
So what did I think of it, overall?
It started out really well and I was quite invested. The developments later had their moments, but never quite lived up to the overall solid opening. I think I will be interested in seeing where this will go. There were simply a few areas where I lost interest in the second half, but it wasn't bad. I tend to enjoy novels like this. Gamers, cyberpunk, and rebellion.
It's worth the read.
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