My rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Date read: November 8th, 2017
Published by Angry Robots, September 2017
Verdict: I only have myself to blame for this rating.
Life sucks and then you die…
In the near future, the elderly have moved online and now live within the computer network. But that doesn’t stop them interfering in the lives of the living, whose sole real purpose now is to maintain the vast servers which support digital Heaven. For one orphan that just isn’t enough – he wants more for himself and his sister than a life slaving away for the dead. It turns out that he’s not the only one who wants to reset the world…
I have only myself to blame for this. As I said before, I struggle with YA-Sci Fi but this sounded too intriguing to not pick it up. Also, I have been thinking, I might actually struggle with YA in general – there are brilliant books out there that I enjoy immensely, but more often than not it falls kind of flat for me. Which is a shame because it is such a varied genre with so many brilliant-sounding premises that I do not want to stop reading it completely.
This, again, has a brilliant premise: set in the future where a way has been found to upload conciousness into a digital heaven, the dead rule over the living. While they have endless time and resources to have adventures or learn more, they also have endless time to judge the living and ensure that only those who are worthy will be uploaded upon their death. I found this a clever way to deal with real life problems but the execution was lacking. I found the real and devastating consequences of a democratic system where the dead are the only ones allowed to vote were not ellaborated on enough. The living conditions were remarked on (why bother with making the world look nice if these resources can be used to built better and better servers to host the deads’ subconscience?) but the consequences for a society built only to serve the dead were left too unexplored for my taste. The book stayed superficial and repeated phrases and ideas over and over again (if I have to read the phrase “lowliest of criminals” one more time I am going to throw something; also the neologisms did not work for me: “earputer” and “The Upterlife” being the most annoying offenders).
The main character annoyed me without end; I have no idea what his thought processes were for screwing up his life (and his sister’s with it) for what looks like slightly juvenile pranks. I also did not find him or anyone in the book to be very believable.
I received an arc of this book curtesy of NetGalley and Angry Robot in exchange for an honest review.