Thursday, April 19, 2012
Socialpunk by Monica Leonelle
Ima would give anything to escape The Dome and learn what’s beyond its barriers, but the Chicago government has kept all its citizens on lockdown ever since the Scorched Years left most of the world a desert wasteland. When a mysterious group of hooded figures enters the city unexpectedly, Ima uncovers a plot to destroy The Dome and is given the choice between escaping to a new, dangerous city or staying behind and fighting a battle she can never win.
I actually received this as an ebook from the author for a blog tour thing. I'm going to keep this review short-ish. Socialpunk is a very quick and interesting read. Having read a book with domes earlier (Pure by Julianna Baggot) I was quite excited to try another and was pleasantly surprised. Socialpunk doesn't really centre on the idea of the Dome, rather it uses the idea to develop others, if that makes sense. You find out that things aren't at all what they seem and that there are hidden experiments and secret operations everywhere.
The characters of the books were all very different, and mysterious, too mysterious. You don't really know anything about them, you read about them of course. You just don’t know them that well but I think that was because the book was so short. Ima, the protagonist of the book is very shy and, what I first thought, a bit of a pushover. What I like is that she goes on to become stronger, more leader-like and brave.
I think that Vaughn's supposed to be the other semi-main character but again he's just so mysterious. He just happens to appear in Ima's life and shake things up. I would have liked some more background on him and the other characters, especially Nahum who I first thought would play a larger role but again, I don't know anything about him. I know I'm repeating myself so just ignore me :)
Hmm… I really enjoyed the prologue which set a very mysterious mood and really had me eager to start the book. I thought the starting of the book was very different and again I felt like I'd just flipped to the middle of a book without any idea what was going on, things were explained as I progressed but not nearly enough to have me satisfied. The storyline was very original, excluding the occasional cliché, but again a bit rushed, I think things would have been a tad better if the book was longer, there would have been a lot more space to build up the suspense.
I had a bit of a problem with the ending though. It was different yes, and I'm not sure what it was meant to be, a cliff hanger of a sort? Still, I didn't like it. It was abrupt without any sort of lead up, it kind of just popped up just when things were starting to get interesting and left me sitting there gaping:
"Wha?! Where is the next page?" trust me, I swiped at my ipod several times to see the next page but to no avail…
Socialpunk was a very interesting blend of the dystopian genre with a touch of science and tech. It made an overall very exciting read, especially with the original way Monica Leonelle created the world, I'll definitely have to take a look at Socialmob when it's released.
About the Author:
Monica Leonelle is a well-known digital media strategist and the author of three novels. She blogs at Prose on Fire (http://proseonfire.com) and shares her writing and social media knowledge with other bloggers and authors through her Free Writer Toolkit (http://proseonfire.com/free-writer-toolkit).
Interview with the author:
Now we have an quick interview with Monica Leonelle :)
1. When you wrote Socialpunk, did you have a specific character that you felt you could relate to?
I would have to say Ima, as she's the main character and the book is told entirely from her point of view. What I love about her is how much she changes from the beginning of the book to the end. She feels very guilty and is constantly struggling with right vs. wrong. She's probably one of my favorite characters out of all the ones I've written.
2. What inspired you to write Socialpunk
Socialpunk is a bit like The Truman Show meets The Terminator, except Mark Zuckerburg is president of the world. I wanted to do a cyberpunk and Socialpunk is classically cyberpunk, down to its roots. I loved the idea of being trapped in a virtual reality, and then acclimating to the real world.
3. What is your favourite dessert/ food?
I have an affinity for anything with brownies or apple pie in it. Tiramisu is also a fav.
4. Because the blog is called Far Past Midnight, have you ever read a book so good that you stayed up until the wee hours of dawn to finish it?
The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, the Twilight series, the Mortal Instruments... yeah, if I find a good book I really have trouble putting it down.
5. Finally, if you could become part of any book for a day, which book would you choose and what character would you be?
Without question, the Harry Potter world. It's so brilliant! I also love the shadowhunters world from Cassandra Clare. I know I keep mentioning the same books over and over again... I guess everyone knows my favorites now!
Thank you for the interview!
Now you're probably thinking "Where can I get this?" look no further! the links are below ;) if you want to have a little taste of the book, an excerpt is below.
Where to buy:
Barnes and Noble: http://monicaleonelle.com/SocialpunkB
After playing God for six years with the world he created, he couldn’t control any of his subjects, none at all. Over the years, he had watched them evolve and become the sum of their own choices rather than the sum of his; and for that, he regretted ever giving them life.
A small, blinking red light from just inside his eyelid reminded him of the news they sent him earlier that morning. The company had cancelled his funding and would shut down his project within three months. According to them, the project cost too much and took up too much space, and the inconclusive results couldn’t be published reputably, now or in the future.
Six years of his work, tens of thousands of lives at stake—and he could do nothing to save any of it. He bowed his head, letting his chin rest on the rim of his breakfast smoothie. The smoothie reeked of powder—crushed pills—but he supposed he had better get used to it. He wouldn’t be able to afford the luxury of real food after they canned him.
He closed his eyes and called up the camera view of one of his favorites, number 3281. She fascinated him; he couldn’t deny it. When he had designed her, her pre-teen rebelliousness lit fire in her eyes. A survivor, he’d thought. He’d meant for her to have it all—to grow up, to get married to the love of her life, and to have a beautiful family of her own someday.
But he had only given her sadness so far. Instead of creating a strict father, he had given her an abusive one. Instead of creating a loving boyfriend, he had given her a friend who could never love her. And instead of creating a strong, proud mother, he had given her a meek one, who watched the whole thing unfold and did nothing about it.
He looked at his last and final creation sitting in the chair across from him—his own son, not awakened yet. The law forbade him to have any children of his own, so this boy would substitute.
But he had done the unthinkable with this creation—he had bestowed on it his own thoughts, emotions, and decision-making processes. He’d given the boy his own mind, his own physical characteristics, his own wants and desires.
He had never done so with any of the others because of the dangers of investing too heavily in any one of his subjects. But who could he kid? He had not stayed objective thus far, watching some of his subjects more closely than others, wishing for the happiness of some at the expense of others. He had become an abomination, a monster of his own doing, who had created subjects only to watch them suffer.
He couldn’t forgive himself; not now, not ever. His eyes lingered on the vial that sat next to his breakfast smoothie, that he’d stowed away for the day when they destroyed all his work, his entire world. He would save it, tuck it away for now, for as long as he could protect them. When things spun out of his control, he would drink it and end himself the way he had ended them.
In the ancient stories, gods frequently gave their sons as gifts. Now, he would give his son as a gift to her, number 3281. So she could be happy in her last months on earth, before they destroyed her with the rest of them.
Now here's something exciting, Monica Leonelle is holding a giveaway which you can enter by using the Rafflecopter below. Bon chance!
a Rafflecopter giveaway