My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’ve read a fair number of dystopian books. I’m a big fan of the genre, from City of Ember to Pretties to Hunger Games and everything in between. But after a while, many of them begin to blend together for me. It’s been a while since I read one that really stood out and made me take notice.
Dan Wells’ Bluescreen did that and more. For one thing, it’s not set in the distant future or on an Earth that’s gone through some horrendous world-changing disaster. It’s set in 2050, and Wells does a fantastic job of presenting what America might look like at that point, realistically. There are self driving cars everywhere, for example, and the young protagonists are shocked anyone might drive a car by hand. (It’s so dangerous! Why would they want to do that?) There are delivery drones sailing through the skies everywhere you look. Almost everyone has an internet connection built directly into their body, and the display is right in their vision.
But it’s not all bright lights and sleek chrome. The disparity between the haves and the have nots has only increased, and the main characters are stuck in lower middle class, struggling to try and stay afloat, and life is getting harder every day. The main character, Marisa, tries to help her family’s restaurant stay afloat, and also dreams of being an esports pro. Her neighborhood is run by gangs, and it looks like they’re going to get stuck between the crosshairs of a gang rivalry.
And then a new drug enters the scene: Bluescreen. You pop it directly into your brain via a USB-like drive, and it basically overloads your body, giving you a rush–and potentially destroying your life.
That’s all I’ll go over now, because I don’t want to spoil anything. I’ll just say that I enjoyed the book from start to finish. It reminded me in many ways of the movie version of Minority Report. Cool future tech displayed in a way that makes you believe it could happen. The plot is great, the characters well written.
Really, there’s nothing I can complain about. It’s a fantastic book, and I’m already halfway through the sequel. If you’re looking for a quick read, and this sounds even remotely interesting, you should give it a shot.