Unison Spark

Andy Marino. Holt, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9293-6
This far-future dystopian novel extrapolates the future of social networking, crossing it with virtual reality. Mistletoe is a 15-year-old orphan from the slums of Little Saigon beneath Eastern Seaboard City. Her world is disrupted when her guardian is killed by the police while aiding a wealthy boy her age, who has strayed beneath the canopy that separates the haves and have-nots. Ambrose, she discovers, is on the run from his father, the inventor of Unison, the powerful social network that essentially rules their world. The two soon learn that they’ve shared the same terrifying dreams and that they are both the result of a horrendous genetic experiment. Escaping the police and moving in and out of Unison, Mistletoe and Ambrose search for a way to defeat their megalomaniacal enemy. Incorporating Facebook-like elements—its pushy emphasis on friending, status updates inserted into the narrative—Marino’s first novel is well written, energetic, and inventive, though the characters are thin and the plot predictable. Still, this tale should appeal to fans of the current crop of dystopian fiction. Ages 12–up. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/26/2011
Release date: 11/01/2011
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4299-7581-0
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