YA at its’ truest, meaning not young teens but this will appeal to the New Adult 16-20 year old market as well as those of us a little older. This is a well written and presented story of a futuristic virtual reality. When one of the main characters is dying, her brain, memories, feelings etc are uploaded. What results this has on the character, as well as her family, are given a light investigation.
My personal opinion is that more should have been explored on the impact the “virtual” sister has on the living sister as well as the emotions of dealing with not being alive – but still functioning. These items were only briefly addressed.
Aaru is the first in the series and the author may get more into the depth of those issues in future books but I felt like it was needed in the first book to keep my interest. As an author I think David Meredith is a solid 4 stars but the story did not match his writing ability.
However, don’t take my word for it. The author nicely gave me a paperback. Make a comment here on the blog and on April 8, I’ll pick a winner to receive his book (sorry only US addresses).
Rose is dying. Her body is wasted and skeletal. She is too sick and weak to move. Every day is an agony and her only hope is that death will find her swiftly before the pain grows too great to bear.
She is sixteen years old.
Rose has made peace with her fate, but her younger sister, Koren, certainly has not. Though all hope appears lost Koren convinces Rose to make one final attempt at saving her life after a mysterious man in a white lab coat approaches their family about an unorthodox and experimental procedure. A copy of Rose’s radiant mind is uploaded to a massive super computer called Aaru – a virtual paradise where the great and the righteous might live forever in an arcadian world free from pain, illness, and death. Elysian Industries is set to begin offering the service to those who can afford it and hires Koren to be their spokes-model.
Within a matter of weeks, the sisters’ faces are nationally ubiquitous, but they soon discover that neither celebrity nor immortality is as utopian as they think. Not everyone is pleased with the idea of life everlasting for sale.
What unfolds is a whirlwind of controversy, sabotage, obsession, and danger. Rose and Koren must struggle to find meaning in their chaotic new lives and at the same time hold true to each other as Aaru challenges all they ever knew about life, love, and death and everything they thought they really believed.