Sunday, April 8, 2012
Socialpunk by Monica Leonelle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The premise of Socialpunk is intriguing: Ima lives in an artificial world, created as part of a project which is about to be closed down. Of course, she doesn't know this to start with, and the discovery comes as something of a shock, as does the reality of the "real" world. The details of the project, and the relationship between the two worlds, comes out gradually as the story progresses. Both worlds are well-developed, each representing a different dystopian future (from today's perspective). Unfortunately, I found the characters rather less convincing than the worlds. Every relationship feels massively accelerated, with loves and loyalties (and enmities) forming in brief seconds of acquaintance.
The plot is fun, and keeps up a good pace, but the ending is rather abrupt. This leaves everything set up ready for the sequels (the first of which is due out this summer) but at the expense of feeling like a complete novel, as lots of questions - even those raised in the prologue - aren't addressed within this one (slim) volume. So although I enjoyed the story, I wish (as so often with series) that I'd waited until they were all available to read back-to-back.
The book also needs a bit more editing, and some quirks of the writing were distracting: in particular, the author's aversion to personal pronouns (passages like "We have to get him," Cinder said to Vaughn. Cinder panicked; this messed up Cinder's plan completely are the rule rather than the exception).
Buy Socialpunk on Amazon