My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Synopsis from Goodreads:
In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.
When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.
As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.
In this action-packed debut, Glitch begins an exciting new young adult trilogy.
I really enjoyed this novel- a futuristic sci-fi romance. There is a major world-explaining info-dump right at the start of the book, which I struggled to plow through, (and then instantly forgot everything that I'd just been told), but then after that, oooh, it got gooood!
The early info-dump is completely unnecessary as well, as I was surprised how quickly I accepted Zoe's world as completely regular. She plugs herself in to a community link network each day, and can insert a memory chip into the back of head- the easy flowing writing, and the focus on the characters made it seem like that was completely normal!
Zoe however, is "glitching". She keeps disengaging from the link, and missing messages and information. As she gets used to it though, she finds that she likes being able to think for herself, she notices people more clearly, and she can do things that other people can't.
Glitchers can not only choose to free themselves from the link, they can also develop different powers, and this added a very clever element to the story later. She starts to wonder if there are other glitchers out there, and if there is something bigger going on.
It is very creepy how controlled everybody else is- they are like drones- they will do their work and interact with their families but they are totally emotionless- just fed information from the link. They can erase dead family members from their memories, and they live in a peaceful, productive and fair society as stated in the community creed fed to them daily through the link, but they have no personality or real lives.
That is why the rebels seem so colourful- Adrien can pretend to be a part of the link while looking out for other glitchers, but in private he uses strange words and different vocabulary, and when he first leaves with Zoe, we see that there is a whole other society, scraping a living together and trying to escape the notice of those in power- but at least living free.
This is one of my favourite parts of the book- *warning-possible spoilers!*
"I won't remember any of this. I won't remember you." The cutting loss of the thought felt almost like a physical pain. I squeezed my eyes shut. I knew I'd only just found it- found him- but being with him felt like the single most significant thing that had ever happened to me. It wouldn't be imprinted on my memory chip, but it seemed too important a thing to be removed so simply, so permanently. How could that be? Adrien said that our humanity was a precious and unbreakable thing, but how could that be if it could be stolen away with a single piece of hardware? It wasn't fair!
I tried to bury my thoughts so I wouldn't lose this moment here with him. I couldn't think about the future or the past. All I could do was be fully present right now. I reached up a finger to trace his full lips. Tears gathered in my eyes. "You'll just be another subject in the crowd. I won't know you. I won't remember how to do this-" I lifted my lips to his.
He finally pulled away, sounding out of breath. His eyes blazed into mine with an intensity I'd never seen before.
"Listen to me, Zoe," he said, his hands resting firmly on my shoulders. "We will find each other. I will get your medicine to you. And we'll escape that shuntin' place for good this time. I'll teach you how to kiss all over again. I know it."
So starts a love triangle with a difference, as Zoe can't actually remember that she loves Adrien!
As Zoe discovers emotions and makes her own choices she also feels everything very strongly. She is very brave and cares a lot, and just wants to try and save everyone. Max is another glitcher and he is very... intense. He is not very likable, but I loved his character because of this- because he is a bit brash and possessive and mean! It made it interesting!
This was a really good book- I throroughly enjoyed being caught up in Zoe's world, and I liked the bonds between the characters as they had to all work together. A really good futuristic/ technological adventure with a heart to it. I liked the characters, the action, and the disturbing world of the story. An excellent addition to the YA science fiction genre.
Rest of the series:
Book 2- Override is due out February 2013