Ahoy there me mateys! I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .
implanted (Lauren C. Teffeau)
Author: Lauren C. Teffeau
Publisher: Angry Robot
Publication Date: Tomorrow!!! (paperback/e-book)
This was a fun read that I read in one sitting. The story takes place in a domed city called New Worth where most of the society is implanted with a technological implant. The story follows Emery, a college aged student, who is about to graduate and begin working in a mundane job dealing with data organization. Only her extracurricular activities have caught the eye of a clandestine organization that transports data via couriers. The hitch – the data is carried in an encoded format in the courier’s blood. The data is set to self-destruct in less than three days so if not removed the courier ends up dead.
Emery is a fun and fierce protagonist. Besides having to be the actual mule for the data, belonging to the courier organization means that ye have to give up yer prior identity by faking yer death. Being removed from all the data of yer previous life and learning the city from a implant free standpoint is rough. Watching Emery try to reconcile the change is one of the better aspects of the novel.
The domed city has been working on revitalizing the land outside in preparation for “the Emergence” when the residents can leave the dome and start their lives anew. However there is a faction of the city that does not have implants. These people are called Disconnects and either don’t have implants because of money or circumstance. Like all places, money equals status. The more money, the higher up in the dome ye live with access to cleaner streets, more light, and more space. The Disconnects are the bottom dwellers of the dome. Literally. While I enjoyed the concept of the Disconnects, this is where the novel didn’t fare as well for me.
The first half of the book dealing with Emery and her change in circumstances was easy to follow, engaging, and fun. When she is pulled into a bad data exchange, the scope of the novel changes and becomes about the larger issues of the Disconnect and their dissatisfaction with being low-class citizens. Add into the mix the politics of the Emergence and the plot became rather messy. I wasn’t sure which groups were the “bad” guys and the political issues were rather flat and one-dimensional. Some of the outcomes were extremely predictable and yet the plot meandered in a rather odd fashion to reach these events. Plus the romance lightly discussed in the beginning becomes an additional issue. I missed the clear concise writing of the beginning.
Still I did enjoy this one and the other members of me crew seemed to have loved it.
So lastly . . .
Thank you Angry Robot!
Goodreads’ website has this to say about the novel:
The data stored in her blood can save a city on the brink… or destroy it, in this gripping cyberpunk thriller.
When college student Emery Driscoll is blackmailed into being a courier for a clandestine organisation, she’s cut off from the neural implant community which binds the domed city of New Worth together. Her new masters exploit her rare condition which allows her to carry encoded data in her blood, and train her to transport secrets throughout the troubled city. New Worth is on the brink of Emergence – freedom from the dome – but not everyone wants to leave. Then a data drop goes bad, and Emery is caught between factions: those who want her blood, and those who just want her dead.
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