Ahoy there me mateys! I received this young adult sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .
catfishing on catnet (Naomi Kritzer)
Title: catfishing on catnet
Author: Naomi Kritzer
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: TODAY!! (paperback/e-book)
I have only read two of Naomi Kritzer’s shorter length stories. One was the “The Thing About Ghost Stories” which was nominated for the 2019 Hugo for novelettes. The other was “Cat Pictures Please” which won the 2016 Locus and Hugo awards for best short story. This book ties into the 2016 story.
Steph and her mom have been on the run from her father for her entire life. This involves moving every six months with Steph having to change schools. Steph has no close friends in real life. Her only constant is an online group of friends, a clowder, on CatNet. CatNet’s appeal is that it revolves around sharing animal pictures – especially cat related ones. What no ones knows is that the site is run by an AI in hiding called CheshireCat. Steph’s life in her newest town is surprisingly good until the past comes out to get her. The clowder and the AI are her only hope of survival.
This is a cute and quick story. Of course me favourite character is the AI but I did like Steph as the main protagonist. The plot is rather silly but I did enjoy the diversity and friendships involved. Besides Steph and her new best friend, I did think that the secondary characters were rather two-dimensional. The plot takes some suspension of disbelief especially for the climax and ending. I would consider this a decent popcorn book even if it be a bit forgettable in the long run. The ending does hint at a potential sequel. I wouldn’t mind one. Arrr!
So lastly . . .
Thank you Tor Teen!
Side note: I have to admit that the cover doesn’t thrill me. Also Sci-Fi Month is hosted by Matey Lisa of Dear Geek Place and Matey Imyril of One More. Check out their blog links for more info and join the fun!
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
How much does the internet know about YOU? A thought-provoking near future YA thriller that could not be more timely as it explores issues of online privacy, artificial intelligence, and the power and perils of social networks.
Because her mom is always on the move, Steph hasn’t lived anyplace longer than six months. Her only constant is an online community called CatNet—a social media site where users upload cat pictures—a place she knows she is welcome. What Steph doesn’t know is that the admin of the site, CheshireCat, is a sentient A.I.
When a threat from Steph’s past catches up to her and ChesireCat’s existence is discovered by outsiders, it’s up to Steph and her friends, both online and IRL, to save her.
Catfishing on CatNet is a surprising, heartfelt near-future YA thriller by award-winning author Naomi Kritzer, whose short story “Cat Pictures Please” won the Hugo Award and Locus Award and was a finalist for the Nebula.
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