Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Twinmaker by Sean Williams

Series: Twinmaker (bk. 1)

Genera(s): Dystopian Sci-fi/Thriller

Subjects: technology, teleportation, adventure, action, futuristic, friendship

Setting: Everywhere on Earth, but mostly in Manteca, California

POV/Tense: 3rd person past tense, Claire’s POV

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 491 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperTeen: Balzer + Bray

Summary/ product description: “M. T. Anderson meets Cory Doctorow in this teen debut from #1 New York Times bestseller Sean Williams, who also coauthors the Troubletwisters series with Garth Nix. When a coded note promises improvement—the chance to change your body any way you want, making it stronger, taller, more beautiful—Clair thinks it's too good to be true, but her best friend, Libby, falls into a deadly trap. With the help of the school freak and a mysterious stranger, Clair races against the clock and around the world to save Libby, even as every step draws her deeper into a deadly world of cover-ups and conspiracies. Action and danger fuel this near-future tale of technology, identity, and the lengths one girl will go to save her best friend.”

My Review: Twinmaker is an exciting sci-fi thriller with plenty of action. It may start off a bit slow, but it becomes more exciting as it goes along. I loved the technology in this book. Who hasn’t wished that they could instantaneously be somewhere instead of driving or walking? D-Mat booths are teleportation machines. They dematerialize you, transport your data and then rebuild you at you at the booth of you desired destination. It’s actually a bit scary, and it raises the question of whether or not it just creates a copy of you, and if you die when you use the booth.

They also have something called a Fabber. It’s a machine that can fabricate anything. You want a cup of coffee? A cheeseburger? New clothes? The fabber will create them out of energy and air! Also there’s the Air, which is like the Internet, and accessible from anywhere wirelessly. People wear contact lenses and have implants in their ear so they can be connected all the time.

All this technology is being monitored so certain things don’t go wrong. People are not allowed to be changed or duplicated. Libby receives a message about a meme called Improvement that advertises that you can be changed. She tries it and it supposedly works. Claire is worried about Libby and asks around about Improvement. She finds out that Improvement is dangerous and must find away to save her friend before Improvement kills her.

I didn’t really care much for the characters, though. I felt like they lacked much personality. Maybe’s it the 3rd person POV. There was humorous dialogue, so it was entertaining. Claire was okay. Libby was too shallow. Zep seemed like a player. I liked Jesse, though. He never used a D-mat because his dad doesn’t believe in using them. There wasn’t much romance, sadly. I liked Q, too. She helps Claire along the way.

I also didn’t liked how endlessly long the book was. Just short of 500 pages, but with no chapter separation. It had chapters, but they ended and began on the same page. This book could have easily been 600 pages if there were chapter breaks. The type itself was set well. The book was very readable and you could definitely read it pretty fast. The writing style is pretty smooth and fluid.

This book did kind of remind me of the Uglies series by Scott Westfield. Uglies didn’t have teleportation, but Improvement sounded like becoming a Pretty and the dupes were like Specials. Libby’s popularities and party obsession reminded me of Extras.  If you’re a fan of that series, then this book might be something you’d like. If you enjoy sci-fi or dystopian, then give this a try.

Cover Art Review: Interesting photo. The outfit the girl’s wearing reminds me of what people were wearing in the Capitol in the Hunger Games movies. I like how the title looks and the color scheme of blue and yellow. I think the Australian cover looks better. The double circle symbol is on it.

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