Author: Kim Curran
Who’s it for? Teens
What’s it about? Petri Quinn is counting down the days till she turns 16 and can get on GLAZE – the ultimate social network that is bringing the whole world together into one global family. But when a peaceful government protest turns into a full-blown riot with Petri shouldering the blame, she’s handed a ban. Her life is over before it’s even started.
Desperate to be a part of the hooked-up society, Petri finds an underground hacker group and gets a black market chip fitted. But this chip has a problem: it has no filter and no off switch. Petri can see everything happening on GLAZE, all the time. Including things she was never meant to see.
As her life is plunged into danger, Petri is faced with a choice. Join GLAZE… or destroy it.
[Blurb taken from Goodreads]
What’s good about it? The premise behind this is brilliant. Also frighteningly plausible, like all the best stories are. Essentially, people over the age of 16, who aren’t criminals, are chipped to make them part of Glaze. Being part of Glaze is like having Youtube, Google, Twitter and Facebook plugged directly into your brain – a constant stream of information and social media – those in Glaze are permanently in the loop. It’s an absolutely fascinating premise and it’s executed really well.
Considering how technology keeps getting smaller and more portable all the time, going from, say the Google Glass, to getting a chip implanted in your head isn’t that great a leap.
A story can’t hang on an amazing premise, however, and luckily there’s a whole host of fabulous characters along for the ride.
Starting with Petri. Petri Quinn is smart, capable, and yet still a petulant teen (at least to begin with). She’s a loner – skipping a school year means that while the rest of her class are happily connecting on Glaze, she’s on the outside, watching them message each other, send videos, and plan their social lives. It doesn’t help that her mother, ZiZi, is one of the head cheeses at WhiteInc either. I loved her interactions with Max and her mother and how her relationship with both changes – it wouldn’t be a stretch to say she’s estranged from her mother to begin with.
Then there’s Ethan. The mysterious boy who just happens to be in all the right places at the right time. Unchipped and happy for it to be that way. His backstory unfolds at just the right place, with reveals just as I wanted to know more.
Each character felt unique, with quirks and a voice of their own – regardless of how much time they appeared for. The side characters and the extras didn’t feel like placeholders or hollow people there to simply push the plot along. They felt as real as Petri did.
I also loved that while there was romance it wasn’t the focal point of the story. There’s betrayal and loss, heartbreak and fear, love and friendship and a whole host of other elements that intermingle into one great plot.
What’s bad about it? There’s still a lot of unanswered questions left at the end but there were some I would’ve liked an answer to – like what happened to the 37?
The verdict? This is a fantastic, gripping read. I could throw a lot more adjectives in there but essentially I loved this book. I couldn’t put it down and read it from start to finish in one sitting.
If you like your endings all neatly tied up, with next to nothing left unanswered you might find this a bit frustrating. The ending is delightfully messy – as it should be, it would’ve cheapened it if everything had been resolved – and though I wanted a few more answers I can understand why they weren’t given.
If you’re looking for a fluffy romance story or a light-hearted comedy I would steer clear of this, however, if you’re looking for a gripping, thought-provoking, dystopian read I would highly recommend you read Glaze. It’s brilliant.