Word has got out into the blogosphere that I like to read Sci-Fi. The result? Monica Leonelle has asked me to review her book Socialpunk. (Cool title, by the way) The prologue sounded intriguing, reeling me in with a glimpse of a girl, identified only as subject number 3281, living in a dystopian world. So I agreed, even though this isn’t really a book review blog. Still, I didn’t think you’d mind. So here goes . . . my first book report since leaving high school.
SOCIALPUNK by Monica Leonelle
Cover? Hmm . . . Sorry, but it doesn’t set my heart on fire. To be honest, I wouldn’t have given it a second look. That's a shame because this books screams out for something more compelling, but I guess that’s the designer in me talking. Anyway, the story kept me reading, and I suppose that’s what counts. I read it in one sitting, not wanting to put it down.
Socialpunk is a Sci-Fi with an iRobot feel. That, by the way, is one of my favorite movies, so although Socialpunk was a little predictable, I really enjoyed it. I’m not saying the ending is iRobot because this is part of a trilogy, so who knows how it will end? But I’ll definitely be reading on to find out.
So what’s it about?
Ima (subject 3281) is a teenage girl living in The Dome. She would give anything to escape and to learn what’s beyond its barriers, but the Chicago government has kept all its citizens on lockdown ever since the Scorched Years left most of the world a desert wasteland. When a mysterious group of hooded figures enters the city unexpectedly, Ima uncovers a plot to destroy The Dome and is given the choice between escaping to a new, dangerous city or staying behind and fighting a battle she can never win.
So what did I like about it?
The characters. Ima starts off as a very shy, browbeaten kid who grows – with the help of some really hot bionic technology – into a believable heroine. And I like Vaughn, the main male protag. He also develops from a tool of the enemy to a pretty caring revolutionary. Cool. My kind of guy. The minor characters – Nasser, Dash, Ember and Nahum - are also well-fleshed out. I would like to have known more about Nahum, but again, maybe all my questions will be answered in book two - Socialmob. The story hints at a complicated love-setup in the coming books, which will no doubt have every teenage girl on the planet shouting and waving team colors. As a guy… yawn. Give me more action and more ingenious technology.
Which brings me to world-building. I could clearly see the world Leonelle was creating. And I loved that everyone’s eyes perceived the city differently, decorating it in their own unique way! So cool!
I struggled with some of the time-lines. Not to give too much away, The Dome has been in existence for only about ten years, but people have lived there long enough to have teenage kids. I didn’t get that. Maybe Socialmob will make that clearer for me. Also the girls names!!! Ima changes to Cinder. No, please no. And we have an Ember and a Smolder. That just didn’t do it for me.
Finally, like most of my school English essays, Socialpunks could have done with Erin giving it a once over to check the editing. I noticed some gaffes… and if I saw them, then it would be worth sorting that out.
Overall? I loved the futuristic tech stuff. Gripping story and I’m looking forward to Socialmob (July 2012), and Socialhood (October 2012).
Where can you get them: Amazon: http://monicaleonelle.com/SocialpunkAhttp://monicaleonelle.com/SocialpunkAhttp://monicaleonelle.com/SocialpunkA
Barnes and Noble: http://monicaleonelle.com/SocialpunkBhttp://monicaleonelle.com/SocialpunkBhttp://monicaleonelle.com/SocialpunkB
That's my posts done and dusted for a while...