Review: Bluescreen by Dan Wells

Bluescreen (Mirador, #1)
Los Angeles in 2050 is a city of open doors, as long as you have the right connections. That connection is a djinni—a smart device implanted right in a person’s head. In a world where virtually everyone is online twenty-four hours a day, this connection is like oxygen—and a world like that presents plenty of opportunities for someone who knows how to manipulate it.

Marisa Carneseca is one of those people. She might spend her days in Mirador, the small, vibrant LA neighborhood where her family owns a restaurant, but she lives on the net—going to school, playing games, hanging out, or doing things of more questionable legality with her friends Sahara and Anja. And it’s Anja who first gets her hands on Bluescreen—a virtual drug that plugs right into a person’s djinni and delivers a massive, non-chemical, completely safe high. But in this city, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, and Mari and her friends soon find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that is much bigger than they ever suspected.

Look! A hispanic main character, and double look - the girl on the cover actually looks hispanic and has a mechanical arm. It's almost a dream come true!

I think I am one of the few people who was let down by Partials - I read Partials and pushed myself into Fragments and that was so sluggish that I gave up on the series. When I requested Bluescreen I don't think I realise who the author was otherwise I may well have just not requested it at all. Thankfully, I did. I say thankfully because I really, really enjoyed Bluescreen. I was gripped from the start because of the gaming concept and despite the fact that there is quite a lot of build up before the Bluescreen 'drug' is introduced, I was really enjoying this world that Wells had created. I think part of my issue with Partials was how overly-detailed everything was and it was the same in this book except it added to this book, not detracted. I was absorbed into every aspect of Mari's world and I really enjoyed it.

Pace wise, I can't claim that this book is all go go go. There were some parts which dropped in pace and I had to push on because I knew it was going to get good, I think this book may have been a little longer than was necessary. For the most part though Bluescreen was fast paced, enjoyable and gripping. I actually found the action in the ending really gripping, but I think my favorite part is through the middle, when Mari is investigating the drug.

There are some... suggestions of romance. It isn't a big deal though. The guy who seemed a potential love interest (Saif) is a dealer of Bluescreen who joins Mari on her investigation but spoilery things happen that really throw a curveball in the works and nip that in the bud. Mari herself was a strong character though - she didn't need any man, besides - she has the Cherry Dogs, her gaming party who were like, such a brilliant supporting cast.

Overall, Bluescreen was an enjoyable book. My interest did decrease in parts but for the most part it was engaging and suspenseful and packed with action. I loved the world in this book. 

Book released 16th February 2016 by Balzer + Bray
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

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