Published: August 7, 2012 (St Martin's Griffin)
Source: E-ARC from the publisher
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In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.
When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.
As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.
In this action-packed debut, Glitch begins an exciting new young adult trilogy.
I went into Glitch with my expectations sky high, and for me, that may have been the root of all my problems with this novel. I refrained from reading any reviews so that my opinions were utterly my own, and not affected by anything, and I was hoping to be wowed by this sci-fi/dystopian novel by Heather Anastasiu. Instead, I was sadly, left woefully underwhelmed.
Glitch starts out with an eery, compelling premise - humanity has been freed from emotions and individual thoughts by a computer chip that keeps them in the Link. The Link is all-controlling, safe. In the Link, no one ever knows fear, love, pain, or worry. The Community decides their careers and marital partners for them, then creates their children in a lab. All of this combined sounded like it would set the stage for an amazing story, but my first problem was Zoel, or Zoe, as she thinks of herself. Despite the fact that Zoe's emerging humanity should have felt poignant, it felt flat, because - she - felt flat. I know that may seem harsh, considering in the beginning of Glitch, Zoe is another drone like everyone else, but as she wakes up and starts to feel and think for herself, I kept waiting to connect with her, and I never did. Something essential was missing there - I couldn't find a reason to like her, or to be afraid for her, happy for her...anything.
But perhaps my biggest issues with Glitch were how events happened TOO easily. Everything seemed to just fall into place, with little thought or consequences. The characters didn't have to work for any revelations or triumphs. I feel terrible for saying this, but it just all felt very lazily written, as if little time was devoted to thinking through the plot and where each event would take it. Glitch felt, to me, like a whole bunch of tropes thrown together into a loose package - unfinished, unoriginal.
However...and this is a big "however," there IS a lot of potential in Glitch. Like I mentioned above, in the second half, things start coming together, and it seemed like Anastasiu found her footing. I just wish someone had taken more time to go over the plot with her to tie things together more cohesively, and to spend more time on the characters, so that side characters like Molla, Markan, Max, and Adrien were something other than just a name, and not so darned flat.
Oh, and also...if I NEVER again hear the terms "shuntin'," "crackin'," "godlam'd" or "crackin' hell," it WILL be too soon. It is entirely possible to OVER use words, and that definitely happened here with Adrien and his slang. I'm pretty sure I could have started a drinking game for every time he used one of those fake-sounding terms.
I'm having a hard time with Glitch. I always, always tell my readers to "read for yourself," and I still have to say that one with this one. It's apparently the first book in a trilogy, and I'm REALLY wrestling with myself as to if I'll even read the sequel. I may give it a try and see if perhaps Anastasiu grows as a writer between now and then.
Other books by this author:
Override - Glitch #2 (2013, St Martin's Griffin)
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