Author: Dan Wells
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Publication Date: February 16th 2016
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.
Dan Wells Partials series holds a special place in my heart, and when I saw news about Blue Screen I was so excited that the world
(me) would be getting more Dan Wells books. Blue Screen is a unique idea mixed with and an eerie look at what our future might look like if technology continues to take over.
In 2050 the world is a lot different then we know it today. Djinni is the IT thing to have. It is a computer that is implanted into your brain and you can access it through your eyes. It is everything. Your identification. Credit Card. You can unlock your house with it. Having a Djinni means you have everything right at your fingertips (Or blink of an eye?) Marisa and her friends take this to the extreme though. They are gamers and hackers. But they never expected something like Blue Screen. Blue Screen is a drug that plugs into the Djinni and offers the user a high. Only the program is a lot more dangerous then they all initially thought it to be.
The technological aspects of Blue Screen were beautifully developed and intriguing, but some of the details could be done with out. Wells explained a lot of the process and programming, but to someone who doesn't know much about computers they might as well be reading another language. You can catch the drift of what is going on but being able to fully understanding it was another thing.
As you can see on the cover, Marisa has a robotic arm. When she was two she was in a car accident that resulted in the loss of her arm. My only complaint was that: Her and Omar speak of the incident once. In a world were cars drive themselves, why was Omar's mother driving? Why was Marisa even in the car with her? It seemed to be something that was essential to the plot but was completely left out. My only hope is that it is talked about in the next books of the series.
But the good things in Blue Screen outweigh the bad things. I really enjoyed how Wells included Marisa's culture as a large aspect of the book. You tend to see in most sci-fi that there isn't much diversity in races as far as language goes, but Blue Screen is rich in Spanish vocabulary. I also enjoyed how Marisa also behaved like a teenager, she went out and partied, played video games, and hung out with her friends. She didn't have to be or pretend to be grown up. It was easier to connect with Marisa in this aspect.
Blue Screen was full of action and and shock. Just when you have everything all figured out Wells hit you with something new leaving you shocked again. I found the plot to slow a little bit at the three quarter mark, but it picked back up into the climax of the story. Blue Screen was a nice break in my contemporary reading binge, the ending was a bit of a cliffhanger, so I am really curious to see what is going to happen in book 2.