Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Dan Wells
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Marisa lives in Mirador in 2050, when everyone is connected through a djinni—a device that’s implanted directly into a person’s head. Mari and her friends, Sahara and Anja, are always connected. But when Anja comes across a drug called Bluescreen that connects directly into the djinni, Mari’s carefree world begins to unravel. After an accident that nearly kills Anja while she’s plugged in to Bluescreen, Mari begins investigating the drug. She learns that the drug implants into a djinni a code which can be used to take over the mind and body of the Bluescreen user. Mari becomes embroiled in a hunt for the creators of Bluescreen and, with the help of her friends, is able to discover and take down one of the main creators of the drug. But it’s only the beginning when, after their short-lived victory, they are contacted by a mysterious handler that claims to have been playing them the whole time.
Dan Wells’ new series begins with a bang in this first novel. The world-building of this futuristic setting is really well done and highly believable. Wells crafts his world with plenty of believable technology, but the jargon can get a bit overwhelming as readers clamber through layers of unfamiliar words in order to follow Marisa and her friends through the story. Despite this, the world-building is top notch and adds a great amount of interesting creativity to the story as a whole. Marisa is a great character with lots of spunk and attitude. However, she definitely lacks quite a bit of character growth in this first installment, finishing the story as pretty much the same character that she was before the events of the novel took place. Despite some of these inadequacies, Bluescreen is a fast-paced, intriguing science-fiction novel that will definitely satisfy the palates of teen readers.
Contains mild language and some drug use.