Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Sean Williams
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Improvement is just a meme—until it makes Clair’s best friend Libby go insane. With Jesse, the school outcast, and Q, the mysterious voice that speaks to her, Clair sets out to discover the truth behind Improvement and d-mat, technology that allows anyone to teleport across the world. Soon Clair joins with a group opposed to d-mat, and they lead her to Anthony Wallace, the man in charge of the d-mat technology. But Wallace is also the one behind Improvement, using it and d-mat to rule the world. Clair stops Wallace at the cost of her own life, but Q, revealed to be the daughter of the AI regulating d-mat, brings Clair back to life, an action which ends d-mat and Clair’s world itself.
As a dystopian novel, Twinmaker sets itself apart from the genre as the protagonist isn’t fighting against her society to replace it with something new; rather, her goal is to keep the world as it is. This difference in Clair’s objective when compared to protagonists of other dystopian novels is one of the book’s strongest points, making the emotions and voice within the novel distinct from other similar novels. However, while the middle of the novel pulls readers along with a fast pace, it takes the book quite a while to get any sense of movement, and at the end it slows down again. Additionally, Q explains to Clair multiple times the science behind d-mat, often in confusing terms that require rereading to fully understand, which slows the pace even further. But despite the slow place in the wrong times, the interesting world building and protagonist will help pull readers through as they follow Clair’s fight to save her world.
*Contains moderate language and moderate violence.