AUTHOR: Heather Anastasiu
SERIES: Glitch #1
PUBLISHER: St Martin's Press
Note: An ARC of this novel was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I found Glitch to be a unique, thought provoking novel that explores one possible future for humanity. Heather Anastasiu has taken a genre that has been ripped apart a thousand times and come up with a fresh and exciting idea that I couldn’t wait to get stuck into.
Glitch is set in a dystopic future where everyone has been turned into living cyborgs by an implant in their brain. Our young heroine Zoel, better known as Zoe, has begun glitching (her brain throws off the control of the chip) and discovered that she has a dangerous secret; the power of telekinesis. Trying not to get caught and risk ‘deactivation’, Zoe has to navigate the world of colours and emotions whilst becoming entangled with the Rez, a secret resistance that plots to overthrow the Community.
Zoe was instantly unique in that every new emotion was a complete revelation to her. I wasn’t entirely sure that first person narrative was a good choice for this, but the author did a good job of differentiating between when Zoe was ‘linked’ and when she was glitching, her emotions taking a back seat to the clean, factual presence of the Link. That being said, sometime Zoe’s reactions seemed too bland for one who had never felt emotion before, more like; ‘oh, what’s this? Anger? Rightio.’
However, the idea behind all of this was fascinating. The history of the Community and the Nuclear Holocaust effectively gives a clearer picture of this new society and the motives behind it. Anastasiu has taken lengths to make the plot more believable than other dystopias, and whilst most people wouldn’t have the knowledge to check it certainly sounds very plausible. But, the novel tended to stray away from this key plot material and instead focus of the continual angst that was brewing between Zoe, Adrien, and Max.
Now, I am not a fan of love triangles, no matter who writes them. And for me, this triangle was all wrong. Firstly, Max’s constant exclamations of undying love and passion for Zoe were just…awkward. If anything, it showed how differently both characters reacted to glitching, and I felt slightly sorry for Max, so desperate for something that Zoe clearly did not understand. Maybe this was intentional, but I can only hope that Max manages to tame his raging hormones for the next book.
And Adrien? Yes, he was sweet, selfless, and fighting for the greater good, but he played a role that I’ve read too many times. The classic character of the brooding, dark haired resistance fighter is just too stereotyped, and it didn’t help that Zoe seemed to follow him around like a helpless puppy. There were times when she held a strong value, like her constant declarations of ‘we must free all glitchers!’, but a few words and a vulnerable glance from Adrien and it would be crushed.
However, don’t lose heart, Glitch was a promising start to a new trilogy with several interesting points that I can’t wait to learn more about. There may have been a few bumps in the road, but I can only retain my hope that they will be smoothed out in due course.