I have a confession to make: I’ve never seen a Bruce Lee movie start to finish. I saw Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, and loved it, but I think I was born too late to really appreciate Lee’s groundbreaking work. Instead, I was raised on a steady diet of American-made ninja movies, like Pray for Death and the aptly named American Ninja. Then came the Once Upon a Time in China movies with Jet Li and Iron Monkey with Donnie Yen. And of course, there was Jackie Chan.
Things not as they appear… Veneer depicts a future where kids learn at a young age to manipulate their surroundings. Nothing is quite as it seems. If someone doesn’t like the way their face looks, they veneer it. Old buildings are veneered to look new again. And on and on. Everything looks great, but obviously there are cracks beneath the surface. What happens when someone loses their ability to see the veneer at at all? I’m not even that big on sci-fi normally, but I really enjoyed this book. Veneer has a very creative concept that is a reflection of our society today. With the constant Photoshopping of everything these days, this setting hits uncomfortably close to home, in a good way. The characters, several groups of high school students, gradually put together the pieces of what’s going on, and I was right there with them wanting to know what happened next. The kids have typical problems of students: long-standing rivalry with a violent bully, whether to manipulate an unrequited love into being with you, how to free yourself from just being someone’s sidekick. The author provides the story from different perspectives so no character is just a cipher or cliche. Their individual struggles fit in well with the larger plot of figuring out the things that are amiss with the veneer and in life as they know it. Veneer is futuristic fun with a good amount of sex and action, but it’s also got deeper messages about society which in my opinion is good sci-fi. I recommend it!
As always Daniel hit another one out of the park. Enough twists and turns to keep you binge reading until the end… And the final page does not disappoint.