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Xronixle

She stole his heart.
He stole her mind.

In the years before Vinestead took over the worldwide, freely available virtual reality known as The Net, anything was possible. Go anywhere. Be anyone.

You could even clone your girlfriend in virtual reality, if you were so inclined.

When X discovers that his long distance relationship with C is about to end, he copies her mind and loads her into a virtual avatar in the Net. But in his haste to preserve his high school sweetheart, X forgets to program the one feature he ends up needing most: how to turn her off.

Now it is up to Natalie and G to rescue their friend from the farthest reaches of the Net. Along the way, they must battle a cipher who cannot be killed, a virus that cannot be stopped, and a global conglomerate that will do anything to seize control of the precious Net.

Aside from the title (which, seriously, how the hell would you pronounce that?), I really loved this book once I got going with it. The characters are beautifully drawn, if slightly annoying sometimes with their obsessions, and the representation of what life could be like a few years from now is eerie and resonant. The novel gets slightly repetitive in places, with X constantly revisiting and reliving scenes of his time with C, but that seems to be a deliberate choice on the part of the author. With our entire lives available for replay, it’s easy to fall into a loop, living in the past. I also had a slight issue with how quickly everyone falls into obsessive, “I would die for you” love, but they are all teenagers, so I guess it’s not that strange.Jeba

Recent Reviews

What an amazing book… I was lucky enough to be provided an advanced copy of the book and it did not disappoint! Not to give anything away, but by plot twist #12 I decided to stop trying to predict how this story would play out and just sat back and enjoyed the ride. Cannot wait to see what Daniel writes next!

Curtis VanDerwerken – Perion Synthetics

Honest, well-conceived science fiction. First, I’d like to say that I was worried about Veneer because it’s a self-published title. Perhaps I’m being a bit crass, but I find that most self-published books I’ve attempted to read are poorly written, or have awful (non-existent?) plots, or thin plastic characters. Quite often it’s all of these. Veneer, however, is quite a good book. It could have used a bit of an editor’s red ink but otherwise I found it to be highly entertaining and unpredictable. There were times when I got through a portion of a chapter and thought “Why the heck did that happen? Is the author just filling pages?” but then was surprised to find a real reason, one that relates to the plot or character development. My low expectations were often confounded this way. If I were forced to give an idea of the flavor of this book, I’d say there’s a little of both The Giver and Brave New World, with a tiny splash of The Matrix. The ending was a bit confusing, though that did not diminish my level of post-climax satisfaction (yikes, did I just write that?) If you’re on the fence about this book, give the author a chance. Being self-published is not easy. If you find that you don’t like the book after reading this review, feel free to berate me.

Jared Harper – Veneer
© 2018 Daniel Verastiqui