I don’t use the highlight feature on my Kindle very often, and when I do it’s usually for something funny or interesting I want to remember. Sometimes, it’s for a sentence or paragraph I find particularly literary and beautiful and poetic, though that is rare when reading contemporary works. Last night, after a shitty day to end all shitty days, I opened my Kindle to continue reading Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer and stumbled upon the most arrestingly beautiful line I think I’ve ever read.
Veneer is Snow Crash mixed with The Matrix mixed with Degrassi High… …if the kids of Degrassi Street swore and engaged in R-rated activities. I’ve been a fan of Verastiqui since reading his first novel, Xronixle, and I’m happy to say his sophomore effort is just as exciting and suspenseful, if not more. Veneer had me from the very first sentence, which if you read the preview you’ll get an idea of Verastiqui’s sense of humor. He masterfully blends elements of science fiction, the coming of age of adolescents, and a suspenseful story line with multiple twists that will make you laugh and question your reality at the same time. I found myself letting loose a hearty guffaw on one page, while on the very next page I was murmuring a “holy cow!” whilst raising my brow, which leads to those rare “I must finish this chapter” moments. While Veneer uses typical Cyberpunk themes (gritty technology gone awry, what-is-real-what-is-not-ness, evil ethereal-like corporations hell bent on the destruction of the protagonist), Verastiqui peppers in brilliantly-written sarcastic teenage characters that have the ability to change reality with their mind and, well, I can honestly say I’ve never read anything like it. An epic quest for redemption? Death? Sex? Check, check, check. The only reason I’m rating this 4 stars is because Verastiqui still has room to grow in his writing in order to be held in the same regard as upper echelon Cyberpunk authors like William Gibson and Neal Stevenson – a feat I wholeheartedly think he can achieve. Get this book.
Really good read (and I’m an adult). I enjoyed this book so much that my main complaint is that I didn’t realize it was only part of the story. The ending left some huge questions unanswered which, I suppose, is a good marketing ploy to get people to buy the next book, but I felt cheated at the end and like I was being manipulated. On the other hand, the only reason I care about that is because the story was engrossing and perfectly paced with realistic teen characters (I remember!) and a mind-bending view of a world where you only see the projection of the reality people wish was there, and not what is. So interesting! I do want to read the next one, and will most likely buy it once I get over being annoyed.