Book Review: The Shadowsurfers by Hubert Wiest

The ShadowsurfersCHA belongs to all humans. All humans are CHA.

Set in a dystopian future where technology and humanity have united to create society’s collective consciousness, Computerized Human Accomplishment, CHA is mankind’s most meaningful invention. Through CHA all of humanity’s thoughts and secrets are recorded and saved for the betterment of society.

Fourteen year old Sansibar is preparing for her final exam to become a part of society – a part of CHA. The only thing standing between her and her the Crystal Exam is a whisper of a memory almost forgotten… and a boy with blue-ink eyes named Luan.

Luan is a gifted programmer living as an orphan until a petty theft drives him from his only home. Without a place in society, Luan escapes to the forbidden city of shadows to live as a fugitive… with the help of a girl with purple hair named Sansibar.

Together they find they’re not the only ones with secrets.

*My thanks to Bree at The Book Octopus for sending a PDF copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this review are my own.*

Have you ever seen "2001: A Space Odyssey?" This book made me think of that movie, which is awesome because a book has never made me think of that movie before.

In this book we follow Luan, an amazing hacker who ran away from his orphanage to code rides for a theme park; and Sansibar, a girl just trying to figure out if she wants to become a true part of society. They live in a futuristic world where everyone gives up their thoughts to CHA. When teenagers take this test called the crystal exam, they wear a crystal on their head so that CHA can take their thoughts to "improve humanity." So, humans basically rely on CHA.  Remind you of anyone? That's right! There's a HAL in this book, and Luan and Sansibar fight it in different ways. 

I think that Luan and Sansibar are fine characters, I just didn't end up caring about them as much as I wanted. Maybe it was because I had little to nothing in common with them, but I sometimes found myself annoyed with them. They were fine characters to read about though, I have defiantly read about worse.

I also found that there would be these long stretches in the story, that wouldn't really make big developments for the storyline. In my opinion, the book could have been a lot shorter. Instead of page long segments, Hubert Wiest could have written a paragraph and still have gotten to the same endpoint.  

I really liked reading about Luan's inventions. It was so fun to read about how he and his team would sit around coding for hours, making new things. It was my favorite part of the book to read about how Luan made and rode his hover board/skateboard. That was really fun and really enjoyable.

Overall, I liked this book! With okay characters, a setting that I have never read about before, and and fun inventions, I recommend this book.           

 3.5 Points
I liked this book, but didn't quite love it.



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