Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Book Review | The Evaporation of Sofi Snow

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow
Mary Weber

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre:  Teen Fiction, YA Fiction, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Released:  June 6th, 2017

For fans of Ender’s Game and Blade Runner comes a story of video gaming, blood, and power.
Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi’s dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth’s corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth’s Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi’s the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she’s convinced he’s been taken to the ice-planet.

Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.

For Miguel—Earth’s charming young playboy—the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight’s bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he’s a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.

From the award-winning author of the Storm Siren Trilogy, step into a diverse cast of characters spanning from the electric metropolises of earth to the chilling alien planet above, in a story of re-finding yourself in the midst of losing the one thing you love. Before it all evaporates.
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WARNING: Possible Spoilers

{The Basics}
Let's face it, Sofi's life has been anything but normal.  With her dad gone now, and her mother practically married to her work, Corp 30, Sofi's only comfort lies in her younger brother Shilo.  And all too soon, even he is taken from her -- and it's up to her and a small team of misfits to find him.  No matter the cost, no matter the results. . .

The world was literally wiped out in both World War III and the Fourth War, the end of which the appearance of the ice-planet -- home to the aliens called the Delonese -- helped to come about with the aid of ambassadors and the shared use of their highly advanced technology.  Now the countries that remain have banded together to form the Corporations, each with ambassadors to the planet Delon. 

{Positives}
It is entirely obvious that Sofi loves her little brother.  She would do anything for him, just as he would for her.  Once he is declared dead, though she knows otherwise, she jumps headfirst in her efforts to save him.

Despite his outward appearance and the character he displays to his fellow ambassadors and colleagues, Miguel strives to do what is right, even at the risk of his own life and the lives of his faithful friends.

{Negatives}
Politics are always corrupted.  Deceit, betrayal, lies -- you name it.  (But I suppose it wouldn't really be a good story without those traits. . .)

Blackmail.  (. . . that leads to SPOILER human trafficking.)

The youngest ambassador, Miguel, is a bit of a playboy.  One remark to him from an acquaintance regards the gender of his conquests, to which is replied, "Who says it's a she?"  

One character says sarcastically about a trainer's morals to remind him to buy the guy a drink and "pee in it."

Turns out Sofi has had her share of "playing."  Her fellow gamers joke about a new potential conquest, due to his rather athletic build, etc.  There's rumors of her sleeping around. (This is rather sickening, in my opinion, and wholly unnecessary. . . but I need mention it.  I suppose it's just part of her flawed character. . .  And it's all too common, unfortunately, in our world today.) 

An angry Sofi stomps to her room with Miguel following and disrobes completely, forcing him to look to the ceiling -- points for him!  (SPOILER: He's not so much of a playboy as he might want you to think. . .)

{Spiritual Content}
None.  

[Despite what many think, God created humans to be His special people -- not aliens of ANY kind out there waiting to be discovered.  Scientists and fanatics will waste their lives trying to prove it!  That is what makes us so special to Him, is that we ARE the only ones in His universe.]

{Violence}
The FanFight arenas are rather similar to the Hunger Games, with the exception that there are players fighting for their lives but also gamers behind the scenes helping them fight, and writing codes for offensive/defensive moves and such.  Pretty cool, but rather scary and violent.  Kids from the age of 12 to 19 (I think) participate.  No deaths, excepting a few. . .

Cyber zombies.  Acid walls.  Sandworms.  An ocean arena with virtual-reality sharks. . .

A suicide bomber kills many in an act of division (between who??).

A man is threatened with a knife to his back.  Two people are attacked by masked intruders -- who are promptly knocked out.  

{Language, Alcohol & Drugs}
Words like "heck," "dang," "freaking," "oh gad," and the slangs for "pissed" and the English "bloody" are quite common.  "Oh gad" is used in place of God's name, I assume.  One guy uses the abbreviation "WTF." 

Performance-enhancing drugs.  We see a man who's obviously high on something. . . Wine, alcohol, and other drugs.  A lab is discovered to have been testing live humans, as well as single organs. . . 

{Love-y-ness}
Women dress in provocative dresses and other clothing like skin-suits, which of course accentuates their curvy figures.  One woman caresses a man in attempts to get his full attention. (He ignore it.) 

There's obvious attraction between Miguel and Sofi.  

{Conclusion}
I tried to leave out a good bit of details to keep from spoiling anything, I promise!  There's a great twist in there that's kinda creepy, but intriguing regardless. . .  So read it!!!

With all that said, having greatly enjoyed Mary Weber's Storm Siren trilogy, I was itching to get my hands on this first novel of her second series.  Because, SERIOUSLY, it's got a GIGANTINORMOUS cliff hanger.  O_o  Already NEEDING the sequel. . . 

I said I enjoyed it, and that is entirely true, but I must also say that it was a slight disappointment.  Firstly, there was much innuendo regarding sexuality and it was no secret that the characters slept around, or did.   And secondly, while there was no written, actual language in these pages, it was obviously substituted with slang and "new" words.  In my mind, there's a nice difference between saying "He cursed." and "Oh gad." or "dang" or "piss off." (That last one is a big turn-off for me and none of them are necessary.)  Yes, it's common in the secular world we live in to use words much worse, but to put them in a novel that's under a Christian publishing company?  Well, I could go on and on.  

It was a slight disappointment, yes.  But overall, I enjoyed the writing style, the characters, and the story and am so looking forward to the next. 

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I was provided a copy of this novel thanks to BookLookBloggers in exchange for my honest review.


Recommended ages: 16+


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