The world of TWINMAKER effortlessly swallows the reader. Even though so much of it is futuristic and different (d-mat booths used for travel, fabbers used to create anything from food to guns etc), the reader is instantly grounded in the culture and lifestyle of this new world. Readers will find Clair's world fascinating on many levels.
The author raises moral and ethical questions that stem from the technology and its use (as well as questions regarding the refusal to use it) without giving clear cut answers. Sympathetic characters on both sides of each question raise valid points causing TWINMAKER to be an excellent starting place for some important conversations instead of simply being an object lesson designed to teach only one point of view.
The plot twists are stunning. This reader is rarely caught off-guard and was therefore delighted to be surprised multiple times during the climax of the book. Although the pacing and conflict flounder a few times throughout the novel, the ending is spectacular enough to make readers beg for a chance to read the next book.
Finally, I truly enjoyed the main character--Clair. Her character growth is well done, her voice feels authentic for a teenage girl thrust into new and terrifying circumstances, and her flaws along with her strengths made her easy to connect with.
What Left Me Wanting More:
While this reader could accept most of the futuristic technology without qualms, there were a few things that ignored already established science (like the fact that you can't create something out of nothing), and caused this reader to sometimes be distracted from the story. There were also times when the pacing lagged and when the delivery of new or the rehashing of old information left this reader confused. Finally, one of the most important plot revelations near the end directly contradicts scientific parameters already set up earlier in the book. Overall, this reader would've enjoyed clearer information on the stakes, on the players in the conflict, and on the science that became crucial to the plot.
Fans of futuristic technology or readers who love action-packed adventures will enjoy TWINMAKER and will anxious await the sequel.
- Built-in contact lenses that sound like better and improved cousin of Google Glass.
- Instant teleportation around the world with d-mat booths.
- Wireless energy transferred via satellites to all electronic devices.
- You can create anything (except humans) with fabbers – so lack of food or money are problems in distant past.
I loved all the tech stuff that Sean Williams predicts waits for us. And I liked the moral and philosophical dilemmas he implies using them will make: from the problem of do clones have souls to overflow of meaningless information.
"Buried in the Air under a mountain of irrelevant information, as all important things are. Nothing is hidden, and everything is ignored. The surveillance state doesn’t need violence to perpetrate injustice. All it needs is our indifference."
Story of Twinmaker is told from the perspective of Clair. It was very interesting reading about how young adults have fun in the future. From Lucky jump via teleportation (instead of Google’s Get Lucky button) to impromptu parties. Even ridiculous inspirational chain letters still exist in the future. You know the kind: wish very hard and forward to x number of friends (I always hated them). So imagine Clair’s surprise when it works for her friend Libby .
Clair’s inquisitive mind and worry for Libby force her to investigate the issue and the more her search lasts the deeper problems it reveals until the very foundations of the society are shaken. The chase was very intense in the beginning, but there was a time near the end when it went a little bit boring for me, maybe because the book is pretty long.
With the surprising finish everything became captivating again. There is no big cliffhanger but with a lot of secrets out I am intrigued to find out which direction will society and government choose. And we have a sequel coming up in 2014 to answer those question. :)
IN THE END…
Twinmaker will be a treat for all gadget fans who love to read about moral dilemmas created by depending on technology too much. Or if you liked the fighting against the government in Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, then you should definitely check out Twinmaker.
Disclaimer: I was given a free eBook by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for a honest review.
I was pretty confused at the beginning, but the mystery sucked me in despite not really understanding the technology and terminology. I figured it out pretty much as I went along, I just didn't get what exactly led society to these measures, and while there seemed to be science behind most of it, I didn't really get the hows and whys. Never the less, I still enjoyed and I liked the characters, and wanted to know what would happen to them.
Clair was easy to like, she was concerned about others, and really wanted things to change in a positive way. She of course, got herself into a lot of situations, but I appreciated how she responded with courage, but also with humanity. She kept others, feelings, and morals in her head, but still did what she had to do to help her friend.
The twists in this one were good, and a few of the things even with the build up took me completely by surprise. The secondary characters also made this one stand out for me. I really liked Jesse, the "freak" mentioned in the synopsis, and Q was absolutely amazing. She was a source of strength and friendship that I never saw coming.
One aspect that I didn't like was the cheating and betrayal. But then again, it was handled in a way that I could respect. Things happened in the heat of the moment, and it wasn't kept hidden. I just didn't really understand where the feelings where coming from, and why they had to be there. Couldn't it have still been the same story without the mentioned love interest belonging to another person at the beginning? I dunno. But I guess that it was a source of character development and she really showed remorse with it, and it never sat right with her, the feelings in the first place, so that makes a difference too.
I was surprised at some of the philosophical questions that were raised from some of the things going on in society and the reasons behind some of the resistance to using it. Most had powerful reasons not to and had been hurt or lost people that led them in their distrust and breaking away from the new norm of society. It was neat though how it took different forms, and how some of the groups banned together for the good cause.
The ending wrapped some things up and then with the others it just left me hanging. It was long and I can understand why that was the stopping point, but still.
Bottom Line: Fast paced, and action filled.