Review by Gill-Marie Stewart.

18664167This is a fast-paced, scary but enthralling page-turner. Set in the future, after the Third World War, Luna lives in a time that is dominated by one huge corporation, PareCo. PareCo creates virtual worlds in which most of the inhabitants spend most of their time. It is bone-chillingly realistic and builds on the way so many people even now live in virtual worlds.

I had a minor quibble at the beginning when the narrator, Luna, obviously knows something that is been kept from the reader. Fortunately this didn’t last too long and then we are there with her, knowing what her concerns are worrying about them with her. And fearing for her with every brave or wrong-headed decision she makes.

This book can be read for the story alone, which is great, but it can also be read for the ideas that it explores. Ideas of power, truth, reality, intelligence and rationality. I particularly liked the quotes at the beginning of the sections, which were thought-provoking in themselves. Flaubert’s words at the beginning of section 6 – There is no truth. There is only perception – highlight the theme of the entire book. How do we know what is the truth, and who is telling it if there is such a thing? Is a virtual world as real as a real one?

The heroine of the book follows the footsteps of many before in being the ‘special one’, the one who can change things. Everything depends on her, and there are an awful lot of things that can go wrong. At times I felt the story telling was pushing ‘plot’ a bit too far with the twists and turns, especially near the end. By this time I wanted things to be resolved – and eventually they are.

This isn’t my normal preferred type of book, being a little too creepy and too plot-driven for my liking, so it is a real compliment that I am going to give it 5 piranhas, despite the very minor niggles mentioned above.

Now I need to go and find all the other Teri Terry books!

piranha stars blue 5

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