When I was invited to review Day One, I wasn't sure it would be a good idea, as it's not the kind of book I typically pick up (a.k.a. it's not young adult). However, I thought maybe it would be a good thing to try something totally different and see how it worked out for me. The plot at least sounded pretty interesting, and I've been curious about the concept of "cyberpunk" for a while. Sadly, it just didn't work for me on any level. Here are some of the reasons why:
- The plot is like a standard action movie: senseless violence and so many character deaths that after the first few shocking ones I was completely desensitized to it. It became the kind of book where there's a graphic scene of someone getting their face blown off, and I'm just sitting there like, "Yeah, sure, whatever, who's next?" When that happens, I feel completely apathetic. The book just did not strike the right emotional chords for me to be effective.
- Part of my apathy probably stems from the fact that we're rushed right into this end-of-the-world territory without actually getting to know the characters. And this is why young adult books work better for me - the characterizations are usually much more thorough and deep, and that's super important to me. I couldn't connect with Hawke at all.
- It just plain bored me. The book was so repetitious that after 65% or so, I just started skimming. The whole thing followed a pattern of the following: 1. Hawke has a flashback/dream about his family that is there to remind you that he is a family man but for the rest serves little purpose. 2. They run through the city. 3. They yell at each other about whether they trust each other or not. 4. The police/military/Jane finds them. 5. One of the sidekicks is brutally killed. 6. REPEAT.
- It seemed totally farfetched. The book starts off with clear evidence that this is very near the present day. Current events such as Occupy Wall Street, Hurricane Sandy, and the like are mentioned, placing this story in 2012-2013. However, you can't wrtie about the singularity happening in the present day - not to the extent that it happens in the book. We are nowhere near that point. It's like the present day elements were deliberately thrown in there to make us fear this possibility, but then as soon as they start getting to the bigger sci-fi bits, they leave that in the dust. The two don't add up though. They just don't.
- It felt like the plot was very disjointed and shallow. I did not understand the actions of the characters (like, oh, the whole city has shut down, but there's a sentient being targeting us that can control anything with a computer chip - hey, I know, let's go run down the subway tracks, there's no way the train could suddenly move to mow us down!) or the back story, the reason why Hawke was a target at all. As far as I could tell, he was absolutely no one special, and I didn't get why Jane would make him a target/scapegoat anyway - as soon as the police/military kill him, she still had 60% of the population left to kill. Are these spoilers? I honestly don't care right now.
I didn't hate this book, but I couldn't bring myself to care for it for even a second. It was derivative, standard, repetitious, and shallow. I couldn't get into the story, I couldn't connect to the characters, and I honestly stopped even blinking at all the character deaths. That's not a good thing. This book just didn't work for me.
GIF it to me straight!
Male fans of gory action movies.