Sunday, 4 November 2012

Technology, Dystopia and Young Adults IV

This list has been updated: a newer, expanded version can be found at
17 February, 2017
Although I had reached the bottom of the pile of YA books awaiting my attention, there have been a couple recommended to me, and there are a few which have been published over the last few months. This is therefore the next instalment of the reading I have been doing since my third such blog post in July.

As before, this is a collection of primary texts which are connected by the common thread of incorporating technology within their plots. In the main they have all been published in the last few years, so this remains - at present - an remarkably up-to-date list of current YA novels in this genre, although there are a couple of older novels which have been suggested to me and I include them for the sake of completeness. My Amazon account still has some yet-to-be-published novels listed in the current orders and I keep scouring publishers' book lists for new additions, so I assume this will not be my final reading list post.

The order of the list is simply the order in which I have read the texts, but there is no significance to the order. I have included a brief descriptions against each title, but each image links to Amazon where fuller descriptions and reviews can be found (along with the obvious ability to do some shopping!)

All Geared Up (Not Quite Human Book 2) - Seth McEvoy (1986)
The protagonist - Chip - appears as any teenage boy, but in reality he is an advanced robot. His sister knows and helps to protect his secret as he becomes the school's best drummer, but with a girl thinking he is really special and a rival drummer set on revenge keeping his identity secret gets increasingly difficult.
Catching Fire (Hunger Games Book 2) - Suzanne Collins (2009)
After winning the Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen returns to her district, hoping for a peaceful future, but she hear rumours of a deadly rebellion against the Capitol which she and Peeta have helped to create. As they are forced to visit the districts on their Victory Tour they have to convince the world that they are still in love with each other or the consequences will be horrifying.
Mockingjay (Hunger Games Book 3) Suzanne Collins (2010)
Katniss Everdeen has, against all odds, survived the Hunger Games twice, but although she has made it out of the arena alive, she is still not safe. The Capitol is angry and wants revenge. She becomes the figurehead of District 13 and the rebellion against the Capitol and sees the life she wants becoming increasingly difficult to achieve.
vN - Madeline Ashby (2012)
The protagonist, Amy Peterson, is a Von Neumann machine - a self-replicating humanoid robot - who for the past five years has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. However, a flaw is discovered in her synthetic heritage which prevents her failsafe, the mechanism which stops robots harming humans, working as it should turning her into both a deadly and desirable entity.
Variant - Robison Wells (2011)
Problem child Benson Fisher wins a scholarship to Maxfield Academy, but when he arrives there he finds himself trapped in a school surrounded by razor wire and monitored by an external agency. He eventually discovers the reason why he and the other students are cut off from the rest of the world and that escape may prove impossible.
Slated Teri Terry (2012)
Kyla's memory has been erased and her personality has been wiped blank: she's been Slated. The government claims she was a terrorist and that they are giving her a second chance as long as she plays by their rules. However, echoes of the past whisper in Kyla's mind and she starts to search for the truth.
Incarceron - Catherine Fisher (2007)
Incarceron is a futuristic prison world where the descendants of the original prisoners; it is a mix of high technology (a living building pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character), and mediaeval torture chamber. A young prisoner, Finn, has visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born in Incarceron. He makes contact with the daughter of the Warden, Claudia, in the Outer World, and his escape is planned.
MazeCheat - B R Collins (2012)
The sequel to Gamerunner, in which cheat programmers work with gamerunners to uncover the secrets behind the latest expansion to CRATER's Maze. If players finally manage to beat the game, it takes their brain and memories to use as material for new games for new Gamerunners, leaving them dead. But no one knows this yet. When the heroes realise what is happening they need to destroy the game, but the all-seeing CRATER already knows what their plans are.
Delirium - Lauren Oliver (2011)
Love, or deliria, is seen by society as a disease from which there is no recovery, but citizens receive the cure on their eighteenth birthday when love is eradicated and they meet their predetermined partner. The teenage protagonist, Lena Holoway, has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured but, with ninety-five days until her treatment, Lena falls in love.
Pirate Cinema Cory Doctorow (2012)
The sixteen year old Trent McCauley is obsessed with making movies by sampling and reassembling footage downloaded from the net. However, in the near-future Britain where Trent is growing up, this is more illegal than ever: if someone is caught three times, their entire household is cut off from the Internet for a year. When Trent is caught, the loss of the Internet nearly destroys his family and he runs away to London where falls in with a group of activists fighting a new bill that will further criminalise digital copying.