Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Year Release: 2019
Source: Library Audiobook
Listened to the audiobook
Content warnings: gunshots, murder, knives
These books are such delightfully quick reads. Action-packed, multi-faceted, with a great group cast and corporate intrigue unraveled by brilliant teen rebels.
If you enjoyed Want, Ruse provides more of the same, with tight pacing, an intricate near-future but still cyberpunk-y setting, and a hopeful ending that leaves the reader like the kids will truly be all right, leaving the world a better place than the one they entered.
Pon balanced several POVs in this work, balanced between Lingyi, Zhou, and Daiyu. The presentation of the world is so complex and it is wonderful to see the different facets from each of their eyes. Even with the seedy underbelly and pedestrian future-tech, there is a wonder and a possibility for the technology available. Shanghai glitters off the page, and the contrast between the haves and the have nots is as sharp as a butterfly knife.
The action sequences were turned up a notch, with tight tension wound from start to finish. But it isn’t all knife fights. There are hacking sequences, grand duplicitous galas, and classic corporate espionage. The way Jin Corp is this malleable character while the CEO himself is definitely a villain played so well in this work. The desire for turning things around for the better is palpable, especially in Daiyu’s POV. Even though each character has their own internal struggles, they never come at odds with each other in ways that seem manufactured for the plot. There is enough organic tension, making for a deeply riveting experience.
Overall, a fantastic entry into the cyberpunk climate fiction subgenre.