This is a novel full of twists, turns, and unexpected events to say the least. Cay, the main character in this story, is introduced right in the beginning in a hurry, packing and leaving his nostalgic apartment. Hooked from the initial scene, he has described alongside an implant of sorts and having a very technically-wired, smart brain (I won’t speak on this more to make sure spoilers do not pop out in this analysis); definitely read this if you want an intricate, strategic protagonist. He is a visionary, an inventor who was betrayed and has an interest in knowing everything about the world, which is the main reason for the implant he received.
Immediately thrown into the world where simulations are a grand idea, the author depicts Cay as a skeptic to the idea. The girl he was in love with, Limea, was a confusing concept in his mind because of the simulation; are his thoughts towards her genuine or proposed because of the simulation? This idea made me eager to read more.
Vietra holds a special place in my heart after this story. She wants to obey orders from her Master, but at the same time has natural human instincts to do good in the world, when that is not required or asked of her. When doing wrong, she is punished, and as a reader, she is such an easy character to develop an attachment to that I sympathized with her deeply. Her strength and passion distinguished are eye-opening given the situations she is put in.
Back to these mysterious implants, which purposes are exposed as the story unfolds. I would consider them a sort of manipulative mechanism, but every reader may have a different viewpoint. This materialistic thing throughout the story is a great symbol of freedom. Freedom overall is a concept exerted by both Cay and Vietra, and I applaud both of them for their potency of never giving up.
Tyss is another character I enjoyed. His presence always brought hope to the situation and room. While his resilience to making up for his mistakes and owning his actions, he keeps in mind the duties at hand and tries his best to stay out of trouble. That is what I admire the most of him, his diligence to keep a steady balance of action.
Bialta, on the flip side of the story (literally, which you can figure out when reading), reminds me of Tyss. They have similar helping-hand personalities. However, Bialta exerts a much more powerful feature within her character, which I find hard to explain unless you read the story and first-hand visualize her actions towards her friends and life.
This book is written very precisely as to the setting and structural development of where each scene is set, which I appreciate. All throughout, it is easy, because of the author’s exquisite writing style, to visualize where a certain conversation or action is happening. Such as the sensory deprivation room with Vietra, the whole time her Master is causing hallucinations within her brain, the setting is described in a way that I feel like I am experiencing her fright and slight panic in the room too. This makes the overall book a really good treat to read.
Overall, this was an unexpected book with many turns of events I did not see coming. There are bouncing scenes of different characters throughout the chapters, and not once did I get lost or confused. The author writes in such a rigorous yet delicate way, I never wanted to put the book down. I finished it in one day, just for reference!