Sulan by Camille Picott
In general, I try to stay away from self-published books, so I began this one with a little trepidation. Except the more I got into in, the more I enjoyed it, and about halfway through I really couldn't put it down.
The story takes place in a dystopian world, where the United States has gone bankrupt. Corporations compete against each other to take the place of the government, by schooling children or protecting the public. Yet due to the activities of the Anti-American League, most people never venture out into public if they can help it. Instead most interaction is virtual in a world where you become your avatar.
I thought the society Picott created wasn't just exciting to read about but also believable. I think it would be difficult for all government worldwide to become bankrupt, but the virtual world, with the virtual interactions is basically already happening. While we may not become our actual avatars, we do have a lot of our interactions virtual now.
My biggest complaint on the book is kind of picky, but it's one aspect I was really looking forward too. Our character, Sulan, is a math prodigy, and I was really looking forward to a few good math jokes. By the end of the book she is able to use her ability to get her out of a tight situation. Except what she does isn't really possible in our world. I can let that go and think that technology has advanced enough to make what she does possible, but I can't let the math go.
Everyone is so impressed by what she does mathematically and to do it she has to solve an equation quicker than she's ever done. Except what she does, doesn't involve an equation, nor is it really that hard. Basically she's doing high school geometry. Now there was some equation dropping halfway through the book that involved math I learned in my upper level college class. I don't necessary remember how to solve it, but I do remember learning it in our Boundary Value Equation class (which we lovingly called "Soap Bubbles," which was an application of the math). But I wish the extra smart math she used at the climax, was actually extra smart math.
But with that complaint aside, I still did enjoy the book. Yes, parts were predictable, but I still needed to know what happened. And while the book doesn't really end on a cliffhanger, it definitely feels like "to be continued." There are definitely some unsolved stories here, and I would love to read the sequel to see just how they resolve.
Disclosure: I was provided this book through Virtual Author Book Tours. All opinions expressed are my own.
31 minutes ago