Petri Quinn is counting down the days till she turns 16 and can get on GLAZE – the ultimate social network that is bringing the whole world together into one global family. But when a peaceful government protest turns into a full-blown riot with Petri shouldering the blame, she’s handed a ban. Her life is over before it’s even started.
Desperate to be a part of the hooked-up society, Petri finds an underground hacker group and gets a black market chip fitted. But this chip has a problem: it has no filter and no off switch. Petri can see everything happening on GLAZE, all the time. Including things she was never meant to see.
As her life is plunged into danger, Petri is faced with a choice. Join GLAZE… or destroy it.
Having read and adored both Shift and Control, I was instantly interested in knowing about Kim’s next project. When it was finally announced and the synopsis was revealed, I was instantaneously hooked. It sounded like such an interesting novel and I just knew that I had to get my hands on it. I was also wary of my excitement – as I usually am – worried that I would somehow end up getting disappointed. Fortunately, however, I am here to happily report that, that did not happen. Instead I once again fell in love with one of Kim’s books and cannot wait to read everything else that she writes.
Petri lives in a world where social media is accessed through a chip in the brain. This chip connects you to everything and everyone. But you can only have the chip implanted when you turn sixteen. Petri is just a few months away from getting a chip when she’s given a five-year ban from the network. Now all of her friends are even further away from before and she simply cannot deal with living alone for another five years, thus she does everything she can to get herself onto the network known as Glaze. This is the set up of this plot and everything that happens because of it is truly compelling and interesting. This book is full of twists and turns, bumps and jolts, and is full of action and mystery. I loved the concept of the story in all of its shocking gory, and I loved the way that everything came together. It kept you guessing, it made you think, and it was just full of a really intriguing story that I couldn’t keep away from, and a story that stuck in my mind for days after I’d finished the last page.
To Your Brain
What helps to make this book strong were the characters. While it took me a while to connect with Petri, almost instantly I understood her. Trying to fit in as a teenager seems incredibly difficult – of course, what we don’t realise is most of us will spend our whole lives trying to fit in – but I remember so vividly how hard this was for me. I always felt outside of everyone, different in so many ways and so reading about a character who felt that way was really great. Petri has a few flaws and feels a little naïve at times but essentially I quite liked her as the main driving point of this story. While the romance in this novel feels a bit generic, I did also like the relationship between Petri and Ethan. There’s a lot of learning to be had between them and it’s a lot of scrabbling in the dark which is how it often feels when meeting new people. It just takes a while to find a unique rhythm. The only thing for me that felt off with the characters was Petri’s relationship with her group of friends at the beginning, I couldn’t work out how she fit in with everyone and it all felt a little forced. While I can see how important this was because of the plot, it did mean the beginning of this book was a little hard to get into.
I adored that this book was set in London but essentially apart from a few mentions here and there, the location of the city wasn’t mentioned but I felt that this really worked. For me, the real setting of this book wasn’t London itself, but a futuristic world where social media was quite literally ingrained in our skulls. This setting, in comparisons, was well built, continuously mentioned and it was just so easy to really see the world in this way – scary still as it was just so believeable. Aside from being described in great detail, what helped to make the setting and world-building so concrete was the writing style. I have, as mentioned above, loved both of Kim’s previous books and so I was really glad when I could find her style in this book as well. It helped to really make the book more entertaining and thrilling.
Essentially this was a hard-hitting novel that scared me to the core, gave me enjoyment, and stayed in my head for days after reading it. It was action-packed, intense, and was an easy read for me to enjoy. While some may feel that the story wasn’t very strong, for me that doesn’t matter so much as the world-building around it and the messages that Kim conveys throughout the book make it so much more than the plot. I really loved the concept behind this book and I feel that this is really what made it such a fascinating read for me. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the plot and where this book took me, as well as the characters that I was given. But I can also see how this may not be amazing for others. Initially, if you’re looking for a scary futuristic book that could paint a world that could come true, with an intense and fast-paced story within it, then you should give this book a try because I honestly believe that you will love it like I did.
** I received this copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **
She studied Philosophy & Literature at university with the plan of being paid big bucks to think deep thoughts. While that never quite worked out, she did land a job as a junior copywriter with an ad agency a week after graduating. She’s worked in advertising ever since and is obsessed with the power of the media on young minds. She is a mentor at the Ministry of Stories and for the WoMentoring Project. And lives in London with her husband and too many books.
To find out more visit www.kimcurran.co.uk.
Hardback copy of GLAZE signed by the author and cover designer
Signed copies of Shift & Control
Meet with Kim Curran or Skype chat if not able to come to London.