Saturday, 23 July 2011

Self Made by M. Darusha Wehm

Official Blurb

Ever wish things were different?

Ivy Velasquez did, so she became someone else. In the 3D virtual world Marionette City, you can be anything you want — but everyone still knows who you are. Driven by her desire for a new life, Ivy takes her future in her hands when she makes another identity for herself. A brilliant designer, Ivy works for one of the huge firms which control the online system the world relies upon for both business and pleasure. But one day, Ivy discovers that her alternate self, Reuben Cobalt, had been murdered.

Since alternate identities are forbidden by the firms which control access to the nets and to M City, Ivy has nowhere to turn — until she finds Andersson Dexter. Part private eye, part vigilante and part cop, Dex sets out to uncover Reuben’s killer. Since the firms control almost every aspect of life, including law and order, justice for average people comes only at the hands of the outlaw organization to which Dex belongs.

Self Made is a murder mystery set in a vision of a future that seems to lurk just over the horizon. But above all, it is a story of how people strive to control their own destinies, and how that desire affects them and the people around them in ways they could never imagine.

My Review

The blurb basicly tells you all you need to know about the story itself,yet...

In the near-ish future everyone still has jobs but also has a life on the "nets". This second life is played out using avatars in a virtual city and everything that can happen in real life seems to also happen in this virtual world, plus a lot more. People apparently spend so much time in the virtual worlds that real life existence is considered secondary. So secondary in fact, that most people survive on food bricks and tasteless drinks. Why spend money or time on real food, when you can have sumptuous feasts for hours in the virtual world for free.

This novel not only investigates the crime that is its plat but also gives us a peek into what the world might be like if virtual reality ( including taste/sounds/feel ) takes off and becomes ... well, a reality.

This is not the authors first novel. I've reviewed the previous novel, "Beautiful Red" a while ago. In Beautiful Red the "nets" were everywhere but poeple were not living in them, so this novel appears to be the same world, but just a little further into the future. This novel has a sequel ( a different story, some of the same characters), so if you like it, you'll be able to have more of the same.

The author is reading her own work here and does a good job, the audio quality seems to have stepped up a notch from her previous work.

In summary, I found the story, interesting and engaging, a good listen.

Reading 2/3
Production 2/3
Story 2/3

Total Score 6/9

Download it from the Podiobooks

Listen to the first part