Saturday, March 5, 2011

XVI by Julia Karr

Title: XVI
Author: Julia Karr
Pages: 325
Debut Month: January
Completed: March 5, 2011
For my January pick, I read XVI by Julia Karr.  This book piqued my interest because Karr is a Chicago author.  Better yet, the setting is a futuristic Chicago! And I love SciFi!

Summary from Karr's website:
"In the year 2150, being a girl isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially when your sixteenth (read sex-teenth) birthday is fast approaching. That in itself would be enough to make anyone more than a little nuts, what with the tattoo and all – but Nina Oberon’s life has taken a definite turn for the worse. Her mother is brutally stabbed and left for dead. Before dying, she entrusts a secret book to Nina, telling her to deliver it to Nina's father. But, first Nina has to find him; since for fifteen years he's been officially dead. Complications arise when she rescues Sal, a mysterious, and ultra hot guy. He seems to like Nina, but also seems to know more about her father than he’s letting on. Then there’s that murderous ex-government agent who’s stalking her, and just happens to be her little sister’s dad."

Very early on in the story, I felt bombarded by futuristic versions of common terms ('letes for athletes, verts for advertisements, trannies for cars/transportation).  Either I became numb to the terms or they were coming at the reader less frequently as the story went on; but luckily, I somehow got passed the neo-vocab to get to the story.

Most of the characters were flat, though I'm not sure that was the intention.  The end of the novel left so many questions unanswered and so many storylines hanging that we were never able to see the characters fully develop or change. 
Fortunately, the sequel Truth is in progress, and maybe our questions will be answered! (I have a hunch about Wei's tattoo and this "thorn" image). I can't wait to find out what happens with Nina and her father, and how Wei and Sal fit in to all this, but I feel like the readers deserved more than they got! After keeping track of all of this new vocabulary and  keeping up with the circumstances of futuristic Chicago and colonies on the Moon, I was left with a need to connect more with the characters than this SciFiChi world offered.

I will definitely read Truth to find out some answers!

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