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Aaru (The Aaru Cycle) Paperback – 10 Jul 2017
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Anyway, I thoroughly recommend this book ....well done!
Waking up, Rose realises she has left the ‘Before’ behind and is no longer living in a conventional sense, instead her essence has been uploaded into a computer which allows her to live within in a virtual world. As one of the first to be added to Aaru Rose is able to create her own world using the power she has been given with her only imitation being her imagination.
Meanwhile younger Sister, Koren, has been left behind in the real world to cope with her overwhelming grief at losing her best friend. But, just as things start to fall apart Koren and her family are taken to the HQ of Elysian Industries where for the first time they are introduced to Aaru and it’s capabilities. Able to communicate with the Sister she thought she’d lost Koren couldn’t be happier until she realises that her sister’s life has come at a price and she is required to front a public campaign to bring Aaru to the people. Thrown into the limelight she quickly becomes a well-know face, but not everyone is happy about this new technological development and life as she knows it begins to slip away.
It was the unique synopsis of this book that first grabbed my attention despite it not being my usual genre and Meredith has definitely delivered an intriguing read. The first part of the book is largely taken with the ‘Before’ as we meet Rose and despite her death and the family’s subsequent grief being such a difficult, emotion filled subject matter it is written perfectly. It explores the thoughts and feelings of all the character’s thoroughly and Meredith’s narrative gives an insightful, realistic insight.
Thereafter the narrative flips between the sister’s vastly differing experiences on either side of the computer screen. One of my favourite parts of this whole book were the sections which described Rose’s surroundings in her virtual world which are filled with a whole host of landscapes, buildings and unique creatures. The description of these sections is second to none and really drew me in and I could imagine that I was making the journey alongside Rose.
The chapter’s about Koren however are the polar opposite which gave the book a very dark edge that I didn’t expect. Fast-tracked to celebrity status as she promotes Aaru, Meredith explores her exploitation alongside the moral and ethical issues of ever lasting life. Whilst not wanting to add any spoilers I do have to point out that this book deals with some highly sensitive issues including kidnap, sexual assault and paedophilia which for a book aimed at YA readers may be too much for some – even as an adult I did feel uncomfortable at times.
So, in conclusion although this book was quite a lot darker than I initially expected I found the whole concept of Aaru intriguing and this kept me reading. It’s filled with emotion from start to finish and has a few little twists to keep the reader guessing along the way too. Finishing on a cliffhanger I’m now really keen to read the next instalment to see what happens next.
Well Aaru is like those three books had a love child.
Aaru is a tale of love, loss, acceptance and hope. What would you do if faced with the death of a loved one? Your child? Your sibling? What lengths would you go to in order to save their lives?
These are the questions that Rose’s family face after she is diagnosed with terminal leukaemia. As she begins to accept and come to terms with her fate it is apparent her family are unable to. So when faced with a possible means of saving her life her parents said yes. Of course the procedure is experimental and requires constant funding, which sees Koren, Roses younger sister, turned into a media monkey.
Aaru reminded me of the three books mentioned above as there were certain elements that related to each. The sisters love for each other and a families desperation of was reminiscent of My Sister's Keeper. While at the same time that same desperation to avoid death reminded me of Wade Wilson in Deadpool. Altered Carbon plays into the mix as it also looks at evading death through the use of uploading one's consciousness.
What Aaru does is to bring to the fore some of the moral and ethical issues with these cutting edge research techniques. How are the families involved affected during the long time? When something sounds too good to be true is it?
This novel is heartbreaking and intense. It takes you on an emotional rollercoaster and although predominantly sci-fi their are thriller elements to it to. I lost my younger sister when she was 23 and can from my own personal experience attest to how true the emotions conveyed within the book are. The death of a loved one leaves a scar that is never fully healed.
Aaru is mostly centered on Rose and her sister Koren, however every single character in the book was well formed. They all had a story to tell and it was easy to understand the motivations of each. Even the antagonist. No character was painted as being either all virtuous or villainous which is often the case in YA fiction. I appreciated that the author really showed the shades of grey within each that truly make up the facets of a person's character.
The only thing that frustrated me slightly is that the beginning third of the book was a little ‘dry’ there was so much information conveyed that it was hard to take it all in. I am exceptionally glad that I persevered however I wonder if it would put younger readers off.
Overall this is a fantastic book with an amazing concept. Aaru truly is a story of love, loss and hope.