Wired Paperback – 4 Aug 2011
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"Wasserman creates a convincing and imaginative dystopia that her characters fill with action and a wide range of human emotion." --"Kirkus Reviews"
About the Author
Robin Wasserman is the author of Girls on Fire, as well as several bestselling novels for children and young adults. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her at RobinWasserman.com or follow her on Twitter at @RobinWasserman.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The characters didn't seem familiar to me at all in this one. Gone was Jude's acerbic wit and Riley's quiet strength. Lia often came across as weak and muddled, something not seen before. This story needed a bigger cast. It seemed to distance itself from the intrigue of what was going on with the Brotherhood, and I wanted more mech's in the mix. I was just left wanting more from this story, and feeling frustrated. Best to end with Crashed. The great science is still here, just not the great storytelling. Not a recommend.
In this, the third book, the stakes are still higher. Mechs have been declared property, with no real penalty for their destruction. And The Brotherhood is doing worse things.
As a whole, I'd have to say I found Wired much more interesting than Crashed. The book seems to have a clearer purpose, and while we lose much of the questioning about what being alive means, it's overshadowed by the basic need to stay alive and to continue to stay alive, something in question throughout much of the book.
There are a couple of major revelations, one which finally explains the fathers words near the end of the first book, and one that, at the time, while perhaps horrible, seems otherwise unimportant for much of the book. Zo finally becomes a fully drawn character in this volume. We never really knew her before, and what we did know of her, we rarely liked. But here we finally get to meet her and judge her on more reasonable terms.
The book moves very quickly and is a quick read, and I very much enjoyed it.
Until the last few pages.
The ending of the book is abrupt, and barely foreshadowed. (If foreshadowed at all.) All of the sudden, the story becomes something entirely different than what we've been reading. It would be correct to say that it is a happy ending, but it is so unexpected that it doesn't fit any of what came before. It also seems to be an easy way out of the dilemmas which the characters are in -- everyone will be safe and happy due to this ending, but it's an entirely unsatisfying end to the series.
If you enjoyed the first two, then go ahead and read the third. But be aware that the ending doesn't really fit the rest of the series. (And, by the way, doesn't leave much room for another book to be written, either.)
Lia's been working as a spokesperson for the mechs, to try and convince orgs that the machines are people, too. This includes a two-week stint in a reality TV show, except that the audience decides what she does. (Question: Who decides? The masses will have so many different ideas about where she could go, so who actually has the voice that matters?). During that time, she runs into Jude and it soon becomes apparent that Riley was off, doing his own stuff, which means more fights between him and Lia. He met up with Sari (yes, *that* Sari) and she is now living with him. Lia ends up having problems with her father and finds out some very shocking things about her death and becoming a mech. She and Zo run away and also end up living with Riley. Jude, of course, gets back in the picture. He has his own agenda (which was hinted at in Crashed), but it soon becomes apparent that BioMax has their own evil plans. And now whenever a mech tries to upload their memories onto the backup file, they die. The file gets erased, too, which actually means total death. Guess who is going to try and stop both it and BioMax?
Sounds wild, doesn't it? Basically, it's Lia/Zo vs. Dad and Lia/Riley/Jude vs. BioMax. There are some encounters with old friends, like Auden, and some people end up becoming randomly helpful to Lia, which is very out-of-character. Some of these people seemed very boring, one-dimensional, almost filler characters that just end up getting washed away under the rest of the cast.
I enjoyed some of the parts with Jude- the relationship between him and Lia is changing and they seem almost friendly at times. It almost comes across as flirtatious. Of course, Lia seems bent on fighting with everyone around her, which kind of cancels it all out. (A random but real scene: Jude and Lia on a bed hiding under a blanket. Together.)
It seemed to be nice that Lia and Zo were able to come together as sisters. Of course, it seemed like they didn't get along very well when Lia was human, so they do have some typical arguaments and sibling rivalry. Zo now always seems there for Lia, and it's great that she's there, but it's a little weird. Too overdone.
There weren't anywhere near as many talks about the post-apocalyptic world as there were in the other two books. Aside from mentioning a city with too much radiation and how only jellyfish and algae live underwater now, there is very little. It's like Wasserman gave up on creating this world and making it unique. What else has the radiation done to transform our world into Lia's?
The morals of the other two books could have really been taken to a whole new level, but unfortunately they were almost passed over. It's taken a step up on personal morals, identity, artificial identity, et cetera. I remember a part in Skinned where Lia lost her old zone or account or whatever because she "was no longer a person." Basically, BioMax does something along the same lines and goes against the contract with clients with similar reasoning. Morals about life and death are also questioned here, especially when Lia and the mechs find themself almost as mortal as orgs. I also liked the parts with Riley having died and not remembering his actions during the fateful scene in Crashed, because it makes you think about something that you wouldn't normally think about. It must be very disconcerting. You don't remember a part of your life, and as it turns out you did something that you don't think you normally would do, especially since Riley and Lia are mechs and will eventually face that again.
The ending. One of those stupid endings where everything manages to turn out fine, even though it really shouldn't and the odds of it happening are almost zero. Everything comes out all right, it seems. There is a somewhat shocking death, both because of the character and how/why they die, but it's not that much of a loss, it seems. Even though it is a good ending where everyone dies, Lia ends up giving up some things that would seem very precious.
Not again. Not another trilogy, series, sequel, whatever gone wrong. Out of all three Cold Awakening books, this has to be the worst. It's a sad shame too, because in the beginning, I was tres' eager to start Wired after reading Crashed, eager to see what happened in the end. To be honest, Ms. Wasserman should have kept it at Skinned and moved on, because the rest of the trilogy was just blah. So-so, okay, safe, boring, fill in the blank here with your word of choice____.
Lia has finally grown up, which I thought would never happen. Immediately, I began comparing Lia's feelings now to her previous ones, and in Wired she has finally come to terms that she is a mech, and she wants, and will, save all mechs and help them all peacefully co-exist with orgs. Lia could often go on, pages after pages, ranting about whether life is really life, just like she'd done in Skinned. Only this time, I didn't have much patience for it, having read two previous ones just like them.
Jude never really grew out of his distaste for orgs, his pact with Riley & Ani, though never revealed, is said to be extremely important to him. In Wired, he appears very determined, very hopeful. Though by the middle of the book most of his plans become irrelevant, no longer useful, and ultimately, abandoned.
Riley comes off as very vulnerable and unstable. He relies solely on Lia to inform him of the ending events in Crashed, and often becomes very distant with Lia. I find their relationship a little complicated, considering that Lia never fully explains anything really, about how they'd "made it work" considering Riley's replacement. They have a very interesting relationship, laid-back, but certainly not carefree. Sometimes it looks as if Ms. Wasserman wanted to start something with Lia and Jude, but left it unfinished, left it hanging.
Zoie seems different here. Strong, definitely, but more of a "I'm trying to prove you wrong" strong. She is constantly trying to prove to Lia that's she's something more than just her little sister.
In the end, I feel like the author killed or immobilized character after character until it became easy and obvious to guess who did this, who committed that, making it somewhat predictable. Killing off characters little by little did nothing for this novel; it just took away from the "shocking" bits.
Let's talk about the ending. Two words. HATED IT. Something about the way Ms. Wasserman worded it, about the way she wrote the whole entire ending that made no sense whatsoever. It was like she had a draft for it, an opening idea, but never wrote the details, never took the time to write a full, mind-boggling ending. It was like a sketch of a painting with no paint, whatsoever! Unfinished, not fully thought done. I questioned Kiri's role in the ending, no questions were really fully answered as to why she was on the ship in the first place, why she deceived everyone...WHY. Maybe I'm stupid. Maybe the ending was actually fully written and made perfect sense. Maybe I just didn't comprehend it the way it was supposed to have been read. I can't tell you if that's true, because I have no idea, but I re-read the ending a few times, and I came to the conclusion that Lia is gone, leaving Zoie and Jude. Riley's coming back, and there will never be another Lia. But her brain is still alive, looking, waiting, watching.
"I was watching, and I would get them home."
"I was Lia Khan, once. I was a girl, an org. And then I was a machine, a copy.
I was confused.
"I remember who I was; I remember everything. I remember what Lia Khan used to want, what she used to need. I remember who she used to love. But remembering is not experiencing."
"I can save them all. And I will. Whether they want me or not."
"Just make them love you."
"It was proof that we still made sense." [Speaking of Riley and Lia's relationship.]
"Maybe real was a matter of perspective."
"If we were memories...this Riley was different."
RATING: NOT RECOMMENDED AT ALL.
For more of my reviews, go to: [...]
Lia believes that she is doing the right thing, vid-lifeing and showing people that Skinners/Mechs are the same as everyone else, they party, they have friends, they're no danger to anyone. Turns out her life again is about to go upside down. Rileys' ex girl friend is crashing at his house, it's not the ex part that has Lia concerned, it's who her loyalties lie with. On top of that Jude is back with a plan to save their people, this time Lia thinks he might actually have a point. Especially when Zo and Lia break into BioMax and find out what the truth is.... unfortunately it's only a small part of the truth, no matter how scary and horrid that part is, there's still much more.
Wired is the Mech's ultimate stand up, and it doesn't happen like a big battle Orgs on one side Mechs on the other, no this battle is more sinister, involving the Brotherhood, viruses, and revolution. The ending... how I wish I could tell you how it ends, then you would be able to understand my frustration. It can't end like that! I want to see what Lia does, is this new life even better than her life as a Mech? Does Zo ever go back home? What's up with their mother (timid mouse turned crazed general)? And what about Riley and Jude? The ending is perfect in the way that I can see Lia doing more good, being more 'evolved', but I need to see the rest, there has to be another book! One can only hope that like the Uglies Trilogy we get an 'extra'. Fantastic author!