A powerful story that will make you second guess the meaning of the afterlife. This ARC blew me away, at the same time left me questioning the medical world ethics.
“…Death and the stillness of death are the only things certain and common to all in this future…”
Rose is dying. Her body is wasted and skeletal. She is too sick and weak to move. Every day is an agony and her only hope is that death will find her swiftly before the pain grows too great to bear.
She is sixteen years old.
Rose has made peace with her fate, but her younger sister, Koren, certainly has not. Though all hope appears lost Koren convinces Rose to make one final attempt at saving her life after a mysterious man in a white lab coat approaches their family about an unorthodox and experimental procedure. A copy of Rose’s radiant mind is uploaded to a massive super computer called Aaru – a virtual paradise where the great and the righteous might live forever in an arcadian world free from pain, illness, and death. Elysian Industries is set to begin offering the service to those who can afford it and hires Koren to be their spokes-model.
Within a matter of weeks, the sisters’ faces are nationally ubiquitous, but they soon discover that neither celebrity nor immortality is as utopian as they think. Not everyone is pleased with the idea of life everlasting for sale.
What unfolds is a whirlwind of controversy, sabotage, obsession, and danger. Rose and Koren must struggle to find meaning in their chaotic new lives and at the same time hold true to each other as Aaru challenges all they ever knew about life, love, and death and everything they thought they really believed.
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I confess that New Adult literature is a bit hit and miss for me. So when Meredith approached me, I was very much on the fence about it. However, after reading Aaru I realised how beautiful the story was put together. It unnerved me at times, as it serves a reminder to what mankind could possibly hope to achieve in the future. I loved the sisterly bond portrayed in this novel, it was heart-wrenching at the best of times. You can easily tell the author comes from an English background. Every chapter was expertly described and the dialogue was flawless. I confess at times I found it a little challenging as this book is not a quick read, you want to read the chapters thoroughly in fear of missing any subtly’s.
Overall I found this an intriguing read, you might be surprised at my rating though. Though, if you read my book policy, I based my ratings on what I like along with how the book is constructed. I would highly recommend this book to New Adult readers.
About the Author:
David Meredith is a writer and educator originally from Knoxville, Tennessee. He received both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from East Tennessee State University, in Johnson City, Tennessee. He received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee. On and off, he spent nearly a decade, from 1999-2010 teaching English in Northern Japan, but currently lives with his wife and three children in the Nashville Area where he continues to write and teach English.