Wednesday, June 7, 2017

ARC Review: Want by Cindy Pon

Author: Cindy Pon
Publication: Simon Pulse (June 13, 2017)

Description: From critically acclaimed author Cindy Pon comes an edge-of-your-seat sci-fi thriller, set in a near-future Taipei plagued by pollution, about a group of teens who risk everything to save their city.

Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits, protecting them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.

With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.

Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is, or destroying his own heart?

My Thoughts: It starts as a simple plan - very dangerous, but simple; kidnap a rich young woman to gain the funds needed to bring down the Jin Corporation which is selling suits to the wealthy to protect them from the terrible pollution in Taipei. Of course, the corporation isn't above bribing politicians to keep legislation which would help fight the pollution from being passed.

Jason Zhou has grown up as a poor street kid in Taipei. He watched his mother die of an illness that could have been cured had they they money to access healthcare. He sees the sharp divide between the rich and the poor and wants to make life better for the poor of the city. Jason handles the kidnapping on his own. He didn't expect to see his victim as more than the means to an end.

When he infiltrates the rich to get information needed to bring down the Jin Corporation, he never expects to find that the girl he kidnapped is the daughter of the head of the Jin Corporation. Daiyu shouldn't remember their first meeting because of the drug he used on her. However, something about him intrigues her and they form a friendship. She becomes his guide to the Jin Corporation.

This was a great story with wonderful world building. I liked the descriptions both of the lives of the poor and of the rich. I found the description of the environmental suits interesting. I liked the way Jason becomes conflicted about the goal he and his friends are working for when he gets to know Daiyu better.

This is exciting science fiction set in an interesting part of the world.

Favorite Quote:
Means to an end.

Wasn't that the phrase usually used by villains in stories -- or, at best, misguided heroes?
I received this one for review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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