Narrator: Genevieve Kaplan
Publisher: Relay Publishing (2017)
Length: 6 hours 30 minutes
Series: Book 1 The Glitches
Set in a future dystopia, the AI runs the Norm, a domed utopia. However, all those human techs that are deemed damaged are tossed out into the barren wasteland. Lib is one such Glitch; however, she has nearly no memories. As she pieces things together, she learns from other Glitches and the local Rogue Clan how to survive in this nearly empty desert.
Despite certain issues with this story, something kept on pulling me back into it. First, I’m a sucker for domed city stories. I have this fascination with closed (or nearly closed) systems and all the inherent issues that can arise in such situations. Second, I got attached to Lib. She has few memories to work from but what little she knows compels her forward in a quest to make life better for all humans, not just those that live in Norm or those in the Rogue clans.
My biggest issue with this tale were the internal inconsistencies. The story contradicts itself multiple times, sometimes within the same paragraph. For an example, there’s a scene where Lib goes scavenging with some Rogues in a long abandoned city. Wolf, leader of this clan, explains that they don’t spend much time in the cities because they are dangerous since the AI’s drones might find them there. Yet in the same scene he later says the drones rarely come to the abandoned cities. There’s another dealing with tracks in the sand being an issue and yet they miraculously blow away in all other scenes that would leave tracks. Their underground hot spring has unpotable water but they still wash in it; yet it has bubbles… so I really hope the place is well ventilated. I don’t think it’s boiling since they are submerged in it. As you can see, these small inconsistencies are sprinkled throughout the story and I really wish it had gone through another round of beta readers, or 1 really good editor, so that I wouldn’t be distracted from the truly good story that lies among these inconsistencies.
For the first part of the story, I wasn’t too sure if Lib was caught in some little used rural part of the AI’s virtual reality or if she was truly stuck in some desert. I really liked that it took me a while to figure out which one it was. Lib is stuck between worlds on many levels and this beginning really sets that tone that lasts for the entire novel.
The other characters were interesting, though I feel they need some fleshing out. Lib is the one that shines in this tale and the rest are window dressing. Everyone seems to be no older than early 20s at most, though the doctor might be older. Raj is also a Glitch and truly wants to go home to the Norm. He says he misses his parents, which I believed. However, I would have preferred some stories showing us what life was like in the Norm instead of a handful of lines telling us how civilized and comfortable it was inside the dome. I kept interchanging Skye and Bird. One is a seer, having dreams that come true and the other is a leader of the clan and a potential mate for Wolf.
The romance was light, being almost non-existent. I think that’s understandable since Lib has a lot on her plate already. Over all, the tale was a fun, quick read. The author shows some obvious talent, and while I feel the story could have been tidied up a bit, I was still entertained throughout the tale.
I received a free copy of this book via The Audiobookworm.
The Narration: Genevieve Kaplan makes a very good Lib. She has a young teen voice that suits Lib well. She was really good at keeping her character voices distinct. Wolf is described as having a deep voice, and while Kaplan’s voice for this character sounded masculine, I wouldn’t call it a deep male voice. There were a few technical issues. For instance, the volume sometimes fluctuates, though it’s not enough to hurt an eardrum or two. Additionally, 1 chapter is in there twice (Chapter 14 if I recall correctly).
What I Liked: Humanity in a fishbowl!; the AI and the danger she poses; Lib’s character; survival in the desert; domed humans, the Glitches, & Rogues – can they ever work together?
What I Disliked: Internal inconsistencies; a few technical issues with the narration.
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About Author Ramona Finn:
Ramona Finn writes about courageous characters who fight to live in broken, dystopian worlds. She believes a person’s true characters is often revealed in times of crisis, and there is no greater crisis than the worlds that she drops her characters into!
She grew up sitting cross-legged on her town’s library floor–completely engrossed in science fiction books. It was always the futuristic world or the universe-on-the-brink-of-extinction plotlines that drew her in, but it was the brave characters who chose to fight back that kept her turning the pages.
Her books create deep, intricate worlds with bold characters determined to fight for their survival in their dystopian worlds–with a little help from their friends. And, of course, romance is never out of the question.
Synopsis of The Glitch:
On the brink of extinction, being human means more than just surviving.
In Lib’s world, it’s dangerous to stray from the Norm. In fact, for someone who doesn’t live up to the AI’s standards, it’s practically a death sentence. Lib learns this the hard way when she wakes up with her memories erased in a barren wasteland, and only one thought lodged in her mind:
It’s all her fault.
Lib is a Glitch—an imperfect human component of the utopian Norm. Utterly alone, she’ll have to team up with her fellow Glitches Skye and Raj and the mysterious Rogue Wolf and his clan to survive. Wolf only cares about the survival of his group, but Raj thinks they can hack the AI and change the Norm for the better.
Now, Lib will have to decide which path to choose—whether to go with handsome loner Raj or stay with Wolf and his tight-knit group. Her heart is drawn to both, but she’s carrying a deadly secret that could jeopardize them all. Will she be able to save her newfound family and stop the AI before it’s too late?
About Narrator Genevieve Kaplan:
For the past fifteen years I have received extensive training in lyric diction and classical voice. Various experience includes lead roles in multiple opera production through Santa Clara University with semi-professional recording obligations. For a minor in Lyric Diction at Santa Clara University I was required to take 6 units of Lyric Diction learning the correct pronunciation of languages including Italian, German and French (and of course English) as well as four years of private vocal training. Outside of musical endeavors I have experience with various characters and voices of my own creation included in my stand up comedy set.