In a future Taiwan, street kid Jason Zhou disguises himself as one of the wealthy elite in order to take down a murdering CEO.
Jason’s been alone since his mother died of pneumonia when he was 13, just another casualty of the disease-ridden streets of polluted future Taipei. He’s been poor his whole life, but now Jason’s living in luxury and wearing something only the ultrarich can afford: a Jin Corp suit and helmet, designed to keep Taiwan’s polluted air from touching his lungs. Among the Taipei glitterati, Jason’s success rides on his successfully pulling off a disguise as a rich American new to Taiwan. Taiwan-born Jason and his international crew of friends believe the head of Jin Corp—and inventor of the suits—has been murdering anyone who agitates for cleaner air. The only way Jason can find the information they need is to pose as a high-rolling playboy romancing Jin’s daughter, so Jason kidnaps a rich girl so they can use the ransom to finance his wealthy disguise. It’s just bad luck that he’s kidnapped Jin’s daughter. A few seams show from the adaptation of “Blue Skies,” Pon’s short story from the anthology Diverse Energies (2012), fleshed out here into action occasionally overwhelmed by romance. Overall, though, the effect is successful.
An exciting, socially conscious futuristic thriller. (Science fiction. 13-16)