Do you matter? Are you a one or a zero?
In 2050 in the LA neighborhood of Mirador, 17-year-old Latina Marisa Carneseca’s family is about to lose their restaurant. In series opener Bluescreen (2016), Mari and her multiethnic VR team Cherry Dogs saved the city from the titular mind-controlling e-drug virus, but there was no money or public glory in that. Mari is hunting for the hacker Grendel, who knows something she doesn’t about her past and her family, when she happens upon a black French freedom fighter, Alain, and joins his cause: taking down the nefarious Korean mega-corporation KT Sigan, which is squeezing every last penny out of Mirador’s residents by upping the cost of internet connectivity. Anja, Mari’s rich, German-immigrant Cherry Dogs teammate, buys the team’s way into a charity Overworld tournament hosted by KT Sigan, and that may offer Mira and Alain a chance to succeed…if their tech-skills are up to the task. Wells’ continuing series of futuristic thrillers ramps up the cinematic action and humor in his multicultural, multiethnic, dystopian near future. Realistic characters, whip-smart dialogue, and carefully controlled and believable technobabble (with sprinklings of Spanish, Chinese, and more) will have thriller, SF, and video-game fans rooting for the Cherry Dogs.
A high-tech, futuristic Ocean’s Eleven with teens. (Science fiction. 14 & up)