Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Glitch, Override and Shutdown (a dystopian trilogy)

This is a review of the Glitch trilogy by Heather Anastasiu. I received a copy of the last book, Shutdown, in exchange for this honest review. Shutdown is available as of today! 

The Young Adult literature market is flooded with dystopian literature, and while it is my favorite subgenere, I often feel like I am wading through the titles, trying to decide which ones are worth a read and which ones to skip. Lately, I find myself reading books I wish I had skipped, and since I had heard so little about the Glitch series, I figured it would be the same. But I ended up loving it. It is definitely a series that gets stronger as it goes, but the whole trilogy is worth a read. 

Zoe is never sad. She is never angry. She never thinks for herself - until she starts glitching. In the community, all pain and war have been replaced with a computer chip implanted in each person's brain, which turns almost the entire population into work drones. The only glimpses of free thought come sometimes during the teen years when the brain grows faster than the chip can compensate for and the teen experiences brief periods of freedom from the collective. Zoe is one such glitcher. She has discovered the beauty and color of being free and isn't sure she wants to give it up. She has also discovered glitching has given her a special power, a power that if revealed would mean certain deactivation. 

I have to admit the first book in the Glitch trilogy (Glitch) wasn't my favorite. In the first book we learn that not only are the chip implants malfunctioning, but glitching in a way that causes the teens to develop powers. It felt very Borg meets X-Men meets dystopian literature. It took a while for the story to develop, but I liked the story by the time I finished it. I liked that even though there were two boys both interested in Zoe, it quickly switched from the feeling of a love triangle to falling in love and staying in love with one boy for the rest of the trilogy. 

Override(Glitch 2), picks up where Glitch left off. In this book Zoe has escaped the community and is living at The Foundation, a compound for glitchers like herself. She is dealing with severe allergies to the surface and is working together to pool their abilities to try and free other drones from The Community, only to find out their enemy is also gathering a pool of their own glitchers to fight against them. I liked the second book a lot more than the first. There is action, the introduction of some great new characters and a lot of movement in the plot. The second book also broke my heart a little bit - major tragedy with one of the main characters left the book on a sad note, but it was well written and compelling. I was dying to read the last book after this one. 

Shutdown, (released today!) the final book in the trilogy, picks up where the second book heartbreakingly ended. It shows the resistance losing everything, and Zoe having to pick herself up and keep going after jeopardizing everybody she loves. It is a book of fight and struggle. I really liked this book. I feel like so many books are afraid to push the limit. They want a magical, happy ending when, if this was reality, not such a magical, happy ending could exist. I kept waiting for everything to smooth over and all past tragedies to be forgotten, on par with the norm in books these days, and it didn't happen. The end was a struggle, a beautiful struggle. The main character and her love interest learned and grew together. There was no magical cure, things didn't end completely happily ever after, but they ended happy, showing that work and love can create happy endings when fairy tale ones just won't fit. 

As a whole, the Glitch trilogy was a great read. It ended stronger than it started, but I loved the series, the characters and the fact that the author wasn't afraid to make hard decisions. It is the hard decisions that can really make a series great.
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