When Mistletoe saves a young topsider from uniformed non-police thugs, she wonders why this wealthy teen is in the grotty lower city. She certainly can’t go up into his world of real sunshine and Unison – the social network that knows you better than you know yourself.
Ah, Unison! Just shimmer in (for an appropriate fee) and enjoy limitless data flow, countless friends, your own custom-structured world for work and play. Everything is clearer, brighter, happier in Unison – as long as you keep paying your subscription. And UniCorp provides all the little things in the real world that make it less painful to be part of the “fleshbound parade” of humans during those so-long moments of being out of Unison.
No one can predict process-flow as well as teenaged Ambrose, who is chair of UniCorp’s profits division well ahead of his older brother Len. Ambrose will today move into Unison permanently, when surgery to his hypothalamus will eliminate his body’s need for sleep and give him 24 hours a day in Unison to maximize profits for their father’s corporation.
A rogue data-transfer message as he enters the UniCorp building tells Ambrose to go down into Little Saigon now, before the surgery, or his brain and dreams will be siphoned away by… who? Len? Their father? Revolutionaries? Contrary to best process-flow data, Ambrose flees for the subcanopy’s depths.
As Mistletoe and Ambrose escape through Little Saigon’s grimy alleys and tunnels on a puttering old roboscooter, they discover that both received the same rogue message “Carpe somnium” and wonder why they’ve been told to “seize the dream.”
Bombs in a world where explosives are illegal, closed off from the data of Unison and allies in the subcanopy, the teens must stay alive and free as they try to discover who’s trying to keep Ambrose out of Unison and why the data message brought them together.
Clever and suspenseful, Unison Spark is an adventure story of the future which threads questions of self and community through its action-filled pages.
Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA
For 15 years Mistletoe has lived in Little Saigon, amid the lowest of classes in the subcanopy. One day she witnesses the death of both of her guardians as they are trying to save Ambrose from top side who is the wealthy heir to Unison. Imagine living your life under Unison; a huge social network that can read and understand you and then run your life for you so you will always be happy.
Ambrose’s dad created this network and Ambrose is next in line to run it. But after being in the sub canopy and learning more about his dad and Unison, Ambrose is going to do whatever he can to stop his dad from launching Unison 3.0. Ambrose and Mistletoe are now on the run for their lives. They both have been having the same bizarre dreams that really were memories of how they were created and who they really are. They soon realize they are the products of a horrendous genetic experiment for Unison.
Mistletoe works towards learning everything she can about their origin while Ambrose fights his father and his launch of Unison 3.0.They both do this while being on the run from the people who want to capture them and bring them into Unison and to Ambrose’s father. As all of this drama unfolds an unlikely friendship is formed between Mistletoe and Ambrose. This could be just a single book but the ending is done in a way that it could also be the start of a series.
Great read-alike for those who enjoyed Epic.
232 pages Recommended by Joleen Waltman, Librarian, Idaho, USA