This book is surreal in some ways, but very believable at the same time. Beware homophobes - there are lesbians in this book! But it's about much more than that - it's a look into a possible future of our world.
I picked up this book in a bargain bin because it looked interesting. Beginning to read it, I thought, "wow, stylistically, this book reminds me A LOT of Nicola Griffith" (an author I particularly like). Next time I picked it up, I noticed the dedication: "to Nicola, my sunshine." I looked it up and yep, Kelley Eskridge is Nicola Griffith's partner; they met at a Clarion workshop. Whether or not proximity has influence on style, this is an amazing book.
Ren Segura, a young woman who calls herself Jackal, has had a privileged life. Born at just the right second, in one of the world's largest corporations, she has been designated a 'Hope' - a celebrity, and an example of what is to be a brilliant new era for the world. It's a good life - but a lot to live up to - especially when her jealous mother reveals that her claim to fame is a sham - she wasn't really born at exactly that time. Under a lot of emotional stress, Jackal is then, unluckily, involved in a horrible accident, and comes under media suspicion of actually being a violent terrorist. Convinced by her corporation to plead guilty, her fall is complete - and she is pressured to sign up for a new sort of criminal punishment. Rather than spending 40 years in jail, she will serve out her sentence in an electronically induced state which makes her feel like she is spending time in solitary confinement - allowing her to go free only a short time later - but wiith unknown psychological consequences.
Great characters, interesting situations and a satisfying conclusion... I'm putting this down as one of the best of this year.
Interesting science fiction book.
Strong recommendation for sci-fi readers, although it is unevenly written and drawn out too far. I think it is a first novel and some latitude is allowed, but it drags on too long and the conclusion was a little predictable by about half way through. Still, I will watch for more bokks by this author as the writing is very good most of the time, almost poetic in parts.