Official Book Description:
For fans of Ender’s Game and Blade Runner comes a story of video gaming, blood, and power.
Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi’s dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth’s corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth’s Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi’s the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she’s convinced he’s been taken to the ice-planet.
Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.
For Miguel—Earth’s charming young playboy—the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight’s bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he’s a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.
From the award-winning author of the Storm Siren Trilogy, step into a diverse cast of characters spanning from the electric metropolises of earth to the chilling alien planet above, in a story of re-finding yourself in the midst of losing the one thing you love. Before it all evaporates.
Things I loved:
The opening scenes of this riveting book immediately immersed me in an amazing live-action video game with real people playing out a video game in large arena filled with unbelievable scenery and challenges. That first scene with the explosive gaming and amazing technology, and another later in the story, where everyone is dancing, were so beautifully described it was like watching a movie. The characters have depth and yet live frenetically, much like the pace of the whole book itself. The tension between Miguel and Sofi kept me turning pages and wanting to see what was going to happen next.
What I was glad to see was Weber’s characters also accurately represent what many kids are really experiencing and the tension of bitter memories over poor decisions. Sofi is very resilient and never gives up on trying to find her brother when he is presumed dead. Her courage and selflessness is admirable, even if her understanding of life is very jumbled up from the political and family corruption she’s experienced first-hand.
If you’ve ever been through a severe trauma, as I have with surviving a wildfire, you’ll appreciate Sofi’s flashbacks and the way Weber puts you in touch, over time, with her strength as a character. I had a lot of compassion for her choices and could see a deeper level of hurt that seemed authentic.
Miguel is a great counter point of wit, dashing masculinity, and a bit of whimsy with his purple-tinted hair and life-of-the-party kind of personality. There’s a real spark between the two that develops well in the book too.
Things I’d caution about:
This is a high-power, heavy action book which I’d really recommend to the later end of young adult age range. There is mention of loose morals and Sofi’s unhealthy binging on relationships after one didn’t work out in the past. The brutal events and nature of the relationships are edgy, like the whole book, so for more sensitive readers I’d recommend it for older high school aged kids and up. Also, the ending is a huge cliff-hanger and you’ll be compelled to get the next one in the duology to see what happens.
I was drawn into the story and the beginning set such a great tone for lots of twists and unexpected turns. And I was on edge the whole time. I really love this author and appreciate better treatment of hot issues like human trafficking, identity, rivalries, thriving despite poor role models, and the value of life than books like the Hunger Games and others in that lane. I really enjoyed reading it. Just be ready for the edge if you do, because it will blow your mind and expectations. And your fingers will be itching to read the second book!
Title: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow
Series: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow, Book 1
Author: Mary Weber
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fiction / Sci-Fi
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Mary Weber is a ridiculously uncoordinated girl plotting to take over make-believe worlds through books, handstands, and imaginary throwing knives. In her spare time, she feeds unicorns, sings 80’s hairband songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California, which is perfect for stalking L.A. bands, Joss Whedon, and the ocean.
5/15 – Reading is My SuperPower (review)
5/16 – Thorn & Vine (review) & A Baker’s Perspective (review)
5/17 – My So Called Chaos (review) & Between the Pages of This Bookish Life (Spotlight)
5/18 – Bibliophile Reviews (Review), Singing Librarian Books (Spotlight) & Thinking Thoughts (Spotlight)
5/19 – Bookworm Mama (review) & YA Book Divas (Spotlight & Excerpt)
5/20 – Just Commonly (review)
Sign up for Thorn & Vine blog and book reviews HERE.
(3) Winners will each win a finished hard copy of The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber, courtesy of Thomas Nelson Publishers. Giveaway ends on May 26, 2017, 11:59 PM EST. Enter the giveaway here.