TITLE: GlitchAUTHOR: Heather Anastasiu
PUBLICATION DATE: August 7th 2012
In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network. When Zoe starts to malfunction (or "glitch"), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers. As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse. In this action-packed debut, Glitch begins an exciting new young adult trilogy.
Zoel lives in a society when everything in her life is controlled by so-called Link. Any anomalous behavior is to be reported immediately upon discovery. But what is she supposed to do when she starts glitching herself? What are those things she starts to feel? Who is this boy with mysteriously turquoise eyes? Why is she able to move things only with her thoughts?
It’s not a secret that I’m a big fan of dystopian novels. And it saddens me greatly when a dystopian book is disappointing. Unfortunately, despite the absolutely gorgeous cover that promised me great things and interesting premise, Glitch falls in the disappointing dystopian books category.
After first 50 pages or so, I wasn’t thrilled. In fact, I was a bit annoyed by the lack of originality. The narration was so dull and felt like a rip-off of all the dystopian novels that popped up in the past two years. To me it felt like a weird mash-up of three novels: Divergent, Delirium and Matched. And given that I wasn’t really enthralled by these books, I could tell my adventure with Glitch wasn’t going to end well.
There is a lot of telling, not showing. I am a fan of action and characters that make us understand what happens through their reactions. But in Glitch, almost 50 pages in the beginning are one big description.
After I struggled through the first few chapters, things got interesting. Zoe finally started to grasp what was happening to her, she met new people… only to be dragged back where she started. And then a new factor was added to the mix – love triangle.
I am not entirely sure why some authors think that a dystopian novel cannot exist without a love story. The more complicated the better. To be honest, my favorite dystopian novels do actually have some love plotline at some point, but it’s not their main point.
I didn't believe the love presented in Glitch. The big confession by Adrien is not exactly understandable to me. In fact, it came out of the blue. I don't know WHY he claimed to love Zoe. Other than the fact that she's an uninteresting, annoying character who is supposed to be special, they don't even talk about anything important. It's mostly Adrien doing some explaining and Zoe having to choose between two boys. The whole Max issue and love triangle popped up quite out of the blue too.
I think it would be beneficial for Glitch if there were fewer hormones-driven teenagers and more actual action. There were some parts of the book I really liked – like the whole X-men aspect of the ‘glitchers’. I also admit that the resistance part of the story was interesting – unfortunately, it was underdeveloped and hidden under a thick layer of love confessions and pointless fights between main characters.
Speaking of characters, I don’t think I liked any of them. Zoe was balancing on Mary Sue-istic tendencies, Max was just disgusting and Molla was a hysteric. And every time I thought I liked Adrien, he started to curse – his curses being ‘cracking hell’ and ‘shunting’. A distinctive voice of a character isn’t exactly about making him or her speaking funnily. It’s a minor feature, but it’s not necessary, and I think Adrien’s weird vocabulary was added here to make him stand out. It worked – he irritated me.
As for the writing, it was too long and too descriptive for me. Let me give you an example (quote from ARC, final version my vary!):
‘I speared a piece of broccoli with my fork and chewed on it thoughtfully, enjoying the texture on my tongue and the crunch that echoed in my ears with each bite. I wished I could draw this feeling so I could hold it in my hands.’
To make it sound all tech-like and completely incomprehensible, Anastasiu throws words such as 'luminescent 3-d projection' or 'bionic data nanodes'. Which are just empty words, really, instead of real world building that I expect from a good dystopian book.
And there are plotholes. Lots of them. I made notes of just a few. If people are 'subjects' and are behaving almost like robots, why do they even bother to have names? Wouldn't a serial number be sufficient? How come Zoel learns what emotions are from 'the old textbooks'? How is she capable of properly naming them all if she's never seen a normal, emotional person? Living for 16 years as an emotionless robot would do some irreversible changes to her brain, so this aspect of the book made me raise an eyebrow.
To make things worse, Zoel learned how to control her superpowers just in time. She spent the whole book not knowing how to lift a pillow and just when she and the other characters were trying to escape by the end of the book, she suddenly could defeat an entire unit of Regulators on her own.
To sum up, I didn’t enjoy this book at all. I expected a lot for such quite a buzzed book, but it only disappointed me. I don’t think I will be reading the sequel (which is obviously going to happen. The entire trilogy is going to happen).