Posted on August 13, 2017 in Reviews / 6 Comments

AARU – #ARCReview

Aaru by David Meredith

Paperback

Published by Bowker on July 9th 2017
Series: The Aaru Cycle #1
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Length: 305 pages Source: ARC from Author

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"…Death and the stillness of death are the only things certain and common to all in this future…" -Friedrich Nietzsche

Rose is dying. Her body is wasted and skeletal. She is too sick and weak to move. Every day is an agony and her only hope is that death will find her swiftly before the pain grows too great to bear.

She is sixteen years old.

Rose has made peace with her fate, but her younger sister, Koren, certainly has not. Though all hope appears lost Koren convinces Rose to make one final attempt at saving her life after a mysterious man in a white lab coat approaches their family about an unorthodox and experimental procedure. A copy of Rose’s radiant mind is uploaded to a massive super computer called Aaru – a virtual paradise where the great and the righteous might live forever in an arcadian world free from pain, illness, and death. Elysian Industries is set to begin offering the service to those who can afford it and hires Koren to be their spokes-model.

Within a matter of weeks, the sisters’ faces are nationally ubiquitous, but they soon discover that neither celebrity nor immortality is as utopian as they think. Not everyone is pleased with the idea of life everlasting for sale. What unfolds is a whirlwind of controversy, sabotage, obsession, and danger. Rose and Koren must struggle to find meaning in their chaotic new lives and at the same time hold true to each other as Aaru challenges all they ever knew about life, love, and death and everything they thought they really believed.


This is a DNF (Did Not Finish) review.
As such, it will not be graded traditionally and not have a star rating.  I’m just going to share my thoughts on what I read of the book and let you know why I decided to put it down.

I feel sort of lousy about this, but I’ve learned my lesson and will no longer accept book via Twitter requests. Aaru was sent to me free of charge by the author in exchange for an honest review, so… here goes.

I read 30 pages and I couldn’t do it anymore. I just couldn’t.

I found inconsistencies in grammar that jumped out at me like a sore thumb and were hugely distracting.

I respect a self-published author’s need to advertise, but I feel that taking a full page at the beginning of a book to advertise your other novel is a bit in-your-face.

This book deals with cancer.  I have read other books dealing with the same subject since my husband’s recovery, but it still needs to be dealt with tactfully.  The immediate reactions of Rose (this hospital is crap), Mom (it’s all part of God’s plan), Dad (denial), Doctor (I am the smartest guy in the room), and Karon (it’s SO SAD I MISS YOU!) were all instant anger triggers for me relating to the way we were treated when we just wanted to be treated like people.  This threw me off the boat so fast – and that’s because I could not nor did I want to have anything to do with these characters from my owner personal experience.

For all I know, this may be a really incredible story. But I got hung up on the writing style and formatting and I couldn’t get into it. A lot of these things are ME problems, and not story problems, so if you aren’t very sensitive to these sorts of things, please don’t let this review discourage you from picking up the book.

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About David Meredith

David Meredith is a writer and educator originally from Knoxville, Tennessee. He received both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from East Tennessee State University, in Johnson City, Tennessee. He received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee. On and off, he spent nearly a decade, from 1999-2010 teaching English in Northern Japan, but currently lives with his wife and three children in the Nashville Area where he continues to write and teach English.

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6 responses to “AARU – #ARCReview

  1. Em

    I was actually approached about this book but turned it down. Something about it turned me off when I first read the description, and I’m really glad I decided not to read it now. I love supporting indie authors, but I feel like sometimes they don’t go through all the steps to “perfect” their book and put out more of a rough draft into the world.

    • I feel the same way. I almost didn’t accept it, but the plot sounded interesting and reminiscent of some of Robin Wasserman’s work, which I’ve really enjoyed. This book just ended up being very NOT FOR ME though it looks like he’s had great luck with other reviewers – there are a lot of good reviews. *le shrug*

    • He went to a lot of trouble in the first few pages to describe how the bear was a gift from her mother and how it looked. I got the impression the cover had been chosen in the early stages of the book and he worked hard to incorporate every aspect….

  2. Honestly, I never knew you could write a book review if you didn’t finish. If you didn’t like it too bad. You had to SLAVE ON through the whole thing just to be able to make a decent review for your blog. But you’ve shown me here that you can also just review the parts that turned you off from the book and move on with life. I’ll have to adapt this into my writing habits in future 🙂 Thanks for the learning tip!

    • Hmm. Well I suppose the internet is a free place and each blogger to their own! 🙂 I personally won’t trek through a book I don’t like. I will push through as far as possible but when a book is not a right fit, you can usually tell pretty early on. I ALSO won’t give it a star rating and thus drag down the average for the author if I don’t finish it; that’s just not fair to them. Most DNF books aren’t bad books through and through… they just aren’t a good fit for me. This book, in particular, gets quite good ratings on Goodreads and will an excellent fit for other people. 🙂

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