Aaru by David Meredith
"…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.