Book Review: UnChipped: Kaarina

Book Review

Kaarina; Unchipped Series #1

By: Taya Devere

Science Fiction, Dystopian

4 Stars

A civilization reliant on AR. Unchipped refugees forced outside its walls. Can a lone underdog save humanity from itself?

In the two years since the Great Affliction, the Happiness-Program has transformed a civilization on the brink of extinction into an organized, beautiful, and happy society. However, for the Unchipped–those whose chips can’t connect to the system–living a comfortable life remains out of reach.

Kaarina, one of the Unchipped, would give anything to live inside the walls of the city again. Haunted by her mother’s suicide and alone except for Bill, another Unchipped thousands of miles away whose thoughts are inexplicably linked to hers, Kaarina fights for survival, defending her beloved animals from the other savage Unchipped. But when her horse’s illness drives her into the city to find medicine, she becomes acquainted with a Chipped man who makes her question everything.

Now a new fix to the system promises her the chance to finally be normal… just as she begins to learn life in the perfectly augmented reality may not be all that she imagined.

This book reminded me of the classic Science Fiction that was one of my first great loves. I, Robot, Brave New World, Childhood’s End, and 1984 were a few that came to mind. Books that told fantastic stories with great societal questions. Books that used a straight-forward writing style, and characters almost naive in their interaction with their world.

Ms. Devere captures this well, telling a story less far-fetched than these other classics might have seemed in their time. I was also reminded of The Giver while reading. The tight setting that was different through the eyes of the main character than through the rest of the inhabitants. The questions of what that differing sense meant for the greater population. A bit of a slow start fades away with the adjustment to writing style, and especially when the plight of Kaarina becomes more severe than first explained.

I look forward to reading the rest in this serially published universe.

Happy Reading 🙂