The book opens with a young photographer agreeing to become a sponsorbaby for the beverage, Ghost. She receives an injectable tech that circulates in her system and attaches to her cells. The Ghost logo will appear like a luminescent tattoo on her skin. She will crave for Ghost for as long as she lives.
This is her world. The city is drowning in advertising. Everyone is dependent on their phones for money and identity, and even the simple task of opening a door. To be without a phone is to be a disconnect: homeless, identity-less. But someone is forming a group that will aspire for just that – to be disconnected from the world, in order to change it.
The divide between corporate versus “civilian-plebes” plus the brutality of the police force is reminiscent of apartheid (author Lauren Beukes is from South Africa, where the novel is also set). Beukes says so herself in the “Extras” that the novel grew from the legacy of this divide. “Don’t let anyone tell you that apartheid has nothing to do with South Africa now.”
She covers several topics in her novel – gaming culture, nanotech, technological dependency, advertising, corporate rule, oppression, terrorism – and presents them fresh and highly charged. The energy of the narrative is amazing. Read this book.
The Mighty Reading List!
Feast for Crows The Kobayashi Maru of Love Showbiz Lengua PGS Horror issue Floating Dragon
El Bimbo Variations The Tesseract Faithful Place Moxyland
Our Story Begins
Here on Earth
The Pull of the Moon