Release Date: Tuesday 6th June 2017
Let the games commence.
Disclaimer: I received an early review copy of The Evaporation Of Sofi Snow via Netgalley, with the approval of the publisher, Thomas Nelson – Fiction, in exchange for an honest review.
With the aid of the Delonese from the ice-planet Delon, thirty major corporations now rule a heavily commercialised and technological world. Sofi Snow is an online gamer who battles behind the scenes of Earths FantasyFight Games, where her twelve years old brother is forced to keep in the combined virtual and real blood sport. After a bomb explosion, he disappears but Sofi believes Shilo is still alive. She is determined to find him, even if it means embarking on a risky mission to Delon with the Ambassador to the Delonese, and seductive playboy, Miguel. Little does Sofi know, Miguel has a dark secret of his own.
Mary Weber gives us a glimpse of the future by presenting us with an earth ruled by commercialism and technology in The Evaporation of Sofi Snow. With video game characters becoming more realistic over the years, and the increasing popularity of virtual reality, the FantasyFight Games gives us a glimpse of which direction our gaming industries will be headed in the future.
Technology and commercialism are not the only two things that have taken over the world as the spotlight is shared with science. Humans have turned to creams and other medications to treat life threatening diseases, rather than relying on doctors and nurses. Mary Weber has created a chilling image of a consumerist society that is clouded by delusion to the point where they cannot see under the veil of corruption.
Put simply, The Evaporation of Sofi Snow is a representation of the death of a natural world. After the collapse of the government and the aftermath of the Fourth War, there was a decline in food, which lead to the invention of artificial food. It is chilling how this all reflects their desperation to restore a broken world. Hence, they had to restore their world through mind blowing technology and use consumerism and commercialism as a band aid to cover up the destruction created by war and corruption. To make matters worse, the corruption of the thirty corporations that now run the earth, is hell bent on destroying the world even more. I found it very clever how Mary incorporated existing technology, and the technology of the future in her story. This made things seem a lot more realistic, as if she is giving us a glimpse into the future.
Sofi Snow is an intelligent woman who uses her technological skills, hacking, quick thinking, and knowledge to bring to light the worlds darkest hidden secret while trying to rescue her brother Shilo. Sofi’s relationship with her mother echoes the complexities of parent-child relationships, most specifically the relationships between teenagers and her parents. As a daughter of Corporation 30’s CEO, Inola, Sofi is at conflict with herself as to whether or not her mother even cares about her. There is a lack of affection between the two as Inola is shown as this workaholic, and money making machine that cares more about her and her company’s reputation than her children. However, if we peel off the layers, we can presume that circumstances and situations had moulded these characters into what they are.
While her mother is too busy, Sofi was forced to look after her younger brother Shilo. Sofi assumes the roles of sister, mother, and guardian to Shilo, hence it is unsurprising that Sofi is the one fearing for him and running towards a death trap to rescue him. Although most people on earth are controlled by technology, I admired Sofi’s ability to control technology and use it to her advantage.
On the other hand, Miguel is pretty much the stereotypical love interest: a bad boy with a soft layer beneath the tough exterior. Miguel is introduced as a flirt and a player, who had gotten on the wrong side of Sofi a year ago. What had happened between them and why isn’t something that is known until you read deeper into the book. Despite Miguel fitting the love interest stereotype, I still connected with him as I did was able to with Sofi. Like Sofi, he was not clouded by delusion and was determined to get answers behind the bombing of the FantasyFight Games. However, unlike Sofi, Miguel is a lot more exposed to corruption as an Ambassador to the Delonese.
Although there is something between Sofi and Miguel, a relationship between the two does not take centre stage. The spotlight is kept firmly on their mission: to find Shilo and rescue him wherever he is. The narrative is told from the perspective of Sofi and Miguel. As the story is told from both of their perspectives, it was easy to predict that whatever was happening with Sofi is connecting to Miguel’s situation. It was easy to predict that if Sofi wanted to go to search for Shilo, she will end up doing so with Miguel. Regardless of this prediction, Mary did throw some twists in The Evaporation of Sofi Snow which I was not expecting, however she did not reveal too much as I still have some unanswered question which I am hoping will be answered in the next book.
Overall, The Evaporation of Sofi Snow is a highly compelling novel full of surprises and unexpected turn. Mary Weber has created an intriguing and chilling world where humans have lost control over technology, commercialism, consumerism, and science. Instead they are being controlled by all those things as a result of desperation and fear to restore a broken world. The story is a dark representation of the future which gave me goose bumps; I am looking forward to reading what happens next in the second book of this delightful series.