|Title: Suspense Series: The Spencer Nye Trilogy (book 1)|
Author: Jason Letts Pub. Date: Sept. 2011
Format: Kindle ebook Source: from author for review
|Spencer Nye can’t control the rage bubbling under her skin over the world around her. The trouble is, by the year 2102, the world has solved most of its great problems. Without hunger, war, greed, or even money, people obsess over the glamour of the Culture Industry and its mega-celebrity Idols, who vie for followers over the social networks of Connect.|
But Spencer discovers there is plenty to fix within the Idols’ competition for more popularity. She becomes a diehard and promises to do anything to help her Idol, a dreamy movie star named Cleary Mintz, bring his vision of hope and purpose to the world. When she stumbles onto a threat against his life, she’ll have to fight harder than she ever thought possible or lose the man who means more to her than any other.
First, let me just say that I haven’t read a great deal of dystopian YA lit, but after reading Suspense I’m hooked on the genre. In Suspense, author Jason Letts has taken the idea of a dystopian future, and by adding his own brand of humor, action, twists and turns, he’s created one of the most original stories I’ve ever read. This book is truly a page turner…seriously, I read it in one sitting and every time I told myself “Just one more chapter”, I’d get to the end of that chapter and something exciting would happen and I’d have to keep reading to find out what happened next…and this kept happening until I finished the book and realized it was about 5am and I stayed up all night just to read it.
In the year 2102, the world’s problems- greed, violence, war, poverty, hunger- have seemed to vanish. Machines called molecular synthesizers are capable of creating absolutely anything and have eradicated the world’s need for money. People simply trade or give things away. Terminals allow people to be transported anywhere in the matter of minutes. And the whole world is connected with Connect, which takes Facebook and Twitter to a WHOLE new level. Without governments and politics, it is the Idols-there’s six of them- that divide the world’s population. People follow and support their Idol, and some choose to be diehards- ultimate fans willing to do anything to support and protect their chosen Idol. Spencer Nye is one of those diehards. Along with her BFF’s Jetta and Patch, Spencer is a Cleary Mintz (a handsome actor) diehard. When they uncover a deadly plot against Cleary, the trio must go to extreme measures to protect him, and in doing so they uncover secrets bigger than they ever imagined.
What really captivated me about this book is that even when things seemed outlandish or farfetched, there was a voice in the back of mind that said “OMG, this could actually really happen someday!”. There are elements in this book,-truths about our culture, our humanity, our plausible future- that are so startlingly, yet so very honest, and this book is as much about who we (the collective we) are now as it is about who we may become.
But don’t let this underlying heaviness-that I happen to appreciate and think makes the book that more refreshing and captivating- deter you from this book, because at its core it’s a fast paced, action packed, intriguing, and entertaining book. And it is very well written. The characters- the trio of Spencer; Jetta; Patch, the Idols, and the antagonists- are all well developed and dimensional. The characters are easy to connect with, Spencer especially, which is important because the story is told from her perspective. With Spencer, Letts has created a strong, capable heroine who has her flaws and insecurities. I found her quite relatable.
The action- there’s a lot of it- is fast and heart stopping and often left me breathless and on the edge of my seat. But the action was never too overwhelming and I never found myself lost among the punches, shots, whirrings, or shouts. And the storyline itself surprised me…it literally surprised me. I’m usually pretty good at predicting outcomes or where a story’s going, but Letts’ twists and turns led me to something I never expected…which I found pretty cool.
I must admit that the romantic aspects of this book kind of confused and overwhelmed me though. There isn’t a love triangle as much as there’s a love square or maybe even a love hexagon. At times the romantic aspects left me wondering so much that they pulled my attention away from the rest of the story. There were some romantic feelings that seemed to come out of nowhere and some that I’m still not sure I understand. However, this is only the first book in a series, so these questions and confusions may very well be explained and clarified in future books.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s edgy, smart, and gripping. I’m impressed by its originality, execution, and thought provoking aspects. I look forward to reading future books in the series and reading more of Jason Letts’ work.
4 out of 5 Cupcakes
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Jason (that's him on the left) was kind enough to answer a few of my questions so that we all could get to know him and his book a little better.