Release Date: November 4th 2014
Published By: Allen & Unwin (Aus), Balzer + Bray (US)
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase Crash Click here to purchase Crashland
Rating: 4 out of 5
Synopsis: The Matrix meets the Uglies series in this science fiction thriller, the second in the Twinmaker trilogy by Sean Williams.
Where is Q?
Clair and Jesse have barely been reunited when the world is plunged into its biggest crisis since the Water Wars. The d-mat network is broken. The world has ground to a halt. People are trapped, injured, dying. It’s the end of the world as Clair knows it—and it’s partly her fault.
“The girl who killed d-mat” is enlisted to track down her missing friend Q—the rogue AI who repeatedly saved Clair’s life. Q is the key to fixing the system, but she isn’t responding to calls for help, and even if she did…can she be trusted?
Targeted by dupes, abandoned by her friends, caught in a web of lies that strike at the very essence of who she is, Clair finds powerful allies in RADICAL, secretive activists who are the polar opposite of anti-d-mat terrorist group WHOLE. However, if she helps them find Q, will she be inadvertently trapping her friend in a life of servitude—or worse, sending her to an early death by erasure?
Caught between pro- and anti-d-mat philosophies, in a world on the brink of all-out war, Clair must decide where she stands—and who she stands with, at the end.
Review: This review contains spoilers for the previous book.
Where is Q? This is the question that I have been asking ever since I finished reading Jump (otherwise known as Twinmaker). I had so many feelings at the end of Jump, but ultimately it boiled down Q – where is she, what is she, and will she help or destroy the world? Well… you will need to read Crash to see if this question is answered 🙂
The events at the end of Jump left the world, and Clair, in a spin. The world in in turmoil: d-mat is broken. This does not only mean that people are unable to take quick holidays across the world, but it ground society to a halt due to their dependency on this form of transportation. Society in general does not know how to function without this technology, but more importantly, people are unable to access medical attention; they are unable to leave wherever they were when d-mat broke down. The whole world is on verge of breakdown, and it is Clair’s fault. She broke d-mat, but she doesn’t know how to fix it. The only hope of restoring it is Q – but she is nowhere to be found. Can Clair find her? Can Clair make her trust her again? Can Clair trust Q?
On the run from the Dupes who are after her, from society who blames her for the world’s problems, and from her friends who seem to have abandoned her, Clair makes some uneasy alliances. Clair needs to find Q – to find her friend, to apologise, and to help restore the world back to the way it was – but these alliances may just destroy Q once Clair finds her.
Through Crash, Clair certainly went on a journey. She made some good decisions, she made some bad ones, she trusted those she could, and those she couldn’t. She varied between not wanting to be a leader, and being the only person who could lead. We also see Clair come to realise the consequences of her actions. Not only for herself and her friends, but for the general population. Clair has turned the world upside down – and where she goes from here will also have dire consequences. And as she starts to realise this, she starts to see that she cannot make decisions based on her own personal wants and needs.
Clair either trusted too easily, or not enough – this was her in Jump, and also in Crash. And while I do find that somewhat annoying in a character, it is clear that this is one of Clair’s personal development storylines. I don’t mind character traits that annoy me if the character develops as the storyline continues, and it seems that Clair is doing that. She is certainly developing in regards to her selfishness – she is starting to be able to look beyond her own desires.
Clair has been thrown into a world of confusion, there are people who want to use her to find Q, to use her a spokesperson, to follow or to ridicule her. She is uncertain who she can trust, she is uncertain why this has all fallen to her, she does not understand why every move she makes is being watched and scrutinised by everyone via Air… all that she knows is that she does not know where Q is, and the only person she can trust is Jesse.
The relationship between Clair and Jesse is very interesting – Clair needs and wants Jesse, but is their relationship doomed from the start? Clair wants to restore the technology that her world is so reliant on, however Jesse believes, and wants, the world to adapt to the abstainer lifestyle. Will their personal beliefs regarding society’s need and use of technology ultimately drive them apart?
Crash once again exemplifies dependency on technology. And with this, raising many current ethical questions. The dependency and consequences of social media once again is a strong focus. As Air is still working, this is a driving factor of information sharing, tracking and hijacking throughout the storyline. It shows the usefulness of technology, but also the pitfalls. And although this is a sci-fi setting, the underlying messages and questions are relevant in today’s society. Even though not available in the world we know today, the use of fabbers and d-mat also raises some very important questions regarding our current view-point of instant gratification and self-entitlement.
Crash does take a few twists and turns along the way, especially towards the end of the book. Like it’s processor, Crash is full of action in an well-developed, technology dependant world, but it was really the ending that won me over. I am very much looking forward to Fall (Twinmaker #3). I cannot wait to see where Clair will end up, and what exactly will happen to this world. Who will fall? What will fall?
So, what happened to Q? Well, let me say this, Sean certainly leaves you hanging… but if you think that is bad, just wait until you get to that cliff-hanger ending!