Bluescreen & Ones and Zeroes by Dan Wells (Reviews)

(Mirador #1)
by Dan Wells
YA Dystopain, SciFi
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, & ebook, 352 Pages
February 16th 2016 by Balzer & Bray


Los Angeles in 2050 is a city of open doors, as long as you have the right connections. That connection is a djinni—a smart device implanted right in a person’s head. In a world where virtually everyone is online twenty-four hours a day, this connection is like oxygen—and a world like that presents plenty of opportunities for someone who knows how to manipulate it.

Marisa Carneseca is one of those people. She might spend her days in Mirador, the small, vibrant LA neighborhood where her family owns a restaurant, but she lives on the net—going to school, playing games, hanging out, or doing things of more questionable legality with her friends Sahara and Anja. And it’s Anja who first gets her hands on Bluescreen—a virtual drug that plugs right into a person’s djinni and delivers a massive, non-chemical, completely safe high. But in this city, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, and Mari and her friends soon find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that is much bigger than they ever suspected.

Dan Wells, author of the New York Times bestselling Partials Sequence, returns with a stunning new vision of the near future—a breathless cyber-thriller where privacy is the world’s most rare resource and nothing, not even the thoughts in our heads, is safe.

(Affiliate links included - I receive a small kickback if you make a purchase using my links.)

My Review

BLUESCREEN is one of those stories that suck you in from the beginning with interesting characters, a fun family dynamic, and a plot that gathers in intensity through the climatic end. Young adult readers will love all the nods to current culture and the evolution of virtual video games, and won't be able to resist falling in love with these characters. An exciting beginning to this series!

I loved this whole crazy concept of djinnis implanted in everyone's heads. It was kind of scary, but also very, very cool. There were so many ways that the author could go with this kind of thing, but the way this story went was completely new. It isn't your usual story of world domination of some country or company or huge, visible enemy. No, here the villain is mostly hidden and the threat slowly unfolds until the reader (along with the characters) figure things out and see this terrible future if they lose. All the hacking and digital aspects were just awesome and not so complex that they were difficult to follow.

Let's move on to the rest of what I loved about this story though. The characters. I love this motley group, and that's what they are. Different nationalities and social classes all together to make up the the Cherry Dogs Overworld virtual reality team. I loved the diversity and how realistic their group felt. I also adored Marisa's family. There was so much to relate to there and I loved the genuine love and pull and tug between Marisa and her parents and siblings. For some reason, it did take me a little bit of time to get all the characters straight and Marisa and Sahara took me the longest to straighten out, but I did get them down. Some of the team members have stronger roles than some of the others, but I think they'll develop more as the series moves forward.

The plot of the story was another thing I really enjoyed. I've already mentioned all the fun gaming and digital parts. They really are a hugely exciting part of this story. I also loved that romance wasn't a huge part of the story. It's there, but has some great twists. The pacing was great and I literally dived into this one and couldn't put the book down. I'm excited to dive back in to book two!

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was definitely a fun, crazy, and intense start to this new series! Gamers and YA fans will find a lot to love here and hopefully more to love to come in the following books.

Content: Some references to drugs and drinking, some swearing, and some violence.
Source: I received a complimentary ARC from the publisher through NetGalley, which did not require a positive review nor affect it in any way.

Ones and Zeroes
(Mirador #2)
by Dan Wells
YA Dystopain, SciFi
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, & ebook, 416 Pages
February 14th 2017 by Balzer + Bray


From Dan Wells, author of the New York Times bestselling Partials Sequence and the John Cleaver series, comes the second book in a dark, pulse-pounding sci-fi-noir series set in 2050 Los Angeles.

Overworld. It’s more than just the world’s most popular e-sport—for thousands of VR teams around the globe, Overworld is life. It means fame and fortune, or maybe it’s a ticket out of obscurity or poverty. If you have a connection to the internet and four friends you trust with your life, anything is possible.

Marisa Carneseca is on the hunt for a mysterious hacker named Grendel when she receives word that her amateur Overworld team has been invited to Forward Motion, one of the most exclusive tournaments of the year. For Marisa, this could mean anything—a chance to finally go pro and to help her family, stuck in an LA neighborhood on the wrong side of the growing divide between the rich and the poor. But Forward Motion turns out to be more than it seems—rife with corruption, infighting, and danger—and Marisa runs headlong into Alain Bensoussan, a beautiful, dangerous underground freedom fighter who reveals to her the darker side of the forces behind the tournament. It soon becomes clear that, in this game, winning might be the only way to get out alive. 

(Affiliate links included - I receive a small kickback if you make a purchase using my links.)

My Review

ONES AND ZEROES is an interesting follow-up to BLUESCREEN. The characters come alive even more and there's a new challenge for the Cherry Dogs that pushes them to their limits. Those who are fans of the first book, will continue to find things to love about this series.

I enjoyed this second book in the series. It's full of more crazy antics and twists, along with impossible challenges for this group of friends. The world they live in has also continues to change as things degrade more in their community and Marisa's family is at risk of losing what they have.

Some of the story lines were a little less developed than others and there were also some new characters that you don't get a complete picture of, but I'm wondering if those will be filled out more in the third book. There seemed, to me at least, for some things to be a little more implausible in this plot. There was also a lot more swearing and crude references as well as gay references (for those who may have issues with those). I like it when characters and plots stay consistent, so this second book felt like it was pressured to ramp up certain aspects that weren't as prevalent in the first book or present at all.

I still love these characters! I got to know two of the Cherry Dogs' team members a lot more and Marisa's family had some really fun parts that I just loved. Her family is probably one of my favorite parts of this story! The romance, again, was very light and also somewhat mysterious. I have some ideas of who is behind what and who is who, but I won't know for sure if I'm right until I read the third book, so I'm looking forward to that. I still love the whole hacking and virtual reality aspects, which really vamps up in the end... that whole ending was crazy awesome!

In the end, was it what I wished for? A decent follow-up to the first book and definitely worth reading. I would have liked a few things changed or developed more, but I'm looking forward to book three.

Content: Some swearing, violence, gay references, and some crude dialogue.
Source: I received a complimentary ARC from the publisher through NetGalley, which did not require a positive review nor affect it in any way.

Other Books in the Series

Active Memory
(Mirador #3)
by Dan Wells
YA Dystopain, SciFi
Hardcover, & ebook, 400 Pages
February 13th 2018 by Balzer + Bray


From Dan Wells, author of the New York Times bestselling Partials Sequence and the John Cleaver series, comes the third and final book in the dark, pulse-pounding, sci-fi neo-noir series that began with the acclaimed novel Bluescreen.

For all the mysteries teen hacker Marisa Carneseca has solved, there has been one that has always eluded her: the truth behind the car accident in which she lost her arm and a mob boss’ wife, Zenaida de Maldonado, lost her life. Even in a world where technology exists to connect everyone’s mind to one another, it would seem that some secrets can still remain hidden.

Those secrets rise violently to the surface, however, when Zenaida de Maldonado’s freshly severed hand shows up at the scene of a gangland shooting. If Zenaida is—or was—still alive, it means there’s even more about Marisa’s past that she doesn’t know. And when she and her friends start digging, they uncover a conspiracy that runs from the slums of Los Angeles to the very top of the world’s most powerful genetic engineering firm. If Mari wants the truth, she’s going to have to go through genetically enhanced agents, irritatingly attractive mob scions, and some bad relationships to get it.

Dan Wells’s widely acclaimed series continues with his most shocking, pulse-pounding, and visionary story yet.

(Affiliate links included - I receive a small kickback if you make a purchase using my links.)

I've reviewed this third book for a book tour that also includes a giveaway here, so check that out! Have you read this series yet or is it on your list?

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