Alex's Reviews > Socialpunk

Socialpunk by Monica Leonelle
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's review
Apr 11, 2012

really liked it
Read in March, 2012

Socialpunk was a fun read, I didn't want to put the book down while I was in the middle of it. I haven't read any "cyberpunk" style books before (that I can think of off the top of my head), but I did enjoy this one. It seems to me to be a fairly traditional, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi novel and love story. I can see a lot of parallels to other sci-fi stories spanning the years from Logan's Run to The Matrix, including an almost verbatim reference to The Terminator movies. I have nothing against formulaic stories, I mean six out of seven Harry Potter books had exactly the same story with a slightly different cast and minor details, but I and most of the world still love them. Socialpunk follows the line of girl meets boy, boy takes here from the fake world to the real world where she breaks out her shell of a sheep to become the leader who will save her friends and the world.

Ima/Cinder is a great character, I enjoyed watching her story develop. I thought it was a little unfortunate that instead of really learning to change and growing out of her shell, she is "upgraded." That area alone leaves so much room for character development, love story development and just more story. I realize the characters are supposed to be working under the time frame of something like a week, but still. She is a character who I found interesting to explore and who I cared about. I have definitely met characters in other books who I really could have cared less about, but Ima/Cinder was not one of those.

One of the other interesting references that I noticed that seemed out of place to me was one to Jane Austin's Emma. All things considered, had I not just recently worked on the stage adaptation of the book, I probably would not have got the reference. I only question if the target audience of Socialpunk (and even the character who makes the reference) would really know Jane Austin. She wasn't required reading when I was in school, is she now?

I also noticed a host of little technical issues with the book. To an avid reader you would probably look at them and go "huh?!" and then figure it out and move on. They really amount to a handful of typos, some pronoun and name inconsistencies and a few other small things. My hope is that I was just reading a preview copy that was going to get at least one more once over by the author or her editor before publishing. It didn't detract from the story at all, but it is something you don't expect to see in published books.

The last thing that really struck me was length of the book and the ending. Amazon says that the paperback edition is 400 pages. I read it on my Kindle, so pages are kind of meaningless. It took me less than a day to finish the whole book, and then it ended in a place where you might expect your favorite TV sitcom to end. I realize that this is supposed to be the first book in a trilogy, but given the length, I felt you could probably wrap all the books into one and still be happy. On the other hand, I guess maybe I am feeling this way because I was attached to the story and I want to find out what happens next. That is a great way to set up a cliffhanger, if your audience is wanting more!

Overall, I would recommend the book. If you like any of the genres or similar stories that I mentioned before, you will probably like Socialpunk. If you are looking for a fairly fast read (at least until the sequels are ready) then this is also a good book for you. The story has likeable characters with a plot line that is pretty easy to follow, and the story is fun.
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