Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi’s dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth’s corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth’s Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi’s the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she’s convinced he’s been taken to the ice-planet.
Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.
For Miguel, Earth’s charming young playboy, the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight’s bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he’s a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.
I was very curious about this book when I saw the title. Though I don’t normally read a lot of sci-fi, I was intrigued by the summary and decided to give this one a try. While I did find it interesting, it didn’t grip me as much as I would have hoped. Also, the book itself ends in a major cliffhanger, so the story feels very much unfinished.
I enjoyed how the author chose to write the future world—with old fashions being recycled, celebs out to cause mischief and gossip, and people constantly searching for the next greatest thing, whether that be the latest wonder drug or a new Hunger Games-style arena fight. It felt very real, and—what was scary—not too far from our own modern world.
In this book, (minor spoiler) the author decided to take on the issue of human trafficking. This is not an easy subject, and makes the book quite a bit heavier than it might have been otherwise. What the author was trying to get across (other than how horrific human trafficking is) wasn’t entirely clear. (end minor spoiler) I’m hoping that I’ll see more of the plot and some of the themes in this book resolved in the next book.
Overall, I’d rate this book 3 out of 5 stars. While The Evaporation of Sofi Snow is unique in its plot, and bold in approaching some heavy topics, it lacks any sense of resolution or completeness, leaving the reader wondering if the characters have any hope at all in their very broken world. This book will appeal most to fans of The Hunger Games and other similar dystopian/sci-fi books.
Recommended for Ages 14 and up
Miguel is hispanic. Sofi has Cherokee heritage.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Barely any—a few “What the—” and “WTF” thrown in.
Miguel is described as being a player, and it is mentioned that he has slept with many different women. (Part of the back story is that he almost took Sofi’s innocence, but refrained.) Miguel and Sofi strongly desire each other, and remember “the feel of each other’s skin, and lips,” etc. The story features the issue of human trafficking, and hints at sex trafficking as well. Sofi undresses in front of Heller, and later in front of Miguel. It is clear this affects them both, though that was not her intention. Heller is obsessively infatuated with Sofi, and goes to great lengths to “protect” her.
The Delonese chant their strange philosophy in a ritual, but it doesn’t seem directed towards a deity. Instead, it seems to glorify their race and technological advances.
The book starts off at the FanFight games, which is a blend between virtual reality and reality. Some of the arena elements attack/harm the players, and some of the injuries are fairly graphic. A violent explosion later takes the lives of many of the players and participants, but no details are given. There are also some minor injuries and a few deaths towards the middle of the book, but these are non-graphic. Towards the end however, a flashback Sofi has of the Delonese prepping her and some other kids for a medical procedure is very graphic and somewhat disturbing.
Some mention of wonder drugs (mostly in a medical context). Miguel serves alcohol at his party to “loosen tongues.”
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Originally posted on The Story Sanctuary on July 5th, 2017