Book Review: Disconnect (The Divided Worlds #1) by Imran Siddiq

Friday, March 22, 2013

Disconnect (The Divided Worlds #1) by Imran Siddiq
(Started: March 10, 2013; Finished: March 15, 2013)

Dirtying fingernails in sewers is fast approaching worthlessness for Zachary, a 16-year old Underworld scavenger. When footage of an Overworld girl, Rosa, is discovered, his intrigue heightens at why she expresses sadness with a lavish lifestyle. 
In meeting Rosa, Zachary is scorned by her opinion of the deprived. She pities him and provides a means for them to communicate. With time, friendship and something he’s never felt grows; love for another human. Knowing Rosa calls him when it suits her isn’t enough; he wants to meet her, but how? Relationships in Underworld are few, let alone the impossibility with those above the ceiling. 
Underworld will suffer when plans to conquer Jupiter’s moon, Europa move ahead. Worse is Rosa’s father, a disgraced Overworld ambassador, approving the plan. 
Zachary must defeat the prejudice of the worlds, sneak within opposing forces, lose friends and challenge Rosa’s sadness. In doing so, a twisted secret is uncovered that may devour the reason he lives; Rosa. 
In space, love had boundaries. (From Goodreads)
Review: 4 stars
Source: Won via First Reads on Goodreads
Available on: Amazon
It was a breath of fresh air reading this book since it was my first time to encounter robots, machines or androids brought to life aside from a few movies I have watched such as the Transformers and Real Steel. Because of such story lines, the case of robots having emotional capability has always been a fascination to us, human beings. I, for one, has always been curious if a programmed robot can do, feel or think more than it was taught to do. In reality, of course further studies are needed to develop or discover such. That's why I love reading books because the impossible can be possible in a matter of words and imagination.

Honestly, I don't usually read science fiction because I'm just not into it but this somehow got me hooked. In reading the first few chapters of Disconnect, I was able to connect to the story because it greatly reminded me of Final Fantasy VII's Sector 7--where the slums were located--but I imagined it with less light, making it really dark to depict Underworld perfectly. Similar to the infamous role-playing game, it both tackles an abuse of power of the government and oppression in the social strata. The rich will always get the best life and the poor will always be unfortunate. I enjoyed the salad bowl of events. There were a lot of themes discussed that enveloped the plot. It added intensity and impact to the story that the readers will definitely enjoy. It was moderate in pace which was fine since in a dystopian and sci-fi genre, everything--from a character's background, history, or events--should be discussed and elaborated to avoid confusion. But there were times that I had to reread some sentences and paragraphs because of the quick transition. It is just a minor issue of mine and it did not affect how good the plot was. I also have to commend the author for researching well in the said topic because I was able to have a grasp on it despite being new to some of the concepts mentioned. The twist was so good that I was mind-blown because I did not expect it. I usually try to predict what could happen but I wasn't able to do it. I actually had no idea that that twist will occur which is good because it means the story has a very strong element of surprise. I also love how friendship was greatly valued in this book, whether it may be between humans and robots. It was a lesson I would always embrace as well.

Moving on to the characters, Zachary was the typical underdog who just want to redeem and prove himself to others. I admired his perseverance and will to survive despite all the emotional blows he experienced. Rosa was a very fun character that I did enjoy since her innocence, child-like curiosity, and bluntness was refreshing. I also love Alice and Patch because they had shown more emotional capabilities and they were very loyal to their respective owners. They also defied some rules that programmed to them, showing that these two androids have rational decision-making similar to human beings, free will and they have the ability to care. I found myself teary-eyed and sobbing on how they are willing to do everything to protect their master whom they both treat as a friend.

It is a book I highly recommend for Young Adults especially to the dystopian and sci-fi enthusiasts.

For the quotes I got from the book, please visit my Tumblr:

Happy Reading Everyone!

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