Rysa Walker, bestselling author of TIMEBOUND
Written by David Estes
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Sometimes the strings that tie us down are the same strings that set us free.
Sixteen-year-old Pia has always lived in a mysterious facility where mechanical strings control her existence. She plays apprentice to her father, Gio, in performing nanotech designs for the Company, and she soon suspects there are diabolical human forces behind the manufactured reality of her world.
Though her childhood memories and the origins of the strings remain strangely elusive, she begins to find solace with the introduction of two unlikely friends: daring, irrational Sofia, and calm, tender Marco.
As the truths of the past and present unravel together, Pia must find a way to free herself from her strings and escape the facility before facing the wrath of the unstable head of security, Mr. Davis. But to gain her freedom, she must navigate the dangers posed by Davis and by her suspicious new friends to find the real identity of the puppeteer.
If Pia can succeed in revealing the secrets of the Company, she may very well find the independence she so desperately seeks. But in her controlled world nothing is as it seems, and the closer she gets to the truth, the graver the consequences.
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(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I’ve read and enjoyed a number of books by this author, so when I had the opportunity to read this book, I immediately jumped at the chance/
The parallels with Pinnochio were quite obvious in this book, but it was interesting to see the way it was interpreted. I especially liked the way the obvious signs of lying from the fairy tale were also utilised in this book.
I found Pia to be a character who was really easy to relate to and empathise with. The descriptions of the strings attached to her were written really well and I found it easy to picture Pia and her father as living puppets. While I did spend a lot of the book wishing Pia could get the answers she wanted, the hints of mystery throughout the book kept me reading and emotionally invested in Pia’s eventual desire for freedom.
I liked seeing Pia’s relationship with her father… and also with Fig. Some of her interactions with her robot friend made me smile… and it was especially good to see the way he almost seemed to react outside of his parameters.
I enjoyed seeing Pia’s interactions with both Marco and Sofia, though I could definitely understand how reluctant she was to trust either of them. I thought it was interesting to see how Fig retained his suspicions, even after Pia was more willing to trust the two of them.
I liked being able to learn more of Pia’s past, but I had a lot of dislike for Mr. Davis… even after what was revealed about his past. I did find it very difficult to see any of the guards as well-developed characters. I would have liked to see a bit more interaction with them… especially considering that, towards the end, it was indicated a handful of them could be trusted.
There were some really violent moments in this book that just seemed to become more frequent and worse by the end. Although those were difficult to read, I did feel that they showed just how awful Pia’s life was… along with her drawings being ruined and having no freedom.
I liked the fact that the world felt very self-contained, since it helped me to feel how alone Pia was outside of her father and Fig. There were a lot of tense scenes in this book and I felt drawn easily into Pia’s world. I’d definitely be interested in reading a sequel to this book in the future.