I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Shadowsurfers by Hubert Wiest
Published by Smashwords Edition on March 15th 2016
CHA belongs to all humans. All humans are CHA.
Set in a dystopian future where technology and humanity have united to create society’s collective consciousness, Computerized Human Accomplishment, CHA is mankind’s most meaningful invention. Through CHA all of humanity’s thoughts and secrets are recorded and saved for the betterment of society.
Fourteen year old Sansibar is preparing for her final exam to become a part of society – a part of CHA. The only thing standing between her and her the Crystal Exam is a whisper of a memory almost forgotten… and a boy with blue-ink eyes named Luan.
Luan is a gifted programmer living as an orphan until a petty theft drives him from his only home. Without a place in society, Luan escapes to the forbidden city of shadows to live as a fugitive… with the help of a girl with purple hair named Sansibar.
Together they find they’re not the only ones with secrets.
I really identified with Luan the most. He is the most like me questioning everything. I totally got his wanting to be part of society but feeling that he has been unfairly excluded. Like Luan I love computers. When he was banned from taking the Crystal Exam and because of that could no longer be a programmer I knew how hard I would take it if someone had told me I could never have another computer. I felt his actions to find another way to live made perfect sense.
Even thought the book I felt as if I were reading a male version of me. All his actions made perfect sense to me.
The setting in which Sansibar was waiting to get her Crystal fitted and she realized that it was in fact possible to SEE person’s thoughts and she has to go to the bathroom because she gets sick as the relaxation hits her that nothing would be private anymore really hit home for me. I could see myself being excited about this thing then when I realized that I had essentially been lied to, well I would have had the same reaction. This made me think about how much I share on social media with my phone and computer. I got to thinking that really I am an open book but I still expect some mediocre of privacy. If it turned out that someone ELSE could read my thoughts after I had been told that they couldn’t I would not have reacted very well either
I felt that some of the secondary chapters were not really fished out. That they were there to move the plot forward in some respects. Like the people in the ShadowSurfers. They were there to move Luan story forward. It all felt believable just not as fleshed out as I felt it could be.
The world building in the ShadowSurfers is really good. The technology described in the book is what I envision technology will maybe look like in a couple more decades. After all the ceeBAND has to be an upgrade to the Apple Watch. There was no information dump in this book. You found out the back story while reading about the events in the book which is the way I like it.
When I first read about this book I thought that it sounded interesting. I had NO IDEA how good it would turn out to be. I read through it n one sitting and was captivated by every word. I would definitely recommend this book to people who like YA Dystopian Novels.
How did you come up with the idea for The Shadowsurfers?
With our phones, tablets and computer we tend to feel private and give away so many secrets. Maybe we have already lost control over our privacy. Imagine how this situation could develop within just a few years ….
These thoughts are the starting point of The Shadowsurfers.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I start every morning at 9 am after walking the dogs. On a writing day there is no excuse to stop writing before I have finished 2500 words. On a good day I write up to 5000 words. But I never accomplish more. Maybe I should try harder. There are authors who write 10.000 words a day. To achieve a high number of words the plot needs to be well prepared. If I try to fix the plot while writing the outcome is miserable. I differentiate between plot days, writing days and editing days.
Mac or PC?
Only Mac. I have been using Mac for the last 20 years, because everything simply works. I can focus on my tasks without fiddling around with computers.
Do you write with any software such as scrivener?
Yes, I use Scrivener. It helps me getting my thoughts organized. I like the Scrivener palm cards to play around with the plot, slice the story into chapters and scenes, and having proper character outlines.
If you could go anywhere in the world to write where would you go?
I like to work at my desk. There is no distraction and I can focus on my story. I don’t need any fancy place for working.
But for the time, when I don’t write, I very much appreciate living in Sydney. I enjoy the sea and the beautiful weather. Originally I am from Munich, Germany, where the winter takes almost 5 months.
Are you working on another book?
Yes, my next project is a YA dystopian novel set in a polluted mega city. People live under a protective dome, but there is not enough space for all. 17 year old Kalana Zookie is one of those forced to move out to the polluted industrial zones, while her best friend is allowed to stay inside the dome.
This story is influenced by the time, when I lived in Hong Kong and travelled in China. The air pollution is a breathtaking issue.