Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Reviews: Skinned & Crashed

Because Skinned & Crashed are consecutive books in a trilogy by Robin Wasserman and I read them one right after the other, I'm just going to review both together, as the stuff I thought about one book generally applied to the other as well, for the most part.

Skinned and Crashed - Robin Wasserman
*September 9th, 2008 & September 8th, 2009, respectively

With the Skinned trilogy, Robin Wasserman has created an engrossing, three-dimensional and thought-provoking world of a hypothetical future.

One of the best aspects of these books was the world-building. Key elements of creating a realistic potential future include being able to visualize it, being able to feel it, being able to suspend disbelief and - however fleetingly - believe it. With these two books, Wasserman has accomplished that. The mechs, as a concept, feel so real.

Another strong point of both books is the voice. It's very distinctive, and at times even metallic - machine-like. Skinned focuses more on the psychological aspect, and as such moves a little bit slower, whereas Crashed is more physical-based. At the same time, Crashed is the second book in a trilogy, and for science fiction especially, it would be nice if it read like it were written that way. Honestly, there was so much repetition of concepts and background info (mostly revealed in Skinned) that it got to the point of being annoying.

Skinned and Crashed are both also very thought-provoking; there's definitely a bit of social satire in there, and it's really cool - and a little disconcerting - to see elements of our society reflected in that. Although the concepts explored weren't mind-blowing, if one bothers to ponder into it deep enough and make the effort to actually think about the implications while reading, it's definitely got some deep stuff that'll leave you unable to stop thinking about it long after the last page's been turned.

With intricate world-building, cool concepts and a distinctive voice, Crashed and Skinned are both very fun YA sci-fi reads.

*Wired, the third book in the trilogy, was recently released on September 14th, 2010.
**The back-cover synopsis of Crashed really bothered me - it didn't exactly fit the plot. Those of you who've read it, did you find that too?


kay - Infinite Shelf said...

Oh, I hadn't imagined those as having social satire, I need to pull these off the shelves and read them! Great review.

deltay said...

Definitely go for it! I've been meaning to read the last book in the trilogy. Thanks!

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