Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
We Are Satellites by Sarah Pinsker
Published by Berkley on May 11, 2021
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, iTunes
Everybody's getting one.
Val and Julie just want what's best for their kids, David and Sophie. So when teenage son David comes home one day asking for a Pilot, a new brain implant to help with school, they reluctantly agree. This is the future, after all.
Soon, Julie feels mounting pressure at work to get a Pilot to keep pace with her colleagues, leaving Val and Sophie part of the shrinking minority of people without the device.
Before long, the implications are clear, for the family and society: get a Pilot or get left behind. With government subsidies and no downside, why would anyone refuse? And how do you stop a technology once it's everywhere? Those are the questions Sophie and her anti-Pilot movement rise up to answer, even if it puts them up against the Pilot's powerful manufacturer and pits Sophie against the people she loves most.
I was comfortable reading We Are Satellites with a rather slow pace. The characters are developed and very independent individuals in a family of four. Their lives and relationships are driven somewhat by the new technology in the Pilot.
David, the son and Julie, one of the Moms, get one. Sophie can’t get one because of medical issues and becomes an anti-Pilot activist. Val, the other Mom, does not want one. I have to say I connected more emotionally to Val and Sophie, although I didn’t find myself attached to any of these characters very much. All of their emotions and reactions are relatable and realistic, though.
I kept waiting for something to happen. Various little things happen and the “big” thing at the end is more told to us than shown. Yet we are shown many tedious details of daily life of this family over about 10 years. I was so proud of Sophie. She was so smart. As the youngest and with a medical condition, she was taken for granted, and yet she really keys in to the truth. Her choices are kind of immature at times, though. Val was more steady and kind than Julie.
The new technology gives the corporation both power in influence and money. The overall aspects of a corporation being dishonest with the public to their detriment, and greedy, is all too believable. I liked this family story with technology which was well written but not a thriller.
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