Book Review

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber – Unique Sci-Fi “Gamer” Story Set in Dystopian World

A B O U T THE B O O K
Author: Mary Weber
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Source: Publisher Provided – Thank you!
Publication Date: 2017
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E L S E W H E R E
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Genre: Fiction; Young Adult, Sci-Fi
Series: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow, 1
Rating: ★★★★

An exciting adventure awaits the reader as we journey with Sofi Snow.

REVIEW | There are two things 17-year-old Sofi Snow is good at. Keeping her guard up, and protecting her bother. It’s all she’s ever known. She’s fierce in her every day and as an online gamer. Her world is an Earth ruled by cooperation’s rather than a form of government. Her primary goal though is to keep her young brother, who is a part of the games’ virtual and physical arena fights, safe. When an explosion rocks the arena, Sofi is injured and Shilo is nowhere to be found.

Convinced he’s a alive, Sofi escapes the hospital (after overhearing the sinister plans for her) and sets about finding her brother. To enter the forbidden world where the Delonese live (the alien planet surrounding Earth), Sofi needs help. She’ll need the kind of help only Earth’s playboy, Miguel, one of the Delonese’s ambassadors, can offer. A dangerous possibility not only because ambassadors aren’t allowed on the planet, a complication further agitated because they share a history both wish to forget.

Anyone who’s read Weber’s Storm Siren trilogy will realize this novel is infinitely different. It launches a new duo (or trilogy?) for the author and also marks a new direction for her prose and storytelling voice. In Sofi’s world, there is a more “pristine,” dystopian world whereas her debut series was earthy and organic.

Sofi’s world is anything but akin to Nym’s with perhaps the distinction that both heroines are fighting for something. As a heroine, Sofi is interesting. She’s a fighter and is a victim of her circumstances, but I also liked that this novel steps back to show a “bigger picture” system. She’s fierce, sassy and does exactly what she wants, sometimes at the risk of her own life. The loyalty she displays is admirable as is the protective nature she shows her brother. (Plus, who doesn’t love Sofi’s name and the futuristic way her name is spelled??)

High in energy and adventure, ‘Sofi Snow’ is a fantastic start to a new series. The opening is a little slow, and took some adjustment before realization of who everyone is sinks in. Plus I think simply the fact that several chapters affix themselves around the games that set everything into motion slows the flow. If you look beneath the surface, once things start rolling, The Evaporation of Sofi Snow deals in weighty and political topics. Not only this, but emotional topics. Elements I did not anticipate when picking this book up.

Those who enjoy sci-fi or gaming will appreciate this novel. It’s easy to get “lost” (in the way of a reader who wants to keep reading, and loses track of time while reading) inside this world. Sofi is a strong heroine who’s surrounded by interesting characters. Even though I enjoyed these character, and despite the POV switch off (I do like that this novel isn’t written in first person!), I don’t feel as if I know Miguel well (something I attribute to being a “me” problem). But since there is more to come in this series, I’m sure we’ll see more of him.

An exciting adventure awaits the reader as we journey with Sofi Snow. Only beware, if Weber has a distinguishable trademark, it’s her ability to stick the reader with a cliffhanger. Such is the conclusion of The Evaporation of Sofi Snow. You’ve been warned. Now go forth and meet Sofi Snow. ↠

Content: While never prevalent, there are some instances of profanity (some are made up uses), and references to characters who’ve “slept around.”

Synopsis: Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi’s dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth’s corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth’s Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi’s the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she’s convinced he’s been taken to the ice-planet.

Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.

For Miguel, Earth’s charming young playboy, the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight’s bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he’s a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford. – Goodreads

Coming Next from Mary Weber: Untitled, book 2 in the series. Add on Goodreads

Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary ARC copy of this book.

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