Aaru is a fantasy sci-fi story written by David Meredith and the first book in the Aaru series. The book is about 16 year old Rose who is currently in the final stages of cancer. A Doctor from Elysian Industries comes in and offers Rose the chance for her to live in the afterlife and still be connected to her sister by taking a scan of her brain which she takes. Rose lands in Aaru where she can have whatever she wants and do whatever she wants, she meets new friends and has fun.
Meanwhile, Rose’s sister Koren is devastated but after a representative from Elysian Industries talks to Koren and her family a screen is installed where Koren can speak to Rose at any time. Gradually Rose becomes the spokesperson for Elysian industries and is paraded around at these parties and in the press to prove that Aaru is real. It starts to go wrong when Koren gets an admirer who is hell bent on breaking into Aaru and take her away from her sister…
Aaru is a good book with potential, I did notice a few spelling errors and there were a lot of words I didn’t know (that isn’t a bad thing!) however with the book being aimed at the young adult audience it could disturb the flow. I certainly didn’t think the romance story with Rose added anything to the story and I felt that as Rose is 16 the author really didn’t need to add a sex scene in!
I enjoyed the idea of science and the idea that there is a afterlife which certainly was what interested me in the book in the first place. It certainly wasn’t believable but I love the use of technology especially as the idea of maintaining an active social media presence after you have passed is becoming a reality (something which I wrote about a couple of years ago). It also shows the disadvantage that the technology has had (one example being with Koren’s and Rose’s father heavily drinking because he cannot cope with the exposure that Koren is receiving). However there were too many characters are in the book and with the too many storylines it just got too much for me to the point that I didn’t read the last thirty pages and it could have finished a lot sooner. I do think I will go back and read the book again and hopefully read the second instalment.
* I was kindly gifted this book, however as always my views are my own.