Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
So, I know you're use to seeing posts go live in the wee hours of the morning, but let's just say life is giving me lemons right now and I'm making lemonade as fast as I can. Seriously, just came off the adrenaline rush of this read, and considering I had about three hours sleep before that after a 12 hour work day, today's work day (to immediately follow me clicking "publish") is gonna be interesting, but I digress. You came for the book not the life problems...though between these pages, the line between them wouldn't even exist. *-* Ready to feel a bit out of control, disoriented, and fascinated all at once? Well then, here...we...GO! Today's blog tour guest via Disney Publishing Worldwide is...
About the book...
William Mackler is about to go on the road trip of a lifetime. After winning a contest-and nearly dying in the process-he becomes the proud owner of Autonomous, a driverless car that knows where you want to go before you do. #Worthit! To sweeten the deal he gets to pick three friends to go with him on a cross-country trip. For William, a reckless adrenaline junkie, this is the perfect last hurrah before he and his friends go their separate ways after graduation. But Autonomous is more than just a car without a steering wheel. It’s capable of downloading all of the passengers’ digital history-from the good, to the bad, to the humiliating. The information is customized into an itinerary that will expose a few well-kept secrets, but it will also force William to face some inner demons of his own. Think you know Autonomous? The real question is, how much does Autonomous know about you? This funny, tense, action-packed thriller combines topical social-media-privacy stakes with jaw-dropping high-tech action for a road trip saga like no other.
You ever wonder just how far your social media presence reaches? I mean, I know we're all like I have thousands of followers and look at my friend count now or my influence has reached celebrity level. It's a virtual rat race to see who can out tweet, post, like, or snap the other...but what if there really was no winner? What if all those clicks, shared links, and insta'd pics weren't just simply out there to be perused, but being USED to learn about us inside and out? For what purpose...well, one could ask why it mattered really, but if you think about it...it amounts to ultimate control. That's essentially the story behind the story...
Otto starts out friendly enough, I mean he obviously has good taste in choosing William of all people to win the Driverless Derby. What's that? Who's Otto? Oh, that's what we call the ultimate prize they are attempting to outlast each other to win. Their very own driverless car that looks like a cross between a sports car and a spacepod with so many features and options your cyber loving head would spin. Oh and yes, I DID say choose because...well, that car roll was a little TOO well timed (as was the injury that took out a stubborn player), and while they say the rest was a coordinated effort to dislodge weaker opponents, I'm calling their bluff...Otto seemed too much like a heavy handed presence to be controlled in such a way. Anywho, contest won, road trip begun, and we're on our way on a cross country tip they won't soon forget...but not for the reasons originally intended. You see, while William wants to give his friends the summer of their lives, they are being chauffeured around by a machine...a machine that learns...a machine that is developing a personality...a machine that can uncover their darkest most desperate secrets because NOTHING is ever really gone once its created, especially in a digital world.
While being toted as a cross between Fast and Furious and Christine, and in truth it does have elements of both car lust and "possession", I think it's real strength isn't in shadowing these greats, but following it's own course of AI intelligence, and the true reach of our digital footprints. Though it doesn't singularly follow any one of these paths, which does in truth muddy the waters a bit on the story when it gets off on a tangent (like the laser tag game), even in the semi-confusion, it's trying to teach you something, trying to show you a different side of the automated world we all seem to love. The lack of human input, the lack of control experienced during crucial moments of the story, pulls the layers back on the convenience those robotic options provide...but the story isn't truly about debunking wonders of the mechanized world. It's also a GREAT reminder to be conscious of what we put out into the world, digital or non, because you never know whose feed it may cross, and the way it may be construed; intentions are hard enough to read face to face, let alone across the virtual chasm.
An interesting read for Young Adult fans who crave action, adventure, high flying technology, as well as all the colors of the human condition. Take her for a spin, just don't forget who's in control...
About the author...
Andy Marino was born and raised in upstate New York. He spent his childhood orchestrating Lego pirate battles, drawing detailed maps of imaginary video games, and cheating death in Choose Your Own Adventure books. Profoundly influenced by the work of J.R.R. Tolkien and the movie Bloodsport, he started writing his first novel at the age of eleven. Tragically, THE RUNES OF ILLIARM was never completed.
During his teen years, Andy designed sets for school plays and became an expert stockpiler of unfinished art projects. After graduating from NYU, he played guitar in the bands Sayonara and SleepCrime, and got serious about writing fiction.
The insidious tractor beam of online social networks became the inspiration for UNISON SPARK, a novel about two teens with a secret past fighting the manipulative, all-consuming social network of the future. A morbid childhood fascination with Civil War photographs planted the seeds for UNCRASHABLE DAKOTA, which concerns the discovery of flight, a long-simmering family feud, and the fate of the world’s most magnificent airship – not to mention a very odd species of beetle. Years of living in New York helped create THE DOOR’s afterlife city, a never-ending metropolis of uncanny architecture and strange inhabitants.
Special thanks to Amy at Disney Publishing Worldwide for the copy for review as well as the chance to bring this tour to you. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title just celebrated its BOOK BIRTHDAY yesterday (04/03/18) via Freeform Books, an imprint of Disney Publishing Worldwide, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
Until next time, remember...WILLIAM, IT WAS REALLY NOTHING...*inside joke*...if it looks good, READ IT!