“…Death and the stillness of death are the only things certain and common to all in this future…”
Rose is dying. Her body is wasted and skeletal. She is too sick and weak to move. Every day is an agony and her only hope is that death will find her swiftly before the pain grows too great to bear. She is sixteen years old.
Rose has made peace with her fate, but her younger sister, Koren, certainly has not. Though all hope appears lost Koren convinces Rose to make one final attempt at saving her life after a mysterious man in a white lab coat approaches their family about an unorthodox and experimental procedure. A copy of Rose’s radiant mind is uploaded to a massive super computer called Aaru – a virtual paradise where the great and the righteous might live forever in an arcadian world free from pain, illness, and death. Elysian Industries is set to begin offering the service to those who can afford it and hires Koren to be their spokes-model.
Within a matter of weeks, the sisters’ faces are nationally ubiquitous, but they soon discover that neither celebrity nor immortality is as utopian as they think. Not everyone is pleased with the idea of life everlasting for sale.
What unfolds is a whirlwind of controversy, sabotage, obsession, and danger. Rose and Koren must struggle to find meaning in their chaotic new lives and at the same time hold true to each other as Aaru challenges all they ever knew about life, love, and death and everything they thought they really believed.
For starters, I have to say that I found the idea of Aaru amazing. This book shows us and makes us questioning: What comes after we die? Is there something more?
Aaru shows what could happen if we created a technology that would upload the souls and conscience of our loved ones to a database and in there they can live forever, they can be immortal in a digital world.
When I first started reading this book, I was curious about the name Aaru, so I searched the meaning and it can be described as “heavenly paradise”.
For the first half of the book I was very intrigued, I was very focused because of Rose and Koren. Im this half we know and understand the characters, the feelings of Rose, who was dying and the feelings of Koren, sister of Rose. We could understand that Rose was tired of being sick and that Koren wasn’t ready to loose her sister. The author has done a good description of a fourteen year old girl, who has to deal with the concept of dead and gets the opportunity to know her sisters life on the other side.
For me the second half of the book was confusing, I don’t want to give spoilers, but it takes a turn that didn’t make much logic. When the Magic Man appeared, I had the sensation that the plot of the story (Aaru, Rose, Koren) was left behind… From the moment he appeared, the story was all about him. But this is for me, I think we had so much more to explore with Rose. For me, the character of Magic Man fell there from nowhere.
Regarding the main characters, I loved Rose and Koren and their relationship. But I didn’t like the characters that lived on the other side with Rose (Hana, Franco), they were annoying sometimes. And as most of the adults of this book were horrible people because they were always trying to use Rose and Koren for something, which made me feel a little revolted and I wanted to save them from those people.
All in all, I did enjoy the book and the idea of Aaru, so I gave it 3,5 stars. This book has a unique plot and the English was very easy to read, so I recommend this book to you guys and then give your thoughts about it.
(I received a copy of Aaru from David Meredith in exchange for an honest review.)
You can find the book in here
Warning: This book is only available in English.