Aaru by David Meredith
Genre – Science Fiction
About the Book – Remarkably Smart and Visionary
“”…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.” – Publisher’s Blurb
The Review – Aaru Will Make You Think
We know that any book that quotes Nietzsche in the blurb is well worth reading. Before we sing our praises, let’s talk about some of the successes and shortcomings of Aaru. The story is solid, drawing upon experiences to which most of us can relate, Mister Meredith builds a story that is rife with humanity. While the writing is good, there is always room for improvement, killing a few of those adverbs off couldn’t hurt, but over all Mister Meredith is as skilled a writer as he is a story-teller. Rose is sympathetic enough while being believable and Koren reacts as any sister would. We love the characters, we love the story, and while that is enough to earn it a recommendation, it goes on to surpass expectations to be one of the few true literary works we have read this year.
Makings of Greatness
We won’t spoil any story saying this, as it is in the blurb, but we ask you, what would you do to live forever? What would you trade? This is the core question asked by Aaru. The ethical complications are far reaching; how close is a copy of a mind to a mind? How certain can you be? The best part about Aaru is that it works on two levels. The story is good, fun and paced well. Anyone looking for a good book to read has found one here. However, for the inquiring mind, Mister Meredith as saw fit to explore concepts that may be in our near future. He holds a mirror up and allowing us to see a vision of what could be. It is a dark but beautiful vision.
The Rating – Solid A
Aaru is good. It’s damn good. Mister Meredith has presented his vision here, showing all of his readers a piece of something greater. While we enjoyed the story and the author’s stylings, it was his unique vision of things to come that we enjoyed the most. This is what makes great speculative fiction. The speculation. It is the world along with the imagination that created it that makes Aaru such a success. probably the only thing that can make this book any better is that this is not the last we will see of this fantastic world. We look forward to reading more from Mister Meredith in the years to come.
Do you want to read Aaru? You can find it here.