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Gaze Review


Young adult author Kim Curran has taken the plunge that so many authors seem to be considering these days: she's self-publishing. After releasing her Shift trilogy on the sadly discontinued Strange Chemistry imprint of Angry Robot Books, she has decided to go solo.

Petri is eagerly awaiting the day she turns sixteen, when she can join all her friends and most of the adult population in the world of Glaze, the most popular social media application ever, accessed through a chip in the back of the neck. Even though her mother is the well-known publicity guru behind Glaze, she still can't get online early and she's had to watch enviously as most of her friends are hooked up before her. But when she attends a protest against the closure of a local school that turns violent, she sees how Glaze is used for sinister crowd control, and she and an unchipped friend are forced to go on the run.

Glaze is great YA science fiction, brimming with strong enough ideas to entertain young and old, albeit with slightly more appeal to females as it is written from a fifteen-year-old girl's perspective. Although Petri crushes on one of the main characters – a masked rioter who comes to her rescue – it's not the romance plot that grabs the reader but the overwhelming control of Glaze. One step on from Google Glasses, Glaze is an easily imaginable piece of technology and its abuse is a scary idea that's superbly played out. Glaze is a hugely enjoyable read that pushes the idea of social media to its limits and is Curran's finest piece of work yet.

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