VIRTUAL ARCANA – Episode 0 – The Fool
By: Karen Amanda Hooper
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian Fiction, Romance, Drama, Thriller
Length: 61 pages
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
* I received a free copy of this collection from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Set far in the future, this book explores the life of Kelsey Zellar, a senior in high school.
She lives in the city of Elura in the nation of Equatia. Rebellion against the system too many times will end with the violator having his or her mind wiped clean and reprogrammed by the State.
Her twin sister Keekee has an addiction problem. one addiction is legal and that is her addiction to mood altering “enhancement candies” but the other addiction, the one to gaming, is highly illegal in Equatia, as is just about everything that isn’t educational in nature.
Keekee has been caught with a VR card multiple times which has resulted in her being expelled from three schools in three years. That is also the reason that the family has lived in three cities in three years. They have just moved to the city of Elura. It is the only semi-free city left that will allow them residency.
Unlike her sister, Kelsey follows the rules and tries to steer clear of any trouble. She may not like the — bands that every citizen is required to wear, or the fact that those bands monitor every drop of caffeine or any other substance that enters her body, but she knows the only way to avoid an unpleasant visit from the authorities is to follow the rules.
On her first day of school she stops at the local coffee shop and meets a young man, named Xander who gives her a Tarot card and tells her to keep it a secret and to show it to no one.
She doesn’t know it, but that meeting is about to drastically change her life.
There is a sense of excitement and anticipation when Xander tells Kelsey that the tarot card he gave her “represents a journey of infinite possibilities.” When Kelsey asks where exactly the card will take her, he says “Anywhere you could imagine. And places that far surpass your most imaginative dreams.” How can Kelsey resist? How can I resist? I must read more.
This book grabbed my attention from the very first page. Karen Amanda Hooper has created a future world that is as utterly fascinating as it is disturbing. The mix of dystopian fiction, science fiction, drama, thriller and romance had me not wanting to put the book down.
The fact that this book is set several hundred years in the future offers the author the chance to introduce exciting new technology to the reader. And yet even though Equatia is futuristic and alien to today’s world, the author makes all the changes seem realistic and as if this imagined future is exactly where our world is headed.
Since this book is only 61 pages long it is impossible to stop reading until the end of the episode. Fortunately there are already many more episodes of this serial novel already available.
I may have only read the first installment, but I am already a fan.
I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
To learn more about this author visit http://www.karenamandahooper.com