VIRTUAL ARCANA – Episodes 0-3
By: Karen Amanda Hooper
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Dystopian Fiction, Thriller
Publication Date: March 1, 2015
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 a dystopian 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 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.
Kelsey & Keekee have a plan. They are going to spend a lot of time studying and they are going to stay out of trouble and get good grades. Then, they are going to apply to leave Equatia to go to a foreign University.
Neither of them are sure that there really are other places on Earth, but they have heard rumors that there are countries where they can be free.
Keekee is convinced that free nations exist. Kelsey is not. But, she would do anything for her twin sister, so she is willing to apply for foreign citizenship.
Before any of that can be achieved Xander enters the picture and Kelsey’s world suddenly becomes much more real.
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 and thriller with a bit of romance thrown in, had me not wanting to put the book down.
Since each episode is only 60-70 pages long, they are quick reads, but the length of each episode is perfect. The author has cut out any extraneous clutter from the story and every word moves the story forward.
The characters are well developed and Kelsey is one smart cookie. Not only does she have intelligence, but she is also loyal and has a deep moral fiber; all of which just makes the reader love her even more.
I was hooked from Episode 0 and quickly progressed through all the episodes in this collection.
I am now a fan of Karen Amanda Hooper and her “Virtual Arcana” series and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next episode.
I rate this collection as 5 out of 5 stars and I highly recommend this serial. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
To learn more about this author visit http://www.karenamandahooper.com