Sofi Snow, an online gamer and hacker, assists her brother Shilo in the Fantasy Fighting arena, which consists of real and virtual games put on by Earth's ruling corporations. When a bomb takes out part of the arena--and supposedly her brother with it--Soft sets off to find answers, clear her own name, locate her brother, and effectively disappear. But to do so means confronting the Delonese, an alien race that live on the ice planet that currently orbits Earth, and teaming up with someone from her past--someone who hurt her.
My ThoughtsThis book had it all: a female character who is good at hacking and gaming, diverse characters, sibling relationships, excellent world-building, and a focus on real-world issues that are often times overlooked or left unaddressed. I was thoroughly impressed with how much was packed into this 350-page book and how well Mary Weber addressed all those issues.
Sofi Snow is a badass. She not only escapes confinement with practically nothing, but she can navigate a computer system with just as much ease, and that's awesome. I'm glad there's a least one book out there with a female character who thrives in the gaming/hacking world. It was a nice change of pace than other YA novels. Miguel was an interesting character. I liked that he was bilingual and had crazy colored hair. I knew there was much more to him than surface level, so I enjoyed watching his character unfold and reveal itself in surprising ways.
The world-building was definitely interesting and well-developed. There was a lot of cool technology incorporated, yet it still felt reasonable and believable. The government system, the games, even the strange aliens and their world was incredibly detailed and thought out. The reason I'm so wary of a lot of YA dystopian is that I feel like the world-building is only half-there (and the plot is only half-there as well). But that is not the case with The Evaporation of Soft Snow. This world feels alive and lived in, it feels like a natural progression from our world.
Of course there were a few things here and there that didn't work for me. Sometimes there was too much information or too much going on that I couldn't keep up. It also referenced Miguel's blackmail photos for ages without revealing even a hint of what it could be. (I honestly prepared for the worst and was surprised when it wasn't as bad as I had thought.) But she does an excellent job touching on a lot of real-world issues. From human trafficking to mental illness to how girls are treated because they're friendly (not flirty), this book highlights a lot of issues, both big and small. And I'm thankful that Mary Weber chose to include these things instead of ignoring them. The book also as a largely diverse cast, which she based on people from her own life. I think that was important and impactful as well.
Now, we have to talk about that ending. That ending. Mary Weber's first book, Storm Siren, ended on a pretty huge cliffhanger that left me screaming. I never thought she would do that again, but I was wrong. (Why was I wrong? Why didn't I see it coming?) The Evaporation of Sofi Snow ends. It just ends without a significant resolution, without even a warning. It ends. And I am so angry! Now I have to wait almost a whole year to find out what happens next. (The agony!)
Overall, I enjoyed The Evaporation of Sofi Snow. It's similar to Ender's Game, The Hunger Games, and Neon Genesis Evangelion, for all different reasons. (Which sounds pretty awesome to me.) I liked the characters, the world-building, and the story. I liked the focus on family, on forgiveness, on doing the right thing, making the right decisions. There are a lot of twists and turns with this story, and it definitely did not disappoint. Mary Weber, you rocked it once again!
~I purchased The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber and chose to write a review of it of my own free will. All opinions are my own.~