Wintur, a pseudonym for collaborators identified only as Lando and Kori, engages with a familiar, YA-tinged blend of dystopia, rebellion, and rousing heroes. The domed metropolis’s cultures and dangers, Ren's extraordinary abilities, and the discovery of a sinister truth all create a strong foundation for an immersive, polished thriller. The dialogue sparkles, with each of the strong supporting cast representing a fascinating culture or backgrounds—including Jardinerans, who “have a separate evolutionary tree from modern humans, completely unique”—as the heroes collaborate, crack jokes, face wild challenges, and face some awkward moments of flirtation.
The story surges ahead even as it introduces its surprising future, drawing a contrast between virtual and all-too-real worlds, and between the intricacies of MetiCity-6, city of flybikes, high rises, and even a castle, with the harsh Outskirtz beyond its dome. Readers can expect a lively, exciting time as the story weaves through these inventive, oppressive environments. While Ren’s engineer’s-view of the world’s nuts-and-bolts is memorable, and developments involving “brainwave syncs” have an intriguing and uncanny edge, the briskness of storytelling may leave readers wanting a deeper exploration of the characters’ backgrounds, motivations, and struggles, which could add a bit more heft and urgency. Still, this is a slick, promising start, bursting with memorable characters, setpieces, and ideas.
Takeaway: Exciting SF-series starter of a domed dystopian city and an engineer’s revolt.
Comparable Titles:Jeanne DuPrau’s City of Ember, Chandler Klang Smith’s The Sky Is Yours.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A-
The Engineer's Mechanic (Book 1 MetiCity Series) will be launching on February 13th, 2024!