I received a review copy from the publishers as part of the blog tour in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.
Genre: Sci-Fi/Dystopia/Thriller Age Range: Adult Star Rating: 4 stars Series: Standalone
Everybody’s getting one.
Val and Julie just want what’s best for their kids, David and Sophie. So when teenage son David comes home one day asking for a Pilot, a new brain implant to help with school, they reluctantly agree. This is the future, after all.
Soon, Julie feels mounting pressure at work to get a Pilot to keep pace with her colleagues, leaving Val and Sophie part of the shrinking minority of people without the device.
Before long, the implications are clear, for the family and society: get a Pilot or get left behind. With government subsidies and no downside, why would anyone refuse? And how do you stop a technology once it’s everywhere? Those are the questions Sophie and her anti-Pilot movement rise up to answer, even if it puts them up against the Pilot’s powerful manufacturer and pits Sophie against the people she loves most.
Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
About the author:
Sarah Pinsker is a singer, songwriter, and author. her short stories have won the Nebula, Sturgeon, and Philip K. Dick Awards. Currently finishing her second novel and fourth album, she lives with her wife in Baltimore, Maryland.
Find her on her website or Twitter.
Like her debut, WE ARE SATELLITES sits across genres. The tech implant Pilot is partly sci-fi, partly dystopian – and the world is equally bridging the two. It’s our world’s America, just a few years in the future where they have the ability to create a brain-enhancing tool.
The genre-blending nature is also reflected in the plot. It’s a slow unfolding thriller that has the distinct unnerving edge of sci-fi or dystopia. Corporate are saying the Pilots are OK, but side effects gradually come to light – and are continually brushed under the rug. Plus, the incompatibility of the Pilot with some brains – most typically those who are considered neurodivergent, like epileptic Sophie, heightens inequality in education and the job market.
The story is told over many years, starting with the Pilots coming into the market, when they’re more settled, and then as the characters start challenging them. It gives it a slow, drawn out feel, letting the unease creep in so there’s a niggle that something isn’t right.
All four members of the family narrate WE ARE SATELLITES, starting off with the two mothers, and adding the children in as they age. It allows more sides of the situation to be told – as two have implants and two don’t – and to get a balanced view of the advantages and disadvantages. This means the conflict is less one sided when their views clash and the weight of secrets starts tearing the family apart.
Read my reviews of other books by Sarah Pinsker: