Review: Want by Cindy Pon

review         book

32333174title: Want
author: Cindy Pon
pages: 328
format: Paperback ARC
buy it: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads
rating: 4/5 (from hated to loved) or 7/10 (all books I've ever read)
Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits that protect them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother, who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.

With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.

Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is or destroying his own heart?

in depth

I think my favorite thing about this book is how frighteningly possible the setting seemed. The setting of this book was fabulous, from the descriptions of Taipei itself to the juxtaposition of the classes to the way people seem to have psuedo-adapted to the toxic environment. The characters were pretty good and the plot had good pacing, but...well, "that was sure convenient" was a thought that popped up quite often while I was reading this.

Zhou was a great narrator, and I loved his descriptions of the events and especially his inner struggles as he tried to fit in with the rich class he was infiltrating. The way he was disgusted at their excess, but then the way he fell into thinking like them so quickly just by virtue of living like them, and then his struggle with himself over that fact, loved it.

I also liked a lot of the plot and the very political goals of their little rebel plan; it seemed like something grounded in reality and that might actually have the impact they intended. (vs many 'hero' books where it tends to be "this the thing doing bad, blow it up and all is right again.")

On the other hand...yeah, well, so much convenience. This little band of friends (who we don't know how they met) just happens have all the exact right skills to pull off this attack, with no gaps or overlap? Oh, this building over here just happens to have massively less security in it? Oh, Victor just happens to know someone with all the relevant intel? (What even is your job, Victor?) And the ending felt extremely rushed; there could have easily been fifty more pages to that final sequence.

This is another book that I would highly recommend for the concept, language, and commentary -- because those are all excellent -- but with the caveat that, yeah, the plot doesn't really hold any surprises.


will i read this author again?  Sure!

will i continue the series?  Yes! I have theories about the next book. Well, one theory, anyway.

Note: I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  The price of the book and its origin in no way affected my stated opinions.

1 comment:

  1. This is a very petty complaint of me, but I hate it when Chinese female characters are named Daiyu, mainly because it seems to happen so often. Like, I guess it's better than just stringing together random Chinese-sounding syllables, but it also feels a bit lazy to just grab the name of a particularly famous character from classical Chinese lit and call it done.