By Robin Wasserman
Before the accident, Lia Kahn was happy.
Before the accident, Lia Kahn was loved.
Before, Lia was a lot of things: Normal. Alive.
Lia no longer believes in before. Six months after the crash that killed her, six months after being reborn, Lia has finally accepted her new reality. She is a machine, a mech, and she belongs with her own kind. It’s a wild, carefree life, without rules and without fear. Because there’s nothing to fear when you have nothing left to lose.
But when a voice from her past cries out for revenge, everything changes. Lia is forced to choose between her old life and her new one. Between humans and mechs. Between sacrificing the girl she used to be and saving the boy she used to love.
Even if it means he’ll hate her forever.
This series might hold my personal record for “longest time elapsed between reading sequels”. I read the first book, Skinned, in the spring of 2009. And I just read the second book six years later. Sad part is? I’ve had Crashed for the whole six years. I knew I would read it someday and I did. Are you listening boyfriend? All those books on the shelf will get read someday. Promise.
So while I only barely remembered what the first book was about, I was still able to follow Crashed. What I like most about this series is the world-building. I can’t remember if they explained how the world got into the state it’s in the first book or it’s just merely hinted at, but in any case, this is as dystopian a society as I’ve ever seen. The wealthy people stay wealthy and benefit from everything, including the science. The majority of people either live in the lawless cities or labor in the Corptowns. Not a pretty picture, by any means.
This is definitely a book that forces you to think whether you want to or not. It seems like on every other page, someone is talking about the difference between being human and being a machine, a mech. Or talking about souls. Etc. It feels a little redundant after awhile, but hey I guess when you can’t die, what else do you really have to think about.
As in most sci-fi books, I enjoyed the religious questions that seem to inevitably arise. This time the questions are more direct: a religious group wants to get rid of the mechs and take away any of the rights they currently have. Even more room for thinking in that plot-point and drawing parallels to our present world.
Most of the characters feel a little cold and not too fun, but it is a dark, sour world they live in and this group, the mechs, have had the worst of it. Still, I didn’t find it too troublesome and read this book quickly. There’s a lot of action and drama to keep things moving along despite the doom and gloom of the main characters.
I’m looking forward to reading the third book in the series, Wired, which I will be ordering soon (and starting!) so another six years doesn’t go by before I read it and finish this series.