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Unison Spark by Andy Marino
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Unison Spark

by Andy Marino

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Unison Spark is a total disappointment for me. The premise of the story sounded promising - a dystopian society where one social network consumes almost everyone's time; so much so that Unison has become the only company in charge of all social networking, but that's where the story gets hazy. Ambrose and Mistletoe live in different parts of the city. Ambrose is the product of a wealthy family that pretty much runs Unison, but Mistletoe lives in a depressed part of the city that doesn't even have good cell coverage. They come together when Mistletoe's guardian is killed trying to save Ambrose from a threat that is never really made clear. Eventually Mistletoe and Ambrose work together to try to solve the mystery of their connection and the growing threat of the Unison network. Throughout the book, it was hard to figure out what was happening with the social network, how they made their money, and how Ambrose and his father were connected to the Unison company. I didn't enjoy the book and had trouble getting through it. A real disappointment. ( )
  Mrslabraden | May 31, 2016 |
RATING: 2.5 stars.

I'm not sure about this book. I think it would have been great if the author had developed the story a lot more. As it was it was little more than a short story and I felt we didn't get to know Ambrose and Mistletoe much.

It was very "Uglies" in a way and also a mesh between 'The Matrix' and 'The Social Network'.

Full review to come. ( )
  slayra | Sep 21, 2013 |
A fun mind-bending bit of sci-fi. I can see it appealing to the kids who loved Uglies more for the action and the world creation than for the fantasy-fulfillment of being Pretty. (Full review at http://www.parenthetical.net/2011/06/21/review-unison-spark-andy-marino-nov-2011...) ( )
  SamMusher | Mar 30, 2013 |
--Full, non-spoiler review courtesy at Book & Movie Dimension a Blog--

Unison Spark 2.0 is a new update from Facebook and the old Twitter that has never before been seen. A program that makes you feel like your actually physically part of a huge digital world. Once your plugged in your in it as if your in real life. People there have popularity stats in a way to allow ranking. Ambrose Truax is the heir to the empire of Unison Spark and son of Martin Truax, so his ranking is the highest and most popular as far as stats go. Ambrose seems to like his life. He's in charge of keeping everyone happy in this digital world and coming back for more of the products of BetterLife connected to Unison Spark. Though Ambrose is contacted one day though by an anonymous source mentioning to him he's only Martin's experiment. Not his son at all. That he's being lied to. Ambrose isn't entirely sure if this is a lie, so he escapes all he's known to go below where BetterLife hook-ups into Unison Spark aren't a way of life. He's quickly wanted by (sort of security) by who it is assumed to be watching him back.
Into which soon enough Mistletoe comes in. She is the girl with the blue pigtail. She happens to help him escape but in the process the person who has always been her caretaker , Jiri, dies.

"There in the middle of the road , was Jiri, standing with his back to her, pointing his black pre-Unison handgun at a stocky ESC police officer with a gleaming metallic arm thst narrowed to a glowing tip, which was in turn pointed at a boy of about her age who was dressed better than anyone she'd ever see. His outfit was holo-fashion, an elegant projection of a sharp new suit in the manner of big-time businessman from up above. His wispy blond hair sparkled, even in the subcanopy shade. He was clearly a long way from home, and his wide eyes from Jiri to the cop."

While she despises Ambrose at first for seeming to be somewhat weak she feels she has to help him. Just as they are trying to discover what Ambrose is involved in they also have a connection to each other thanks to Unison Spark that in turn is for a bigger plan set into motion by Unison Spark.

" Ambrose recognized the scheme: they were orchestrating chaos to cover a risky in-Unison conversation. A battle like the one raging around them could scramble UniCorp scans for a precious moments.
"Martin Truax," Sonia said finally.
" The creator. He who giveth and taketh away"
"What about him?"
" Chatter among freelancers like me is mostly speculation. Half of it's idle, half of it's strategic, designed to throw everybody off, make room for your own ideas, beat other homebrew types to the punch. But lately it's been off-the-charts twitter-brained. Like Martin's gone rogue and even his own advisers don't know what he's up to, because he's planning to spring version 3.0 on everybody unannounced, wipe everything that came before. Logins reset across the board. Profiles erased. People are saying there won't be any warning. No ramp up. Just ZAP- he unveils the upgrade, and in the end nobody even cares that it's this big ambush because the opportunities are unimaginably game changing.
" Unison 3.0 will be, like, Humanity 2.0" Takeshi said sagely, repeating some overhead catchphrase. "Might wanna duck...."

Unison Spark is something of fun science fiction book through the exploration of the social network beyond what it is now and what could maybe potentially be. That with that with our societal economic structure how it could eventually affect how wealthy we can be in information through technology. Which is a pretty interesting premise! Since we can see it today richer persons may today have an easier access to new technological gadgets. Now moving onto the characters withinUnison Spark, for all intentions found had a good enough cast of characters. Although this has to be noted isn't overtly developed in character development but more in its story events (plot).
Overall: Amazing read!
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Romance ( )
  Cassandrabookblogger | Sep 7, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805092935, Hardcover)

Everyone is obsessed with Unison, the social network that knows you better than you know yourself. Everyone who can afford it, that is. Living beneath the vast ceiling that separates Eastern Seaboard City into rich topside and poor sub-canopy zones, fifteen-year-old Mistletoe can only dream of logging in and has to make do with technological hand-me-downs.
 
Worlds collide when Ambrose Truax, the privileged heir to the Unison empire, wanders into the dangerous sub-canopy streets and Mistletoe saves him from suspicious, uniformed men. They soon discover that they share eerily similar dreams, hinting at a significant past.
 
Together, Ambrose and Mistletoe begin to unravel the mystery of their identities and learn that they’re pawns in a bigger game: the Unison 3.0 upgrade, a whole new kind of Friendship.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:36 -0400)

Fifteen-year-old Mistletoe lives in the sub-canopy zone amid poverty and outdated technology, but when she meets Ambrose Truax, the privileged sixteen-year-old heir to the Unison empire and they discover they share a sinister link, they begin a frightening journey into the uncharted territory of the Unison 3.0 upgrade.… (more)

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