With the rapid pace of technological advancement, you’d think I would be tired of reading AI stories. The answer I will give is, “Never!” So I was quite glad to pick up Wren Handman’s Wire Wings.
1. Thoughts on the plot
This book follows Gracie, a sixteen year old daughter of the inventor of the Waves, who spends more time Diving than she does socialising or exploring her own world. Diving is like VR, but more immersive, and there are games and places in the Waves that help Gracie feel and be anything other than what she is: sad. So when she forms an attachment to the mysterious AI that the world has been trying to find, it is something of a dream come true. But there’s more to this than meets the eye, and the secret may shatter her world—digital and otherwise—forever.
The plot of this book was spectacular. I loved the different depictions of the games and the world around Gracie. I loved her interactions with her family and the seemingly little things that led Gracie to the AI and to the decisions that ultimately change everything. Even the ending, which under different circumstances would feel sudden, was pulled off so well it nearly took my breath away.
2. Thoughts on the characters
Gracie is a fantastic character to read, probably because she manages to convey so many traits that a lot of people her age experience. She has a slightly strained relationship with her family, but wants to be good. She has friends, but still feels disconnected. She has experienced tragedy and isn’t quite ready to face the reality of that yet. It is an amalgamation of things that I think a great many people can relate to, and I really enjoyed that.
The AI, too, was fascinating to read, and that is partly because he was so mysterious and intense, in an entirely tantalising way.
3. Favourite part
The epilogue. It just took all the pertinent elements of the story and tied them up into an allegory that was just…stunning. Truly stunning.
I don’t really have a critique for this book. I will say it took me a minute to get used to the tense shifts, but that adds to a bit of coherence with the story and is not a downside at all.
Overall, I would say that Wire Wings is an excellent book and I highly recommend it to anyone with a love of technology, or just the human condition.