The Wired City: Yolanda Sfetsos
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Over the last number of years, I’ve quickly become a fan of Sfetsos’ writing.
Yolanda has put out two previous Demain releases (this being number three) and her short fiction has appeared in a number of outstanding anthologies.
I’ll admit, with this one, I wasn’t sure about what I’d be diving into. I’m very light on reading experience with anything framed as CyberPunk, so I was intrigued to discover just what that sub-genre entails. Knowing it was Yolanda’s creation, I was confident that I’d be in for a treat.
What I liked: The story here is very ‘Blade Runner’-esque. Tolliver is an android-type creation who writes marketing lines to appear on Billboards. This is set well into the future, one where humans have fled the surface to live below ground. On one occasion, while Tolliver is visiting a subsection of the online world, they come across a message just for them. One requesting their help.
From here, Sfetsos crafts a fantastic thriller that had depth, layers and stunning settings. Each twist and turn that came really elevated the world and the characters and the emotions that Yolanda created in this was top notch. I loved seeing how Tolliver’s memories started to come back and how different characters met along the way played a significant role in them ultimately working towards reaching their end goal.
This was sci-fi done at a masterful level. At one point I’d tweeted that this was the best thing Yolanda had ever written (at least from what I’ve read) but this deserves to be considered alongside some of the classics. I’d easily compare this to a Philip K. Dick release.
What I didn’t like: To stay spoiler-free, there’s a section where Tolliver meets a cat character in here and I wasn’t really too sure about what the cat was/who they were/how it was working. It was minor but it just irked me! Haha!
Why you should buy this: Yolanda has truly created a stunning masterpiece here. I can’t speak to how it would hold up to CyberPunk rules etc, but what she’s delivered here was truly amazing and I galloped through this. Sfetsos has found another gear with this release. Maybe it’s the genre? Or maybe it’s just another great writer making another step up in their craft. Either way, this one blew me away and I’ve added it already to my list of potential books of the year.
Well done, Yolanda.
The Wired City
Tolliver is caught in a cycle of boredom she desperately wants to escape. She hates her job writing silly slogans, doesn’t have any friends, and lives in a crowded city full of mindless androids.
When she stumbles on a mysterious classifieds message specifically targeted at her, Tolliver decides to leave her claustrophobic unit and finds herself in an unexpected adventure. A seemingly simple task leads her to a conspiracy theory that will put her life in danger, introduce her to a lot of potential friends, and some hard truths that circle back to her…
(with a cover by Adrian Baldwin)
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
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