6 Tech-Infused YA Thrillers Set in Dark Futures

If you watch Black Mirror or Orphan Black, you know how technology + thriller plot can equal a heart-pounding story. From virtual reality that may not be the escape it seems to a world so polluted special suits are needed to survive, these books explore the ways technology infuses our lives with both peril and possibility. These books all combine the complexities of science and technology with killer (often literally) mysteries. Pick up any of them, and you can expect to be both dazzled at the high-tech advancements, and astounded at the relationship between crime and electronics.

Vicarious and Ferocious, by Paula Stokes
In this action-packed duology, Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, work with ViSEs, Vicarious Sensory Experiences. Winter records her own death-defying stunts so that others can relive them later, while Rose targets more romantic, night-life scenarios. When Rose goes missing, presumed to be dead, Winter believes the ViSEs she left behind may have the answer as to what happened to her. But what Winter finds may change her life for good.

Want, by Cindy Pon
In a futuristic Taipei, people survive the broken atmosphere by wearing special suits that protect them from illness and pollution. Unfortunately, only the elite can afford them, leaving much of the population to early deaths. Jason Zhou wants to change this, and his best chance is to infiltrate Jin Corp, the company behind the inaccessible safety suits. But the more Jason delves into this privileged world, the more complicated everything becomes, till he finds the fate of the city is in his hands.

Starters, by Lissa Price
At Prime Destinations, “Enders,” aged seniors, can rent the body of a teen via a special neurochip. Callie, orphaned and in charge of her young brother, knows renting out her body is her only hope to stay alive. But when the neurochip malfunctions, Callie wakes up in the home of her renter, and even worse, discovers her renter isn’t just out for a good time in a young body. At Prime Destinations, something far more evil is happening, and Callie is caught in the crosshairs.

Two Lies and a Spy, by Kat Carlton
With one text from her superspy parents, Kari’s world is turned upside down. Code Black means her parents have been labeled as traitors, which leaves Kari to the task of clearing their names. To do so, she’ll need to break into the Agency, which is far easier said than done. With the aid of her crush, her hacker best friend, and others, Kari faces her most dangerous mission yet.

Elusion, by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam
Regan is the daughter of the man who invented Elusion, a virtual reality program full of adventure and excitement. When her father dies, Regan is left bereft. With Elusion preparing to go nationwide, dark rumors start to surface about the safety of the program. Regan is ready to defend her father’s legacy, but as she investigates, she discovers there are more secrets behind Elusion than she thought, and it’s up to her to uncover the truth.

Blight, by Alexandra Duncan
While we often associate technology with phones, computers, virtual reality, or even clones, Blight focuses on a different kind of technology: genetic modifications to food. Tempest Torres guards the AgraStar farm against scavengers who want to steal their food. Suddenly, the AgraStar is attacked, accidentally unleashing a blight that kills everything in its path, including the humans. With special seeds on her, Tempest survives and pairs up with Alder to seek help at the AgraStar headquarters—and soon uncovers a plot that could change the world.

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