Australian author Williams (coauthor of the Troubletwisters series) begins a science fiction trilogy set in a future where “d-mat” technology, which allows for cheap teleportation and item replication, has created a seeming utopia of plenty. Seventeen-year-old Clair, like her friends, is always in search of something new and exciting. Then she and her friend Libby run across rumors of the Improvement process, which uses d-mat to illegally improve one’s body. When Libby changes in surprising and terrifying ways, Clair is plunged into an ever-deepening web of conspiracy and danger and forced to go off the grid, guided by the entity only known as “Q.” Eventually, she discovers the secret at the heart of her world, and what she does next could save society or destroy it. Williams spins a sprawling and complex tale, built on an impressively well-constructed premise and held together with intrigue and tension. While some of the story beats are predictable, Williams’s exploration of technology and its implications fuels a fascinating story. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (Nov.)
In the masterful hands of Williams, the technology, which has eerie parallels to contemporary life, provides a solid platform for great storytelling, and teens will revel in the drama, Clair’s tenacity, and the memorable characters who discover that their utopia isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Booklist (starred review)
A mind-blowing adventure about what it means to be human, and what it means to find ourselves.
A gripping YA thriller, coming of age and love story that transports the reader to a future that looks a whole lot better than it really is ... Highly Recommended.
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
TWINMAKER took my breath away. A triumph of thrilling action and vivid imagination.
TWINMAKER asks smart questions without easy answers, and presents a future so simultaneously wonderful and terrible you can only believe in it. A thrilling, existential head trip worthy of my favorite anime, I couldn’t stop reading this book. More importantly, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Compelling...handily juggles ethical debates, swift action, and a well-developed setting.
Twinmaker is a gripping scifi story of friendship, identity + accidentally destroying the universe.
In the masterful hands of Williams, the technology, which has eerie parallels to contemporary life, provides a solid platform for great storytelling, and teens will revel in the drama, Clair’s tenacity, and the memorable characters who discover that their utopia isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”
%COMM_CONTRIB%Booklist (starred review)
Gr 8 Up—Clair and Libby, both 17, are best friends, but they couldn't be more different. Libby is impulsive and easily bored, while Clair likes to finish what she starts. The futuristic society in which they live relies heavily on dematerialization technology, machines that allow people to teleport themselves and fabricate material goods. When Libby uses "d-mat" to improve her looks, Clair starts to worry that something has gone terribly wrong. This leads Clair to uncover layers of corruption at high levels of government. Given the dystopian genre, it's not surprising that the plot contains a love triangle, lots of adventure, and an abrupt conclusion that makes a sequel seem inevitable. The science-fiction elements are complex and confusing when juxtaposed with the action-heavy plot. While the book does touch upon self-image issues, the concept of "Improvement" is tangential to the meat of the story. The title functions as a spoiler for a plot development that doesn't occur until a third of the way through the book. In spite of these issues, this novel will appeal to dystopian fiction fans who want an accessible new read. Give this one to teens who enjoy action-packed books such as Veronica Roth's "Divergent" trilogy (HarperCollins).—Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH
To save her best friend, Clair must uncover a terrible conspiracy in this futuristic thriller. A viral message offers Improvement, changing a person's looks, intelligence or anything else by modifying their "patterns" when they use the teleportation technology called d-mat. Few believe it can work, as it circumvents d-mat safeguards. The d-mat technology solved the energy crisis, allows people to replicate material items and provides instant teleportation anywhere--it helps to maintain world peace. But Clair's best friend, Libby, tries Improvement anyway--and claims it works. But she's struck with terrible headaches, mood swings and erratic behavior. Worried, Clair turns to the school freak, a boy whose family abstains from technology, to see if their movement knows anything about Improvement. Before learning that the Improved end up brain damaged and committing suicide a week afterward--a fate Clair must save Libby from--Clair attempts it. Her only noticeable change is gaining a mysterious hacker/digital stalker who claims to want to help Clair, even as shady people try to kill Clair. Clair comes into her own as she strategizes to survive. A tedious love triangle resolves mercifully quickly, but the later romantic storyline is predictable and obligatory. The dangers, casualties and well-written action scenes keep tensions high. Williams marries accessibly explored moral ramifications of future technologies--a hallmark of mature science fiction--with a strong, capable teen heroine and heart-pounding action (just flip past the romance). (author's note)
(Science fiction. 12 & up)