August 17th, 2014
Dragon's Mind by Vered Ehsani
Falling a bit behind on my reviews, Im finally getting to Dragon's Mind! I highly enjoyed this light science fiction read ^_^
It wasn't perfect, but at the very least, it was edited well, and interesting enough to buy it as a paperback after seeing it for free via Amazon Prime.
Dragon's Mind was a confusing story at times, but it was entertaining. A fictional upscale resort/man-made island was the setting for this tale about an artificial mind, who learned he was actually real, and the teenager who helped create his program.
I'd rather break down some of the things I did and didn't connect with. Most people will be able to live with what I didn't connect with, so it is a read I'd highly recommend.
What I liked:
I had pros and cons about this fictional man-made island, created to be a type of upscale Atlantic City/Las Vegas. The entire island was run by an artificial brain named "MindsOPS" or aka "Dragon." The entire set up made it appear to be a Sin City type place for rich people, or visitors to run from their problems or normal lives, if only for a moment.
Dragon was a computer program/artificial brain that were the resort's eyes, ears, and all other senses. The technology behind the program was to prove that scientists could create artificial intelligence that envied man, which many assumed they succeeded at, UNTIL Dragon began to remember he wasn't always an artificial brain.
I really liked the three main characters. There was Dragon, aka "MindOps" or the artificial intelligence/brain, and teenager/budding scientist and prodigy Myranda Thalia aka "Myth" the girl who worked with Dragon while creating her revolutionary program. Myth was a biracial girl(half white and half black)and had a strong relationship with her mother(who was also a scientist). There was another main character of Chinese descent named Darren Cho. I liked him, but I do have a complain once I get to the diversity section.
All three main characters were really cool. It was nice to see a story that didn't shy away from a group of diverse kids coming together to stop a corrupt city system.
Most of the conflict came from Dragon, who upon creating a family friendly holographic image to display, starts remembering the origins of that image. That it was who he used to be, before he became a brain. This secret has the power to bring a lot of people in high places down, so of course the baddies want nothing more but to destroy anyone involved. That included Myth, the person he worked the closest with.
It has a Tron feel to it, if anyone is into Computer Program-Reality type plots. I think that's what I liked about it the most.
I think the developmental editing is pretty good. It's not life changing, but the plot made sense throughout the book. There weren't any major issue with formatting or grammar, but I can't give it all the editing points.
I absolutely love the cover, and the title fits the book. I would probably pick this up in a bookstore based on the cover alone. I liked every name but I did have a complaint about a surname,but I'll explain later. I think I got a pretty clear picture of the characters, or at least the characters that had speaking lines(expect for The Boss).
What I didn't connect to:
The major detail I connected with the least, the detail that drove me absolutely insane, was the character Darren Cho. From first glance, before anything is known about him, I assumed he'd be Korean American. After all, Cho is a Korean surname.
Darren turned up being of Chinese descent, and that bugged the hell out of me, because it made me wonder how much research went into making his ethnicity clear. I know, I know, there are a few names, first and last, that have some relations or similarities in East Asia.
But perhaps Chow, Cao or Tso would have been better choices. They would have been recognizably Chinese, and wouldn't be mistaken for Korean at all.
Also, as far as diversity went, it was good, but not great. The representation that is shown is good. But there were a lot of colorist ideologies in the book, be they intentional or not.
One character, who was saving Myth's life by the way, was described in such an unflattering light, just because he was dark skinned, physically strong and had dreadlocks. All I kept thinking was, give this dude's my number XD It made me feel as though he was being judged in the same light a lot of brothas get judged right before they die by a cop's hand.
I didn't connect to that. Myth and Dragon were to me the strongest written characters. But even Myth's dialogue seemed a bit off, or childish, considering her high intelligence level.
I also didn't like the multiple narratives. Myth and Dragon I understood, because they're actually on the cover. But there were several villains (The Albino and The Boss for starters) where I thought their narrative didn't exactly help the story run smoother.
Albinism is lack of melanin defect(a disability of sorts) but The Albino wasn't a strong written character. I didn't think it painted her in a flattering light, and making her the villain, considering what she'd gone through didn't seem fair.
The Boss? Even though I pictured him South Asian, it was never really clear what he looked like. I assumed since chapters were told from his perspective, the least that could be done is have a clear picture of him. He wore "Indian" style clothing, which I interpreted at the very least as a Sherwani and slacks. But I'd be really disappointed to see some random white guy in such dignified clothes XD
Overall all, this book had strong points, but had some very weak points as well.
But it was still awesome to dreamcast this sucker, but I only saw Darren, Dragon and Myth the clearest.
Andre Kim was my Darren(especially if he'd been Korean like he was supposed to be XD ) Kat Graham was my Myth(Myth had green eyes, with brown skin) and Conner Jessup was my Dragon!
Still earned a 3.5