an absolutely remarkable thing

4 stars

A fantastic first book in a new YA SciFi/Fantasy series.

I really enjoyed this book and recommend that you read it. It’s fast-paced and sucks you in right from the start. You won’t want to put it down.

April May is a 23 year old working long hours at a doomed start-up in NYC. One night she leaves work at 3am and walks to the subway, but her Metrocard is rejected. Unsure how much money she has in her checking account, she turns around and walks back to her office to pick up another card she has on her desk. As she turns onto 23rd street, she sees it. A 10 foot statute of a Transformer wearing a suit of Samurai armor. It is truly an absolutely remarkable thing. April May is mesmerized and calls her best friend Andy to join her. Andy shows up with his video equipment and records April May as she gives a “report” on the statute she has dubbed “Carl”. Andy uploads the video and April May goes home to sleep.

When April May wakes up later that day, she discovers the same statute has shown up in cities all around the world and her and Andy’s video has gone viral. April May has been credited with “first contact” with the “Carls” and offers to appear on television come pouring in. Initially overwhelmed with the attention, April May begins to enjoy being in the public eye and eventually starts to make choices to further her celebrity status. Even when her choices affect the relationships with her girlfriend and friends, April May pushes on. When people start questioning the reason the Carls have appeared and an opposition to April May forms, her intensity increases and she pushes even harder to get her opinions across.

The writing is fresh and the book is easy to read. The book definitely touches on deeper subjects such as our current fascination with internet fame, our obsession with social media, instant gratification and the dark side of blindly believing what you read online instead of educating yourself and making your own decisions. But you don’t have to delve into those issues if you don’t want to. You can simply let the book take you for a fun ride and enjoy it until the end.