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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Grydscaen: Dark by Natsuya Uesugi is a cutting-edge, sci-fi cyberpunk adventure novel for the YA reader. If you like stories of internet intrigue and cyber hacking at the highest levels, don't miss this book. The story is wrapped in politics, corporate greed, stock market manipulation, high tech, and dueling hackers. You may not be sure of what's happening at first, but Uesugi deftly guides you through with an authoritative but entertaining style. As you read, you begin to get the feeling that this author knows what he's writing about--from an insider's point of view. With this story, you get mystery and excitement around every corner, and it would make a great anime series, movie, or game.
The author's attention to tech details in the book is mind-boggling. Even if you are unfamiliar with the terms and methods, you are sucked into the vortex of the story and want to keep reading to find out what happens to the two main characters, Jester and Zoon, but also others like Jazz, Rom, and Mage. So, even though this story is steeped in tech and finance, the common struggles of good versus bad, right versus wrong, and compelling conflicts between the characters are at the heart of it. This could easily have turned out to be a throwaway book, but the author's writing is so rich and authentic, you find yourself involved in a way that you have to know how things play out. The descriptions are punchy and pointed, which gives the characters and settings an immediate, tactile feel. Plus you get the added bonus of understanding how vulnerable cybersecurity really is, and how easy it would be to manipulate the entire globe with just a few keystrokes. Even though this book is part of a series, it is also a standalone. If you like your dystopian fiction with characters who reflect diversity and social issues, Grydscaen: Dark by Natsuya Uesugi is one you should invest in.