Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tour: Review: Sulan by Camille Picott (ARC) (+Giveaway)

I'm super excited to be a part of this tour! The concept/blurb of this book drew me in in a snap, and I'm excited to share it with you today. I must warn you that's it's been a while since I've read it, but I still feel the same way now as I did at the time when I read the book. Enjoy!


Sulan Book Cover_Amazon
Episode One: The League ~ Sulan by Camille Picott
Publisher: Pixiu Press
Release Date: June 2012
Sixteen-year-old Sulan Hom can’t remember life before the Default—the day the United States government declared bankruptcy. As a math prodigy, she leads a protected life, kept safe from the hunger and crime plaguing the streets of America. She attends the corporate-sponsored Virtual High School, an academy in Vex (Virtual Experience) for gifted children.

Beyond the security of Sulan’s high-tech world, the Anti-American League wages a guerrilla war against the United States. Their leader, Imugi, is dedicated to undermining the nation’s reconstruction attempts. He attacks anything considered a national resource, including corporations, food storage facilities—and schools. When Sulan witnesses the public execution of a teenage student and the bombing of a college dorm, she panics. Her mother, a retired mercenary, refuses to teach her how to defend herself. Sulan takes matters into her own hands. With the help of her hacker best friend, Hank, Sulan acquires Touch—an illegal Vex technology that allows her to share the physical experience of her avatar. With Touch, Sulan defies her mother and trains herself to fight. When Imugi unleashes a new attack on the United States, Sulan finds herself caught in his net. Will her Vex training be enough to help her survive and escape?
"I enjoyed the book, but there's a lot that keep me from loving the book the way I had anticipated."

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book for this tour. This did not affect my review in any way, nor am I being compensated for it.  

As I mentioned above, what really got me interested in this book was the blurb. The first thing I noticed when I read it was that the main character is Asian (or at least has an Asian name). I then found out that the author, Camille Picott, is actually a Chinese American. Yay for diversity! It really did make me very happy to see that in this book. However, I was almost a little disappointed that of course, she was the math/science prodigy. I get it in the context, and of course, there are reasons why that stereotype exists but gahh! There's more to people and society than math and science, people! As a social studies/English lover, it makes me so sad that even in this dystopian society, those subjects aren't even close to being valued.

There's a really interesting cast of characters in the book, and I really enjoyed reading about them and seeing their interactions with one another. I like Sulan's fierceness and her determination. She kicks ass! I loved Billy and Hank, both separately, together, and with their interactions with Sulan. It's fun and yet realistic. Hank's anxiety over school is especially well done, as is her relationship with Billy. And while I'm okay with Gun as a character, I am not a fan of how quickly Sulan began to rely on him. Additionally, I was pulled in so many directions regarding Gun, and I guess that's the point but because the beginning of their relationship felt weak, I feel like the reader is meant to trust Gun, and I really don't/didn't. But one of my favorite interactions/relationships (besides Hank and Sulan's) is Sulan and her mother. I just love the way they interact. It's not smooth, and they clash a lot, but you can really see both of their sides of the safety and training debate. I think it represents a mother-daughter relationship fairly accurately, considering Sulan's age and the world in which they live. My last point about characters is that I feel as if they all should have been more fallible. It often felt as if they were invincible or something, and I'm just like no!

The book is fast-paced and engaging. It was a quick read for me, though I felt a bit shaky about the world-building. There's just something that continued to feel off for me, and there was a lot I was confused about for a good portion of the book. The technology is much more advanced, but they're not always explained fully. The book's not perfect, but it's not bad either. There were a few "twists" that were extremely predictable and took away from any of the suspense (namely the reveal about who Midnight is, as well as the frog business near the end of the book). Overall, I enjoyed the book, but there's a lot that keep me from loving the book the way I had anticipated.

About the Author: 

Camille Picott is a fifth-generation Chinese American. She writes science fiction and fantasy books with Asian characters and/or Asian settings. Camille grew up reading speculative fiction stories largely devoid of Asian characters and culture. This, coupled with a passion for her heritage, is the reason she strives to bring some aspect of Eastern myth, legend, culture, and ethnicity to all of her writings. 

Two $5 Amazon Gift Cards (INT)


  1. I'm glad you mostly enjoyed it anyway. Thanks for hosting a tour stop!

  2. Thanks for your review and thank for participating in the tour!


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