Aurealis Award Best YA Novel 2017 short list
- Author: Marlee Jane Ward
- Title: Psynode
- Genre: YA, Dystopia
- Published: 2017
- List of Challenges 2018
- Monthly reading plan
- Trivia: Shortlisted for best YA novel in the 2017 Aurealis Awards
- I have no idea what to expect from this book!
- I’m in the mood for strange.
- Jane Rawson author of From the Wreck mentioned
- …this book on her reading list.
- Now, the title is strange enough in itself.
- Psynode: ….not even a word! But what is it?
- Psynode is a secret facility operated by the megacorp Allnode.
- Leaving my comfort zone again!
- But I have to keep discovering….because
- speculative fiction is creeping into the mainstream.
- Allnode Corp – head office
- Nodeplex – posh neighborhood
- Nodeville – industrial towers, housing, warehouses.
- Psynode – secret facility operated by the megacorp Allnode
Who is Mirii?
- Bruised-but-not broken girl who
- …has survived an industrial OrphanCorp. (OC)
- “..just one poor little chicky-face in a
- …Pacific-sized ocean of poor jerks…” (ch 2)
- Ch 4 reveals that Miriiyanan Mahoney is indigenous
- ….but no has felt no family traditions . (…was in OC)
What does Mirii do?
- “…I tattoo, stick and poke, though there’s not much biz
- coming my way with all the competition.
- I do some design stuff too, but
- I’m mostly down with tech repair.” (tatt and repair) (Ch 1)
What is Mirii’s goal?
- She wants to find her friend Adeline Vu.
- Mirii found a note six month ago
- …and she feels Vu is in Psynode
- ….or as Mirii calls it Brainfuckers, Inc.
- Mirii applies for a job at Allnode Corp
- Trainee in Resource Location (distribution center)
- …to get closer to Vu.
- Mirii is ‘hell-bent on espionage and radness.”
Theme: tradition and family are everything
- Tradition is important…
- Something there to hold on to,
- make you feel connected to the Earth,
- give you a past to feel part of.
- Mirii (ch 4):
- ” I just feel so …untethered.
- With no family sometimes I feel like
- I could just float up and
- off the world and no one would notice.”
- The book feels synthetic
- …crackling, electric and popping at the touch.
- YA fiction is a clever genre and fun to read.
- I was stunned when the
- …tone changed for just a few minutes.
- Chapter 4, scene 3….when I read
- ..the first moment of character reflection by Mirii.
- No hip-hop jingo…just pure emotion
- …of a struggling young girl.
- I’ve developed my own strategy
- to find the narrative
- between all the urban chatter and tech slang.
- Slang…it is just a part of the YA culture
- …but it did take awhile to get used to
- I had to keep the Urban Dictionary
- by my side while reading Psynode.
Words: I need the Urban Dictionary!
- Awesome is used just 2 x.
- …that surprises me b/c it is used constantly in conversations.
- Cool is used only 5 x….again surprising.
- So what are the words Ward uses to replace awesome and cool?
- Now the word is RAD ! “That’s so rad!”
- Never too late to teach an old dog new tricks!
- The book is filled with slang…for example
- Bru = Bro ( “How’s it going, bro?”)
- Rad babes and brus.
- …I’m into tatt and repair (tattooing and tech repair)
- …and all that awful shiz – nice way of saying shit
- …do not fugg this up – nice way of saying fuck up
- …start my heavy mish into enemy territory. = mission
- I’m almost a hundy richer ( = 100 procent)
- Hellvoid? = not in Urban dictionary…but I get the gist.
- I gotta jam. = leave in haste
- No wuz, cuz = No worries, mate!
- Cheyeah, of course = obviously, you idiot!
- Note: I thought Cheyeah was a new character! Dùh! 🙂
- Mirii asks stranger who is there to help her: ” How do you know me?”
- Response: “This is, like, under. Gadi.”
- Gadi = person who goes out of his way to help others.
- Sleep’s not coming even though it is stupid o’ clock.
- I fold my features into a caj look. = casual
- What a character description:
- “Lacey has this soft, practical vibe to her
- …keen but floaty.” (= someone who is slightly strange)
- You don’t read that in Jane Austen!
- A sharp-edged semi-futuristic story about Mirii Mahoney
- …and her quest to rescue a her friend Adeline Vu
- …from the clutches of the sinister Allnode Corp.
- Mirii can’t do it alone
- …and meets some ‘true bros’ who help her!
- I am utterly impressed by Psynode by Marlee Jane Ward.
- I started the book expecting nothing in the form of
- a narrative that would capture my attention.
- How wrong I was!
- Marlee Jane Ward has written a well plotted book with a
- clever set-up…
- an inciting event that set the story in motion (kidnapping)
- ….and in one fluid motion the reader is
- …presented the first plot point in chapter 4. (end act 1)
- Tension is building and in chapter 5 is the second plot point. (end act 2)
- Mirii is ready to face the truth, feels empowered
- …and has achieved a victory. She has found
- an important person who agrees to help her!
- I won’t comment more on the last 2 chapters (act 3 and resolution)
- ….you must read it yourself.
- If you are a 60+ (like me….)
- …who has never read a YA book
- .…this is one you can try!
- Just remember…
- …put the Webster’s Dictionary back on the bookshelf and
- …fire up the online Urban Dictionary.
- You will need it!
- Good structure, 7 chapters, 7 days of the week.
- Engaging hook (ch 1)
- Keep the writing tight and on focus (snappy urban lingo)
- The ending? …. satisfied this reader!
- #Bravo Marlee Jane Ward
Just have a look at this cast of characters….all created by Marlee Jane Ward!
Mrs Gupta – Una and Ildi (Pierce twins)- Xue Xiang (girl in dorm) – Elton – Mrs Poluski (landlady) – Zoya Safranek (manager HR Allnode) – Mirii Mahoney (MC) – Missy Burkus – the man – old woman – Allnode recruiter Brandis – = Ms Wong ( another boardinghouse landlord..small woman) – Jools (girl in dorm) – Adeline Vu – ‘the old bag’ ( bag lady on street) – NewForce Guard – biker on slick Kawasaki
Cam – Sticks (old friends from OrphanCorp…Verity House) – Elton (recruiter) Adeline Vu (good friend of Mirii who is mentioned throughout the story) – portly old babe with grey hair – Vikkie the Wrangler (Allnode Resource center trainer) – guy lean and wiry (worker at Allnode) – Ngg (lost job at Allnode) – Mifsud (lost job at Allnode) – Mrs P’s – Ms Wong’s – chicky across the way (in dorm) a giant of a girl with folded ears.
Rowe Hamilton-Singh (Dr. Singh’s daughter) – newbie (worker at Allnode) – grizzled old dude pro (worker at Allnode)
Dr. Singh (Rowe’s father)– bug girl (sells locust skewers in marketstall) – Tane the tattoo’er (works nights as secruity guard Allnode) – Lacey (60+’er) (…member anti-cap group, anti capitalism in underground hideout) – Delilah (Lacey’s computer)
Dude from intake at Allnode — Big dude with nose broken 10 x (guard at Allnode) – new female unit manager (nameless but ends up in girlfight with Mirii) – warehouse fuzz (Rentacop at Allnode) – Tat..member anti-cap group (aka mohawk babe or Ginger Buzzcut)
Yellow-hair nurse at Allnode (no name) – Steveo (victim of Psynode) – Babe in a labcoat (no name) – Dude with ultra-blond dreadies.
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