What comes after Death? It is the age-old question that has never been answered as no one has ever returned from death to tell the tale. Is there something more? Or is death the end? The novel Aaru, by David Meredith, is a book that looks at what could happen if we had the technology to be able to upload our conscience selves into a database so that in death one could live on in this virtual world. But not only are they able to continue to exist, they can also communicate with the world they have left behind. Loved ones still living their everyday lives can speak with those they have lost to death using the equipment Elysian Industries provides, in the program Aaru, while those uploaded into this virtual world live out their lives in their own ways. The concept is great, right? But if it really works, is it safe? Aaru looks at what can happen when it all goes wrong.
The novel begins with a young girl sapped of life by a terminal illness that had all but taken her precious and brief, 16-year-old life. Her sister Koren, devastated by the form her sister is reduced to, spends the final week of Rose’s life at her bedside. A new doctor visits during this time and places a strange piece of equipment on her head. And then Rose is gone. There is a funeral and a burial.
Naturally Koren, 13 years old rebels during the grieving process at the loss of her sister, and for months tries to learn to deal with life without her. At what seems to be her lowest point, she is delivered the opportunity to have her sister back alive and in her life once more. But what begins as a grand new technological advancement soon goes dreadfully wrong in ways that no one could have foreseen. Koren begins life as celebrity, the face of Aaru, the place where there is life beyond death. At 13 and a half years old she is dressed up and coached to perform in front of crowds and camera’s all in the name of promoting Aaru, which also brings in more money than her and her parents could have possibly dreamed. But no one thought about the fanatical fan response Koren would receive, least of all did they think a stalker could be a problem.
The storyline of Aaru is great. I have enjoyed the general story plotline, and I think it has its own uniqueness that sets it apart from other life after death stories. This is most likely due to the stalker plot interwoven into the story of a girl trying to deal with the physical death of her sister. I do feel however that the writing is not of the standard of the author’s last novel Reflections of Queen Snow White. It seems rushed somehow. Although admittedly the characters themselves are well thought out portrayed in a way that really appeals to the readers imagination, projecting vivid images of the scenes in the minds eye.
Overall, I enjoyed the book Aaru, by David Meredith. I would recommend it to young adults up, and give it a rating of 7/10 stars.