Librarything / Goodreads
Genre: Futuristic/Sci-fi(ish) Young Adult
Received for review from publishers
Rating: 4 stars
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books (UK)
Summary: Anthony Griffin is an ordinary kid caught up in a dangerous world. The boundaries between real and virtual are more and more blurred, and when Anthony’s girlfriend is taken out in a gang hit, he has to venture into the underground world of the Drop to flush out her killer and bring him to justice.
Thoughts: Let me just start off that Quantum Drop was exactly what I want in a YA novel. Saci Lloyd doesn't shy away from real-life issues, she doesn't consider the status quo sacred, and she sure as hell isn't afraid of calling out our species for, well, sucking. I love that, because she's so right, but no one ever seems to want to say it. The fact that she not only does, but puts it into a kick-ass book? Brilliant.
But, I have to admit that Quantum Drop is probably not the book for everyone. If you aren't in the mood for a book that needs your brain to be "on" the whole time (which I totally get, by the way), then wait for a while before you pick up Quantum Drop. Otherwise you just won't enjoy it as much.
Now, apart from Saci Lloyd's oh-so-accurate insights into humanity, I also really enjoyed the setting of Quantum Drop. Anyone who has been round the East End will recognize the familiar-yet-futuristic "Debtbelt". Saci Lloyd has kept the verse just post-modern enough to be recognizable - so much so, I barely felt the sci-element of the book. That said, the characters spend a huge part of the novel in a virtual world known as "the drop" (which, if I had to describe it, I'd liken to The Matrix). Super futuristic stuff that, for some reason, felt totally normal.
The characters in Quantum Drop were complete stand-outs. They aren't the middle-class, worried-about-prom lot that we typically see in YA - instead, they have grown up with the odds stacked against them, and they know it. They are swimming against the tide, trying to do what is right while staying afloat. The main character, Anthony, wants justice for his girlfriend, but he also has a legitimate fear for his life and the life of his family. It's easy to just give up - so when many of the characters do, it's also easy to forgive them. This made Anthony's struggles all the more impressive.
Bottom line? Quantum Drop is one of those books that makes you think (about life, the universe and everything) while telling a hell of a tale along the way. Pick it up if you are looking for something different in your YA.