Verdict: GROOVEWORLD is a trip through an inventive world that will delight both lovers of music and those who adore a great story.
A young man joins forces with the outcasts and uses his heightened musical abilities to help topple an oppressive government.
Resonance youth Flick Abelton wants nothing more to be a Shaper—someone who can alter sound waves with his hands. When the Resident arrives for the Sounding, it looks like Flick might get his chance…until the brief handshake—said to be all the Resident needs in order to know who can shape—ends in disappointment. When Flick alters the course of an explosion—caused by a mysterious and dangerous girl—he’s drawn from the safety of Resonance to what lies beyond its walls and is swept up in the revolution that’s ready to come out of the shadows. Only then can he truly discover and lay claim to who and what he is.
Author Jeremy Gray’s GROOVEWORLD has all the makings of a dystopian tale—an all-powerful government-type entity determined to keep its citizens in check, a population that has been lulled into submission, and an underground group of outcasts determined to bring down the powers that be. But what separates GROOVEWORLD from its predecessors is its distinctly techno Alice-in-Wonderland feel. Flick’s adventure into the subversive Aural underworld begins in earnest with SpeeQr—a rabbit with “an eight-inch subwoofer…built…into its stomach”—and he rolls into a realm part of—and different from—the somewhat privileged world he grew up in. Gray’s reverence for all things music is apparent, and this is part of what makes the tale he weaves compelling. He liberally uses music-related terms to name characters, weapons, and other items of note. For example, Ohm is the energy source that sustains GROOVEWORLD’s world; tuners are used as either weapons or for protection. DJs faceoff against each other, battling for the attention of their listeners. Beyond the standard themes — the haves versus the have-nots, the outcasts versus the oppressive government — GROOVEWORLD also asks what constitutes authenticity and if being wealthy or poor automatically negates or reinforces said authenticity. The music-related themes continue the debates of old-school versus new-school; LPs versus electronics; does music sanctioned by those who wish to control it automatically make it good or does innovation trump all? Through it all, the novel explores the effect music has on its listeners and how it can bring people together or tear them apart.
GROOVEWORLD is a trip through an inventive world that will delight both lovers of music and those who adore a great story.