Official Review: Blue Screen by Kyle Benzle

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teacherjh
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Latest Review: Blue Screen by Kyle Benzle

Official Review: Blue Screen by Kyle Benzle

Post by teacherjh »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Blue Screen" by Kyle Benzle.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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Imagine you came home from work and sat down to check the internet. Your screen displayed an emergency message telling you to stay inside and secure your house. Then an error message appeared saying the system was shutting down and collecting data for a crash dump. Soon, the electricity goes out and everything with batteries or computer chips stops working.

This is the opening scene of Blue Screen by Kyle Benzle. The story is set in a near-future where technology is slightly more advanced than now. The main character, Peter, fears it is some sort of attack using an EMP. His parents, however, decide to just wait and see if everything gets resolved. Despite the fact that the electric is still not on the next day, they catch a ride to work with a neighbor who owns an old, classic car, and send Peter to school. The school is closed, but Peter manages to sneak in and find a working computer. The computer addresses him by name and tells him to come to a nearby Telecommunications Station. Thus begins Peter’s adventure to find out and fix whatever is happening to his world.

The premise of the book is pretty intriguing. I was impressed with how much history the author built into the book. There are footnotes about a war that happened and how the current internet-type system got set up. The author also obviously has a thorough understanding of technology himself. The explanations are sometimes complex. However, this also created my least favorite parts of the book. It got too into the nitty-gritty of systems and needed more character building. Early in the story, all the characters have similar temperaments. Some characters have backstories while others are flat. The story also seems to struggle for identity. It has elements of mystery and sci-fi with an attempt at romance all wrapped in dystopian. Altogether, it just did not grab me. There was a pretty great twist near the end, but I don’t know if I would have read that far if I was not reading it to do a review.

The book is about teenagers, but I could see it in adult or young adult literature. There is one scene where a character gets shot, but it is not graphic. Also, there is profanity, so it is not recommended for anyone who prefers not to read that type of language. I think science fiction fans with a pretty good understanding of technology would enjoy this book. However, the book does not seem to be professionally edited. I found three comma errors in the first ten pages and numerous other errors throughout the book.

Overall, I would give this book a rating of 2 out of 4 stars. It has a promising plot and a great reveal in the last half, so it is worth more than one point. However, the editing errors and the lack of character development keep me from giving it a three.

******
Blue Screen
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Grace Macharia
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Post by Grace Macharia »

Such an honest review. Thank you for elaborating what to expect in the story so we're not set up for disappointment later. Awesome review.

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Ellylion
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Post by Ellylion »

Too many errors and flat characters sound really discouraging. Thank you for this honest review!

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NetMassimo
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Post by NetMassimo »

This seems a novel very focused on its technical elements that overlooked character development and some parts of the plot. Possibly an editor could help the author in the novel development. Thank you for your honest review!
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gabrielletiemi
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Post by gabrielletiemi »

This novel has an interesting and innovative premise. Too bad the author didn't develop it well. With characters lacking background and unique personalities, this book doesn't seem attractive to me. I think I'll pass it now. Thanks for the honest review!

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Prachi Randeria
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Post by Prachi Randeria »

Thanks for the honest review. The book does have an interesting premise but a lack of character development can be quite discouraging.

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Tonika632
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Post by Tonika632 »

I find it important to have well-developed characters to read about. This book seems promising if those problems were fixed. Thanks for an amazing review!

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Swidoh97
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Post by Swidoh97 »

It sounds interesting. I yearn to know more about the plot and main actions .thanks.

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Nisha Ward
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Post by Nisha Ward »

I don't know that I would be level headed in such a situation, but I do know I would also go to a place where I know there would be internet access. The computer thing is believable but it's a pity the book is so flawed.
"...while a book has got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the reader it's got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the writer as well." - Terry Pratchett on The Last Continent and his writing.

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Post by kljrox »

I like sci-fi, but not if the characters are boring. Sounds like an imaginative base for a story that could really be interesting if the author works on character and plot development a little more. Thanks for the informative and honest review.
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Post by Miss_chiege »

Honestly speaking, I would be scared if I am in such a position. I wouldn't even know what to do. This is an awesome review.

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Usma Khann
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Post by Usma Khann »

The premise had great potential but looks like the author lacked in the execution department. Appreciate the honest review.🌸
Readers know it. Authors know it. Publishers know it. A promising review sells books! :roll:

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Priyanka2304
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Post by Priyanka2304 »

Wow! That sounds like a fun read. I always wonder how the world would be like when everything is snapped all of a sudden. The world will come to an undesirable halt. Thanks for the review.

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Post by Chinelookeke »

Technology advancement sounds cool. Thanks for the good review though I would love to read it to have a better understanding.

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Breanamuirr
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Post by Breanamuirr »

The plot reminds me of a tv show named frequency it seem basic!

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