More Perfect by Temi Oh
Publication Date: August 15th, 2023
Paperback. 592 pages.
About More Perfect:
"A reimagining of the Greek myth of Eurydice and Orpheus, for fans of Becky Chambers and William Gibson by Alex Award–winning author Temi Oh.
Using the myth of Eurydice as a structure, this riveting science fiction novel is set in a near-future London where it has become popular for folks to have a small implant that allows one access to a more robust social media experience directly as an augmented reality. However, the British government has taken oversight of this access to an extreme, slowly tilting towards a dystopian overreach, all in the name of safety."
More Perfect is an incredibly inventive and thought-provoking sci-fi set in a dystopian world where the reality of the world turns upside down after implants essentially take the place of smartphones and people are able to be connected to the internet, themselves, and the rest of the world 24/7. This is a hard book to break down in any brief fashion, so I've opted to make share my general pros and cons in my mini-review format in order to give you all an overview.
What I liked: I really enjoyed Temi Oh's exploration of this concept of implants keeping us connected constantly and how he perceived it affecting the population as a whole. I definitely think I'd be one of the 'weirder' ones who tries to hold out and not get an implant shoved into their brain, but who knows, right? I liked initially getting to know our protagonists, Moremi and Orpheus, and learning about their individual backgrounds, which I thought were complex and well-developed; I really felt as though I understood most of their motivations and reasonings for many of their later actions. I think the strongest point of this book in general was the concept and how Oh chose to explore that concept. We get to see some really neat ideas, such as with dreams and different applications for how the implant can be used.
What I didn't like: The first half of this book was really gripping, but I have to admit that some of my interest wavered a bit as Moremi and Orpheus's storylines lines connected and we started to focus more on their own relationship, which also felt a bit forced and too quick for my personal liking. This shift felt a bit disconnected from the rest of the book and I honestly found that I didn't care as much about it as other aspects of the story. It was also just too long at nearly 600 pages and was not able to keep my attention for that much of the story. I feel like this could have cut out a lot and still had a really solid story, if not a more engaging one with slightly better pacing. I really wanted to enjoy this book more than I did, but it just turned into such a slow journey to actually finish it and get through a lot of sections that didn't particularly interest me that it didn't end up grabbing me as much as I'd hoped it would.
Despite the negatives, I still enjoyed this book as a whole and Temi Oh's writing. Overall, I've given More Perfect 3.5 stars. I will definitely be looking for more from Oh in the future! Highly recommended to any sci-fi/dystopian fans that don't mind a longer read.