Failsafe, Anela Deen


Even the best of prisons was still a prison

Nobody remembers when human civilization fell to the living computer known as the Interspace. Trapped within its massive expanse, what remains of humanity struggles to survive.

Except seventeen-year-old Sol can access the network’s secrets in her dreams. When a grave mistake alerts the drones to her trespassing, Sol finds herself running for her life. She never expects to encounter Echo, a stranger who may hold the key to humanity’s freedom.

* * * 
3 / 5

Try to picture this: humanity, inside a massive living computer on the surface of the Earth. I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t really imagine it, so my mental picture whilst reading Failsafe was mostly blank. But other than that I thought it was super cool and engaging and I even liked the romance!

You keep thinking if I sit still it’ll make the seizures go away for good. That’s not how it is, and I refuse to be useless because you feel better when I do nothing

Sol lives in one of the last refuges of humanity inside the massive physical network system known as the Interspace. The Interspace is also sentient and overthrew the government many years ago. It was very confusing. Drones, minions of the Interspace, used to deliver food to each of the small dozen settlements but they have now stopped and Sol is the only one who dares venture out to get food. It’s out there in the grid that she meets Echo, a weirdly cold man who is trying to reach the central grid to shut down the Interspace.

I really liked Sol. She’s a brave spunky girl who is also epileptic. Her life is a fight between her parents whose fear is trying to overrule her life and the violent and possessive man she is promised to once she turns eighteen. Sol sees Echo and his mission as a way to escape her restrictive life and to help the future of humanity; with the blessing of her settlement mayor, Sol guides Echo with the help of her strange dreams that help her to see the inner workings of the Interspace.

We yearned, but we didn’t know for what

Echo is also great. His origins are a mystery and he and Sol have such opposite personalities and their interactions are sometimes sweet and sometimes hilarious. The characters are such a focal point of Failsafe.  They are up against the Interspace itself and her main minion: a dark and seriously creepy robot called the Override.

On the downside, there’s the confusing setting that I have already touched on. Failsafe has a bunch of futuristic elements thrown in that don’t really make all that much sense: a cyber setting, cloning, dystopian humanity. Some of the writing was also a little choppy.

In conclusion: Failsafe had me totally torn.

My thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for an ARC of Failsafe.

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