Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits that protect them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother, who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.
With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.
Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is or destroying his own heart?
This was one of my anticipated reads, mainly because I was of Cindy Pon’s other book Serpentine, and I always felt she was very underrated within the book community.
First of all, I love how Cindy Pon takes advantage of the setting which is in Taipei, Taiwan set in the distant future, and from what I was told this is the first Sci Fi book set within that area. It also deals with pollution and how it affects the population. The main aspect of the book is how it deals with class. The upper class gets special suits in order to protect them from diseases and the bad pollution, while the lower class has to fend for themselves. It really reminded me of Legend by Marie Lu in the aspect.
“Mei” means without and “You” means to have. That’s the terminology that Pon uses to describe the social classes.
Jason Zhou is the main protagonist,and he reminded me a lot of Day in which he was someone who wanted to change the system by any means necessary, and of course with the death of his mother he feels as if it is his duty. He goes undercover to become a you, in order to destroy the Jin Coproaration, the company who manufactures the suits from within.
During his undercover mission he befriends Dairu, the daughter of the CEO of Jin Corp. Jason and Daiyu relationship I thought was very well developed. Its starts with them befriending one another and than an actual relationship begins to blossom. While it does feel a bit of a cliche,it was a well developed cliche. I kinda wish that Daiyu had some POV chapters as well just to get some of her side of the story, mainly because I really did like the character. She had a lot more agency with her, she more than just a girl that the main character has to woo, she was very smart in her own right.
If I were to point out a negative is that I wish some of the secondary characters had a bit more developed, and were better fleshed out. An example was a friend of Daiyu, whose basic story arc revolved around him telling Jason to stay away from Dairu. But I did think that the characters from Jason’s crew were fleshed out, and they reminded me a bit of the crew from Firefly. Hopefully as sequel will flesh out a lot of the characters.
I also like the twists and turns that the book went through, while yes some of it was very predictable there was a few that I didn’t really see coming, but then when you think about it the twists made some sense.
In the end, Want was a very good book delivered by Cindy Pon. She created some great characters and took advantage of a great setting. She created a great world that I want to see more of in future sequels..