I know Ferrett (in that we have met a few times and corresponded via the internet for quite a while) and I was very happy when I read his first trilogy. I enjoyed it and my daughter Rachel enjoyed it. Great world building and the main character even was close to my profession as an accountant.
When I started reading The Uploaded I was worried because sometimes a writer gets a world or set of characters just right but when they do something new they just don’t have it.
At least that is not a concern now after I finished The Uploaded. Good world building, good story and writing that moves the plot along on a breakneck pace through the whole book. Some of the plot movement is moved forward via hand-waving (a magic “Icebreaker”) but it is OK. Heroes very often are superhuman and it works in the context of the story.
The two parts of the story that I think just do not work well enough (and why it is a 4 star book for me) was the love stories. Rachel had exactly the same issue here and she is a teenage girl. There is absolutely no connection that I can find in the love story and any character development or plot advancement. I am not a huge fan of love triangles, but the one in this book did not seem to matter at all to Amichai.
The second was the treatment of religion. The two groups of characters in the book seen to be atheists or Neo-Christians. There are no middle ground characters, anyone with faith that still believes that uploading after death is fine. There are lots of random descriptions (like “jewfro”) that just does not make sense considering the context. The family background of Amichai is meaningless and seems tacked on. All of the religious in the book are extremists and they are all Christian. Even in the USA, there are enough other religions that could be characters and I cannot see in the world created why the religious groups in it all have to be extremists living on the fringes of the world.
I can live with the religion, but the romantic triangle was just too much for me. Too stereotypical in one Young Adult way (and it seems that the society is much less prudish than current world, so even a little off) and not satisfying in terms of plot or character development.
I liked the book. Rachel read the whole book in a day, including sneaking a reading under the covers late into the night, It has a really interesting idea behind it and world and characters are fun. So give it a try.