Flux by Jinwoo Chong

Four days before Christmas, 8-year-old Bo loses his mother in a tragic accident, 28-year-old Brandon loses his job after a hostile takeover of his big-media employer, and 48-year-old Blue, a key witness in a criminal trial against an infamous now-defunct tech startup, struggles to reconnect with his family.

So begins Jinwoo Chong’s dazzling, time-bending debut that blends elements of neo-noir and speculative fiction as the lives of Bo, Brandon, and Blue begin to intersect, uncovering a vast network of secrets and an experimental technology that threatens to upend life itself. Intertwined with them is the saga of an iconic ’80s detective show, Raider, whose star actor has imploded spectacularly after revelations of long-term, concealed abuse.

Flux is a haunting and sometimes shocking exploration of the cyclical nature of grief, of moving past trauma, and of the pervasive nature of whiteness within the development of Asian identity in America. 

CONTRIBUTOR(S): David Lee Huynh (Narrator)
PUBLISHER: Tantor Audio
YEAR: 2023
LENGTH: 341 pages (9 hours 8 minutes)
AGE: Adult
GENRE: Historical, Science Fiction

Queer Rep Summary: Gay/Achillean Main Character(s), Bi/Pan Main Character(s).

DNF 4 hours 18 minutes in (47%).

I like the way the narrative is layered, and the commentary on the role of media in the formation of identity, especially when that media was not ideal representation, all of that was very interesting, and is part of why I kept reading for as long as I did. but either most of what’s in the description for the book doesn’t come in to play until the second half, or I’m missing something huge in the story. I’m not sure which, and I’m ultimately ended up not finishing it. I think this is the first DNF that I might want to revisit later when I’m in a better headspace, that time just isn’t right now. 

Moderate CW for grief, cursing, alcohol, bullying.

Minor CW for ableism, sexism, sexual content, vomit, blood, violence, medical content, parental death, death.

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