Jason Zhou wants to make the world a better place.
In recent years, a thick layer of toxic smog has covered Zhou’s home city of Taipei. Deadly viruses plague the city and the government is unwilling, or unable, to help those suffering from rampant pollution, poverty, and disease. For the you, whose extreme wealth allows them to purchase special protective suits and thus a longer, healthier life, society’s problems are easy to ignore. But for the rest of the population, the mei, life in Taipei is brutal and short.
Zhou and his friends are determined to change things. To take down Taipei’s corruption, they decide to target the manufacturer of those special suits, the Jin Corporation. Eliminating Jin Corp would close the rift between the you and the mei, hopefully motivating those in power to fix the environmental issues destroying the city.
But first, Zhou needs access to you society, which can only mean one thing - money. He decides to kidnap an ultra-rich teenage girl and, after the ransom clears, his group has the fortune they need to infiltrate the you and fight Jin Corp from the inside. The more they learn about the city's corruption, though, and more Zhou delves into world of the elite, the more danger he is in - and the more muddled his beliefs become.
The action in Cindy Pon’s Want takes off from there, pulling readers into a near future of environmental devastation and corporate intrigue. It’s a thriller for those who crave diverse characters and rich settings, and belongs on the shelf with other works of climate fiction such as Ashfall, by Mike Mullin, Orleans, by Sherri L. Smith, and After the Red Rain, by Barry Lyga.