Former model Ji has developed agoraphobia after a fall on a runway and cannot leave her flat. Her husband Adan, the owner of a neurotechnology company, is the only important person in her life, but he is controlling and abusive towards her. Ji begins to question their relationship and other things after some disturbing events.
This is a short novella whose appeal are the many twists and turns and the uncertainty of the protagonist about the realities of her life. She feels that she is slowly going mad, and thus, for instance, is unsure if she is hurting herself, or if her husband is doing it. Ji’s struggle with agoraphobia and the pychological stress created by the absolute dependence on her husband are offered in a rather simplistic way which makes it easy to immediately feel sympathy for her and to loathe Adan and his mindgames; even if some doubt is sown about Ji’s injuries, it is clear that Adan is a bad guy that hurts her in many ways. This takes a lot of the suspense out of the story and draws out the first half unnecessarily which is truly a feat in such a short book. The only other character in the story is Lani, the co-founder of the company, who fortunately is more ambiguous; her motivation is not revealed until the end. In general, however, the atmosphere may be fittingly claustrophobic, but the care that should have gone into developing the characters is lacking.
As for the plot and the twists and the slow revelations of what is really going on, there is no new ground covered here, not on the psychological, nor the science fiction, nor the narrative front. I feel that it has all been done before, and done much better. There was no idea that really excited me or made me think closer about events, and using a fall on the runway as the trigger for such a severe case of agoraphobia just seems ludicrous. This book is truly the very definition of okay; nothing about it stands out, and I don’t think I’ll remember it in a month.