So let's reiterate what I liked about this book.
Aliens! Aliens are cool. And I liked the way they were presented in this book. Rather like District 9, actually, except not bug-like. In other words, the book started with first contact having already come, and everbody is used to the fact. (Except the protesters, of course. But even the fact that there are protesters is evidence that it's normal now.) And this is true of the next point which is ...
Time Travel! I always love Time Travel. And this also was treated as a normal everyday thing, which things do become very quickly in this world. In fact, it was almost treated too normally. The climax seemed a bit short in some ways, because the time travel aspect was treated so lightly.
Blues Singing! I don't know much about Blues, but I know about music and singing, and the part where Mav sings was cool.
Friendship! I love it, and far too few books dwell on deep friendships. Only deep Romances.
Cool Computers! Yeah! My favourite part! And they just fed into the whole atmosphere of this future world Goodman has created. Future worlds are cool, but so often authors seem to spend all the time building up details of their world, and not on the story or characters. But Goodman plops you in the middle and explains nothing, and there's tons of slang, and it's awesome. Now I may have thought some of the slang was futuristic stuff when it was actually just Australian. But I have read quite a few Australian books before, and never not understood the slang. So I think it was futuristic. But whatever it was, it was cool.
P.S. Goodman also wrote Eon. Which is weird. I never would have thought. (Not that I've read Eon or anything--just heard of it a whole lot. It was just unexpected, so I thought I'd write it here. I seem to be in a somewhat loquacious mood.)
P.P.S. About elevators: "Riding one of these boxes takes a lot of trust. For all you know, you could be falling to your death or about to be launched through the roof. So you put all your belief in those little numbers marching across the top of the doors." pg.38
Sounds rather Chestertonian to me. It reminds me about what he says about how going on a train is an adventure, because you could end up anywhere. Except it was something way more profound than that.
Other Australian authors: Catherine Jinks, of Evil Genius and the Pagan books fame; Garth Nix of the Sabriel and The Keys to the Kingdom series; Markus Zusak of The Book Thief; Justine Larbalestier of the Magic or Madness trilogy and Liar. And I'm sure there's more. If you, my non-existent readers, can think of any I've missed, you have my permission to tell me.
Australian authors are awesome, aren't they?
See: Top Ten (Or So): Australian Authors and Books.