So, the problem with finishing books at work and going on to another book? By the time I'm back home and able to write my review on the book I've fini...moreSo, the problem with finishing books at work and going on to another book? By the time I'm back home and able to write my review on the book I've finished, I've lost most interest I had in reviewing. Or maybe that's just a problem with this book for today.
Here's the thing.. I never really got classic noir movies like Casablanca or the Maltese Falcon. Oh, I watched them and enjoyed them, but I never really understood the hype. I do, however, have a soft spot (either in my head, or my heart, I'm not quite sure which it is) for bad boys. Yeah, I'm like so many other women in that regard. At least I know that I should only admire from afar.
This book? Is both noir and has a bad boy in it. Think Mel Gibson's Payback, only with clueless demons, psychotic angels, and even cooler weapons. Oh, and the Authorities? are bigoted fake Texans. Yeah, it's your typical noir - gritty, everyone has their own agenda, and the protagonist very much isn't the White Hat. You'll root for him, because what else are you going to do in this kind of situation, but he's unapologetically a monster.
And, I think that's where I run into my first problem. From afar, a bad boy can be sexy. But talk to him (or share his headspace) for awhile, and all I really want to do is pat him on the head and say, "buck up, buddy. You're making your life a lot more of a hell than it needs to be." And then leave him to go watch Monty Python's Life of Brian. This book left me with the uncomfortable feeling that antiheroes really are just the original emokids. Minus the really bad poetry, maybe. Whenever he started thinking about his lost love, I kept expecting him to shout "for yooooou!"
The plot was fun, though. And Kadrey really does know how to write kick ass fight/action scenes. And, my issues with antiheroes aside, he does make interesting characters. Yes, they were all noir archetypes and expected, but they were expected in a good, interesting way, like an old friend you haven't talked to in awhile.
Favorite line from the book: "It looks like a tv remote fucked a little typewriter, and this is the bastard child." Yes, I dropped an f-bomb in a review. If that troubles you: don't read this book.(less)
Here's what I liked about it: 99% of the damn thing. I'm not kidding. 99% of 384 page book, I adored. That's 380 pages of PURE AWESOME Mr. Cline has g...moreHere's what I liked about it: 99% of the damn thing. I'm not kidding. 99% of 384 page book, I adored. That's 380 pages of PURE AWESOME Mr. Cline has given us. There are giant mechs duking it out. There are gaming references that made me wiggle in delight (and, if he didn't mention Shadowrun, I can somewhat forgive him, considering it *did* come out in 1989, which is somewhat late in the game for the 80s nostalgia.) He talks about comic books (no X-Men, sadly) and cartoons (no ThunderCats) and movies like The Breakfast Club. Basically, he gives us not-quite-old-but-getting-there geeks a delightful romp through memory lane.
And, really, that's all this book is. It's not deep, it's not intellectual, it's not preachy or twisty or half a dozen things "literary." It's just pure, unadulterated, FUN. So much so, that I started bugging EVERYONE I KNEW that they HAD to go out and buy it, before I was finished with it.
And then, in the last 4 pages of the book? Cline *went there.* You know that place. That place where all "concerned friends" feel they must go, once one comes out of the closet and says "yeah, I get together with friends every week and play games." In the last few pages, Cline gets up on the soapbox and says "reality, friends, is far more enjoyable than a computer game."
Really, Cline? You *really* had to go there? After such a kickass montage of nerd admiration and comprehension, you *really* felt the need? I thought you were one of us, man. The whole message at the end? Left me feeling like someone had just whispered in my ear "The princess is in another castle."(less)
So, I've read all of the books in the series, and have been VASTLY impressed and happy and squee about them. Until this one. Kerr just ... wasn't hers...moreSo, I've read all of the books in the series, and have been VASTLY impressed and happy and squee about them. Until this one. Kerr just ... wasn't herself (which, I think, was the point) and the book just didn't have the immediacy and awesomeness the others did. I couldn't connect to it - couldn't bring myself to care overly much about what happened. I think, if this is going to be the last book, that I'll just consider the series to have ended with Valor's Trial. Of course, if a new book in the series were to be written, I'd still get it, in hopes that it would be as wonderful as the others were.(less)