Patrick Gibson's Reviews > Out of the Black -

Out of the Black - by Lee Doty
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Sep 20, 2010

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bookshelves: science-fiction
Read in September, 2010

Sometimes you get more than you pay for. The $2.99 Kindle edition of Lee Doty's "Out of the Black" is a bargain. "Out of the Black" is an amalgam of cop thriller, science fiction and magical fantasy. The mix is highly entertaining. The plot is taught, fast moving, and original. The prose is solidly crafted. Characters are fully realized, engaging and likable. The plot lines of the two protagonists cleverly interweave to converge in a rousing climax. The dialog is delicious; I often found myself laughing out loud. Particularly enjoyable is the cop banter between protagonist Detective Ping Bannon and coworkers. On the funny meter "Out of the Black" compares well to, for example, "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson.

My only nitpick with "Out of the Black" is the omnipresence of '80's pop cultural references. For instance, Blade Runner: The Director's Cut" is a cult classic for my generation, but perhaps of limited wider appeal. Such references make "Out of the Black" less accessible to a wider audience, and may ultimately detract from the book's ability to stand the test of time.

I suspect Lee Doty is the outcome of a secret genetic experiment combining DNA from Richard K. Morgan and Dean Koontz. If so, he's an experiment gone happily awry. Doty's work combines the best of Morgan and Koontz, and exhibits a refreshing optimism and faith in humanity lacking in either. "Out of the Black" does not fit neatly into any single genre; no doubt this makes selling books tough for Mr. Doty. But for jaded readers lucky enough to find him, the result is pure delight.
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