Liviu's Reviews > Up Against It

Up Against It by M.J. Locke
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's review
Mar 22, 11

bookshelves: 2011_release_read, genre-sf, read_2011
Read from January 04 to March 22, 2011

Up Against It (C, enough nuggets to make it worth a check but a minor disappointment overall) by "MJ Locke" has a very interesting premise and a great opening 40-50 pages but things go mostly downhill after that. There are quite a few nuggets like a newly awakened AI that steals the show in all its interactions with humans and a "genetic cult" with surprising philosophies and depth, but the writing style of the pseudonymous author is just not up to handling the interesting world building she created and the novel is mostly a pretty boring slog despite its supposed frantic pace and race against the clock for the inhabitants of Phocaea to save themselves from multiple threats.

The two story lines indicated in the blurb, while theoretically converging in the last part of the book do not mesh well for the most part and the book jumps around without a clear focus and with little that conveys the sense of urgency of the events after the excellent beginning.

It is almost like Up Against It started with "how cool are these ideas and this setting!" and then fit a plot and characters around and the natural result is utter lack of coherence and continually disrupted narrative flow. While the cool ideas/setting keep the book readable for the aforementioned nuggets, the novel tries to be both traditional sf in which Geoff and his friends save the day and "realistic thriller" in which there are things like bureaucracies and parents and the two modes just jar badly one against each other.

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Jeffrey I am actually liking it quite a bit, but then I have read several books by Laura Mixon.

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