Michelle's Reviews > Snake Agent

Snake Agent by Liz Williams
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's review
Mar 10, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: dtb-own, sci-fi, urban_fantasy, witches_wizards, best_covers, gods
Read from April 23 to 28, 2012

in asia's future, successful cities have franchised, and singapore appears to be doing quite well at it. the 3rd iteration of the city lies somewhere on mainland china overlooking the south china seas, and has everything you'd expect a modern chinese metropolis to have: banks, city officals, temples, portals to hell...

chen is the occult specialist for singapore 3's police force, which means he spends plenty of time filling out the bureaucratic paperwork for posessions or hauntings in the city, with the occasional side trip to purgatory or hell under the protection of his patron goddess. lately, he's offended her, though, and has to figure out this current case about soul trafficking and plagues without her help.

the near-future asian setting gives this UF a cyberpunk flavor rather unique to the genre, with bonus points for the atypical protagonist (neither a sardonic loose-cannon PI nor an ass-kicking leather-clad badass). most of the characters are fleshed out nicely, with only a very few of the minor ones feeling like stock archetypes. the prose has that particular depth of description that i like to call "cinematic;" it's easy to imagine this made into a very fun movie. williams has a real gift for dangling out snippets of detail into what feels like a richly imagined back story, and definitely leaves you wanting more - as soon as i finished, i ordered book 2.

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