Matt's Reviews > Golden State

Golden State by Ben H. Winters
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2019, crime

Sometimes a book sits with you to the point that you can’t stop thinking about it. Golden State won’t be for everyone, but it’s one of those books that leave the reader thinking. I like books that question reality and what reality means. In today’s world that’s more important than ever. With news being flung around at a frantic pace without fact-checking, we are susceptible to misinformation. This book imagines what it would be like if lying were against the law. Ben Winters crafts an intriguing detective story set in a compelling dystopian universe.

Lazlo Ratesic is a downtrodden detective that works for an organization called The Speculative Service. In a society where telling a lie will send you to exile, their job is to get the truth. Lazlo gets paired with an ambitious sidekick named Aysa Paige, an ambitious newcomer to the Speculative Service. Lazlo and Aysa have to investigate a man falling off of a roof. At first, it seems to be an open and shut case, but as they start investigating they travel down a rabbit hole that will have them questioning their truths and realities.

Winters does a great job of making this a detective story at its core. Detective novel connoisseurs will appreciate the similarities between Lazlo and the likes of Sam Spade. The interactions between Ratesic and Paige are entertaining. Ratesic is one of those characters that prefer to go solo in life. He’s a seasoned veteran, not wanting any complications. Paige, on the other hand, is an ambitious newcomer and wants Lazlo to show her the ropes.

Golden State is shelved mostly as a dystopian sci-fi book, but, in order to enjoy this book, you’ll have to appreciate detective novels and how they work. The dystopian elements are essential to the story and the ending, but it is still a detective novel at its core. I suspect that the ending of this book will be talked about at length. It’s one of those endings that readers will either love or hate. I found closure in the ending and it will stick with me for a while.
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Reading Progress

December 30, 2018 – Shelved
December 30, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
December 30, 2018 – Shelved as: 2019
January 22, 2019 – Started Reading
January 29, 2019 –
50.0% "This is getting weird....."
January 31, 2019 –
85.0% "I’m surprised by the stats on this book. It should be more popular. I suspect that it will build a decent following slowly. This book stays with you. Review coming on Saturday."
February 2, 2019 – Shelved as: crime
February 2, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

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message 1: by James (new)

James Thane Nice review, Matt. Winters will be at my local bookstore this week with this book. Looking forward to the event and to the book.


Annet Jealous James, Winters at your bookstore! Please ‘report’ about the encounter 😎


message 3: by Tras (new) - added it

Tras Excellent review! Really need to read this one!


Matt James wrote: "Nice review, Matt. Winters will be at my local bookstore this week with this book. Looking forward to the event and to the book."

Thanks, James. I'm trying to spread the word about this one. It should be more popular. Have fun at the event.


Matt Tras wrote: "Excellent review! Really need to read this one!"

Thanks, Tras. It's intriguing for sure. Reminded me a little of a Black Mirror episode.


Lauren Lee I’m really excited for this one! I just picked it up from the library.


message 7: by Holly (new)

Holly  B Wonderful review Matt!


Matt Holly wrote: "Wonderful review Matt!"

Thanks Holly!


message 9: by Susanne (new)

Susanne  Strong Glad you liked this one Matt! Nice review


message 10: by Yun (new)

Yun Great review, Matt! I love books that leave you thinking about them long after you are done reading. :)


message 11: by Matt (new) - rated it 4 stars

Matt Susanne wrote: "Glad you liked this one Matt! Nice review"

Thanks Susanne!


message 12: by Matt (new) - rated it 4 stars

Matt Yun wrote: "Great review, Matt! I love books that leave you thinking about them long after you are done reading. :)"

Thanks Yun, totally agree with you.


message 13: by Matt (new) - rated it 4 stars

Matt Lauren wrote: "I’m really excited for this one! I just picked it up from the library."

I hope you like it!


message 14: by Nicola (new)

Nicola Great review Matt! Glad you enjoyed it. :)


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