Liviania's Reviews > Nickel Plated

Nickel Plated by Aric Davis
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's review
Jun 12, 2012

it was ok

Another novel I've been having trouble with is the more obscure NICKEL PLATED by Aric Davis. Nickel is a 12-year-old runaway who makes his money as a detective - and a drug dealer and blackmailer. The blackmail is fine, since he's blackmailing pedophiles and turning them in. The drug dealing is less fine, but at least it's only marijuana. Still enough to get the poor kid he has selling it in trouble. (I don't just mean with the law. I mean with other people who might consider the high school their territory.) But a good detective does need some gray shading, especially in a noir-style novel.

Nickel has just been hired by a teen girl to find her younger sister. The girl was kidnapped, but her parents thought she just ran away. Interspersed with the mystery are scenes from Nickel's day-to-day life and infrequent explanations of his past. Pretty intriguing stuff until he agrees to help a woman launder counterfeit money.

Not cool. There's a reason some governments execute people for counterfeiting. It kills. It destroys economies and the poor are always hurt the worst. That's not a shade of gray. It's wrong. And the text doesn't acknowledge how wrong it is. There's no hint that we're supposed to see Nickel as anything other than a struggling hero. It really turned me off a book I was enjoying. The reviews on Amazon are good, so clearly others were more charmed by Nickel's ambiguity in NICKEL PLATED.

There you go. I just keep coming across books with stories I love but other aspects I find repellant.
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Reading Progress

12/04 marked as: read

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

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Daniel Liviania, I have to respectfully disagree with your opinion and come the book's defense. Flawed heroes have been one of the most important vehicles in fiction since Lancelot slept with Guinevere. The book's pretty explicit in its portrayal of Nickel as a survivor and not necessarily Prince Valiant. He's got a good heart, but he has no compunctions about doing what he has to do in order to get by. He also has different priorities because he’s 12, this includes being more concerned about having a sweet bike than about the economics of counterfeiting.

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