Julia's Reviews > Wanted

Wanted by Nick Stephenson
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it was ok

This book is emblematic of the importance of a skilled editor.

I purchased this book because I mistook the author's name for Neal Stephenson, an author I thoroughly enjoy. I realized my mistake pretty early on, but nevertheless pressed on. Wanted is composed entirely of simple structure and easy diction and should be a quick read, but not for me. The amount of time I spent talking myself into finishing significantly outpaced the time I spent actually reading the book. The narration exhibited a frustrating predictability coupled with lazy reliance upon tropes established by the genre-defining craftsmanship of preceding expert Thriller authors.

*The main cast characterizations were Zig-Zag thin, and the secondary cast's characterizations weren't even a foggy exhale.
*The plot unfolded in a series of disjointed chapters led by insufficiently introduced characters with little to no obvious relationship to one another or to the plot.
*The Thanatos segment was incoherent and the two paper doll inhabitants of the - ship? secure facility? spaceship?- engaged in a dialogue so superficial it reminded me of my little brother's GI Joe playtime scenarios when he was 10 years old. I didn't know who they were and I didn't care...
*Seeding the cartoon panel dialogue with sprinklings of Google Translate French is pretentious and off-putting.
*His name is "Leopold" and even his closest friend doesn't call him "Leo"? Come on...
*Speaking of Leopold... The drapes don't match the carpet: his character description alludes to a Tony Stark-esque "genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist" but Leopold Blake more closely resembles whiny Justin Hammer. There's a thin membrane between 'Cool' and 'clammy.' And Blake is ...moist.
*Plot points were introduced, dropped, thought of later, and then given an unsatisfactory and perfunctory finish.
*Lastly, this book games the system in a really disingenuous way: its a "lure" book, someone else called it, a "perma-free" book meant to draw readers to buy the rest of the series. Authors should only employ that tactic when their writing has been beta'd to perfection. Any less effort breaks the sacred contract between readers and authors. Fanfiction writers show more commitment. Sheesh.


The premise had promise. All of the above could have been fixed by hiring a good editor.

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Reading Progress

June 30, 2022 – Started Reading
July 5, 2022 – Shelved
July 5, 2022 – Finished Reading

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