Saturday, January 9, 2010

Review: The Digital Plague, by Jeff Somers

I bought this book to read on the plane. It was a good value for the price.

The cover advertises it as 'nano-noir', a term I would agree with. It is science fiction with a hard boiled detective edge, and a good dose of humor.

The lead character and narrator, Avery Cates, is a successful assassin. Cates and his world were introduced in Somer's previous novel, The Electric Church. I have not read that book, but as in all sequels much of the plot and characters in that book are quickly sketched in this one.

The book is fun and fast-paced. Its problems are relatively minor, but the editor was asleep at the wheel a few times.

My big issue with the book is that it tries to put too many ideas forward at the same time, instead of limiting itself to the exploration of one idea fully. One key idea in particular is terribly motivated, and even the characters agree is inexplicable. It appears to exist only to punch up flagging adrenaline levels and created scenes that might be more cinematic if filmed.

Good entertainment value at the paperback price. I will go back and buy the first book, and the next in the series as well.

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