Friday, June 28, 2013

And this is why I don't like thrillers

The fabulous website Netgalley has me seeking outside my "standard" reading list. With the never ending supply of reading at my fingers tips, I don't feel the pressure to choose a novel for worth of the purchase. I can expand my reading palette. I enjoy a good dystopian novel that throws the philosophical issues at you. The Giver, 1984, Brave New World in the history of stellar literature out there are just a few of my favorites. When I read the blurb for 1984 meets Brave New World with a streak of thriller, it was kismet that I relax from the fantasy genre for awhile. Except I ended up coming back to I really do not like thriller authors. They try too hard.

Glass House 51 by John Hampel

Let me start this review with... this is not a bad story. I would recommend it to the die hard thriller fans (you know the ones who will read anything in the genre because it is their go-to read) and those who want some philosophical provocation. I have certainly read much worse that had raised my hopes for a great jaunt outside the fantasy genre. My bar may have been raised a little too high for this cybernetic thriller to ever succeed. Unfortunately, most of the time I was reading was a forced struggle to not shout "HACK THE PLANET" and "they're trashing our rights" while I mentally rewatched Hackers (one of the best technology cult geek movies of the 90s). 

The editing was atrocious, which did not help the poor author try to carry his point. I truly hope that the published version was able to smooth these blunders. My reading pace kept getting upset by misplaced words and verb tense snafus throughout a large number of the beginning chapters. As an English undergraduate and aspiring editor, this was a frustrated and painful read. 

The overall plot was quite nice and took some twists I certainly was not expecting (yet not entirely surprised that is the direction the author decided). The clues to impending doom and mayhem where rather ineptly hidden in the open. There were way too many moments when you knew the author was trying to foreshadow. Overall, it was also too long. Getting from Point A to Point B took too many chapters and detours through airy side plot. The fragmented histories did not tie well with the conclusion. 

Now speaking of the conclusion, it felt like a subtitled movie ending of "5 months later" and they all lived happily ever after. Not quite a fit for the this-could-be-our-future-devastation category it was slotted.

Here is to trying a yet another different genre!

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