I received an e-galley of this book free of charge from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Ready for my honesty?
It was… okay. As far as concepts go, creating a geeky detective to appeal to the voracious fans who are both geeks and thriller fans is a smart one. I get what the author is trying to do. As far as the execution of the novel goes, it is… spotty.
The storyline is ridiculous and zany. Parts of it work, parts of it don’t. The ending of this novel is what saved it from a two-star rating. I was interested enough in finding out where the author was going with his multiple plotlines to continue reading, and I found myself chuckling. The ending is descriptive and ridiculous and crazy and just plausible enough to keep me happy. The middle – again, touch and go. Generally vaguely boring.
I’m not sure that I like Dahlia Moss, and I am not into gaming enough to comment well on the kingdom of Zoth, the on-line game-world in which Dahlia does much of her detecting. I will say, from what I understand about the gaming world, I am surprised Dahlia didn’t run into more misogyny during her visits to this world, particularly since she didn’t focus on being any good at the game.
One of the things that I really liked about this novel, is that it occurs in St. Louis, a city I know little about, other than that it’s pretty dangerous. Although I’m not sure how well the author knows the city, particularly since I have merely driven through the city on the freeway, myself, and also because the author forgot which city his story occurs in at one point, and has “Detroit” listed.
Since I am reading an e-galley, this misstep might be finished in the final copy. There were a lot of minor mistakes that I hope are corrected before this book is released on October 20th.
Would I recommend this book? Whether or not I think you would like this book is dependent on what sort of reader you are.
*If you are a grammar nerd who freaks out at typos and the occasional poorly written sentence (no judgment, by the way… I tend to manually correct my physical books), then probably not. While many of the mistakes I encountered could be fixed in the final copy, there were enough mistakes that some have probably eked into the final copy as well.
*If you are a gamer who likes to tear him- or herself away from the computer every once in awhile to read gaming related literature… sure. I think the storyline might be entertaining, and there are likely some small, inside jokes I completely missed because I am not a gamer and don’t hang out with them too often myself.
*If you are an avid reader who just LOVES a good book, about anything, anytime, anywhere. Books, books, book! Then no. I don’t think that this book is so great that you can’t miss reading it.
*If you are an avid mystery fan who loves a good mystery novel… no. While this book is being marketed as suitable for fans of Veronica Mars, Dahlia Moss is no Veronica Mars. And the mystery aspect of this book will likely keep you reading, but it’s not really written very well for a mystery.
*If you like books that are crazy for the sake of being crazy, regardless of silly things like “logic” or “reality” creeping in… then YES. I think you might like this book, and you should definitely give it a try.
*If you are looking for a light “beach read” that won’t make you think too much, will be at least vaguely enjoyable, and about which you are free to forget the plot the instant you close the book… then YES. You should read this book.
In other words, not terrible, not great. I don’t regret reading it, particularly since I derived so much enjoyment from its’ ending. I very much doubt I will read it again, but I think it will appeal to many readers, while failing to appeal to many other readers. Yet no one knows what kind of reader you are better than you, so hopefully, regardless of the type of reader YOU are, you found this review helpful.