Woke up this morning to the first review of One Bad Apple at GOODREADS 3.5 stars? I’m fine with that. This is the kind of straight up review every writer should want. Basic info, pros, cons, likes, dislikes. IMO, an honest review is worth ten shills any day. Thank you, Mr. Dutcher. (now if you’d cross-post to Amazon…)
Here it is:
3.5 stars. It’s a good start to a hard, classic cyberpunk universe, and it scratches a lot of my itches. However this is the introduction to a series, and the multiple viewpoints might clash with the novella length for some people.
A girl named Seeb gets involved with fencing a batch of the drug Clar1ty, which is one of the most popular drugs around. However the deal goes sour fast, as she wakes up alone and disoriented, with her virtual wallet stolen. Something is up with Clar1ty, and Seeb might be the key to something. If she can survive long enough to find out what, that is.
I enjoyed Pat’s prior novel, Running Black. Pat writes cyberpunk in the old style, and this book is no different. It’s good, hard-edged science fiction with plenty of grit and grime, and hip deep with gangs, exotic designer drugs, and squalid slums. I think he really gets the classic cyberpunk ethos and for fans of it it will be tasty brain candy. Pat to me feels like Bruce Sterling at times because of his multi-ethnic focus although he places his world farther in the future.
He writes well, too. Part of what makes cyberpunk fun is the patois-the sharp, slangy future dialogue that is unique to that subgenre, and he doesn’t disappoint.
There was a single issue, however. He uses multiple viewpoints a bit too much for the length of the book. None of them are out of place, and each sheds light on the culture of the world and the plot. However, Seeb’s story to me felt like the main focus of the book, and the other viewpoints made the novella a little disjointed. One viewpoint was written first person, which was unusual since the rest of the book is in third. There’s also some viewpoint switching mid chapter. It’s a minor issue because this book is the start of a series and I think he’s setting up characters who will play a future part, but the novella’s length makes it feel disorienting.
Other than that, it’s well-written genre fiction. I’m looking forwards to seeing how the series progresses. It’s definitely worth checking out.