Saturday, July 22, 2017

Review: A MAN OF SHADOWS by Jeff Noon

Publisher Angry Robot
Length 384 pages
Format ebook
Published 2017
Series John Nyquist #1
My Copy provided by the publisher


My Review
A Man of Shadows is a surreal detective book which blends popular elements of the fantastical and private-eye genres to form a uniquely stylized story about a missing woman and the contrasting cityscapes of Dayzone and Nocturna of which she ventures. There's a lot of imagination infused in the dime-store detective facade that brings complexities conceived through clever concepts and well thought-out plot devices which make A Man of Shadows a joy to read.

Rather than go into full 'review mode' I thought I'd highlight the pros and cons of this book. This is something I'll likely do with other surreal detective books, given I love the genre and generally dig the added fantastically elements.

Pros:
- Nocturna and Dayzone are atmospheric cityscapes which add another dimension to the story.
- The characters are well defined and, as a commonly used term on my blog 'read real' 
- Nyquist is an interesting protagonist who conforms to all the lone wolf stereotypes commonly associated with a private detective. 
- The idea that people can purchase a timezone that best suits them and that they can change this when they please is great. 
- High reread value. 

Cons:
- The story got a little weird and off track in the 'dusk' (the mysterious landscape between Nocturna and Dayzone). 
-  The family drama aspect detracted from Nyquist and changed the feel of the book.

My rating: 3.5 / 5, could be a 4 and might end up that way as time passes. This is a book full of interesting concepts that will resonate with the reader long after the last page is turned. 

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