Thursday, August 30, 2012
Clean: A Mindspace Investigations Novel (Replace Harry Dresden with an overly whiny nancy boy)
So, this novel was looking to be an urban fantasy a la Dresden. But I didn't realize HOW similar it was going to play it to Dresden. The entire first half of the novel has way too many similarities to Stormfront, but not enough unique world details and fun characters to make it stand on its own. But, the biggest problem was that the main character was incredibly whiny. INCREDIBLY. Since the plot of the story was rather irrelevant (murderer wants revenge on main character for some minor altercation) I'm going to focus on the multiple things Adam whines about.
Adam Whines #1: One of the smaller things he bitches about throughout the story is his issues with the temperature, the taste of certain coffees, pretty much everything under the sun. He's a textbook complainer and it shows. When he's outside, he talks about how uncomfortable the weather is, WHATEVER said weather is. The weather one's big. He's a constant sweatbox. When he's smoking he enjoys his drags of cigarettes, but later when he's running, he stresses on how horrible his smoker's lungs are.
Adam Whines #2: Cherabino is a huge focal point to his whining. First off, while he says they have this deep connection and that she's helped him through everything, the text itself doesn't actually show that. She's cranky to him 24/7 and I can't think of one sweet moment between the two of them that didn't involve some form of doubt or backlash. If that's what he's mistaking as a deep connection and love, he's had a craptastic run of it. Granted, he doesn't help his case with her most of the time. The several occasions when she isn't being a bitch, Adam takes advantage of his telepathic abilities, entering into her mind, invading her private thoughts. He uses the situations to his advantage, getting to sleep on the floor in her bedroom, while she's creeped out by him the entire time. For a heartbeat, I thought he was doing the right thing for the right reasons when he stops her advances because she's in a vulnerable situation. Yet, then he reprimands himself mentally for not taking the chance while he had it. When you add it on top of all the other creepy things he's done, this guy isn't coming off too admirably.
Adam Whines #3: Finally, his Satin fix. Oh god, his Satin Fix. First off, he tanked his whole life when he got hooked on Satin. I got it, not his fault, he was a lab rat in a corrupt experiment gone wrong. And I understand the authenticity of writing a junkie means you need to write about their issues which genuinely include wanting a fix. I wasn't annoyed when he messed up, it was the sheer repetition of the whole thing. He could be doing anything at any time of day and all of a sudden, it all came back to Satin. Even the ending was about Satin, not his abilities as a telepath. I like flawed heroes, I really do. But when you combine the whining about the Satin on top of his whining about everything else, we get a passive, weak willed character who'd rather complain about everything than do things himself. Most of the book was spent with him talking about how brilliant and spectacular he was while he didn't do a thing about his problems.
The writing was actually solid and the world seemed really fascinating. I'd totally be willing to revisit the world if they replaced the main characters, maybe focused on Adam's ex Kara. She was competent, interesting and seemed to be a much more compelling character. But as it stands, those characters are not ones I want to follow around for an entire book.