The Great Escape
on Sep. 5, 2018 :
This is the second of Will Perks' books that I have read, and I definitely enjoyed it. For a longer review of his writing in general, see my review under "The Boy Band has a Terrible Secret", but in short Will has an intelligent, effortless narrative style.
"Harmonica + Gig" reminds me somewhat of Tad Williams' Otherland series in terms of the futuristic VR setting, mysterious VR-related deaths, and even the fact that one of the protagonists is a black woman, but it is clearly its own story and not a copycat in any way. I've read "H + G" twice, a couple months apart, and it was enjoyable to re-read. I did feel the ending could use a little polishing; while the story is clearly over, climaxes reached and crises resolved, it felt more like it just ended rather than being wrapped up. It may be because it ended in the point of view of the character who felt like a secondary protagonist to me rather than the primary protagonist. Harmonica's pov felt complete, Gig's did not, but it's a minor detail, and subjective. The story was excellent on all other counts - prose, plotting, characterization, etc. I'm not a die hard scifi fan, and I think this story should appeal even to those who don't usually read scifi. It's a good blend of the mystery and scifi genres.
There is some sexuality and adult behaviour that would make this story not appropriate for younger readers (I'd say minimum high school), but there's nothing shocking or R-rated.
I absolutely recommend "Harmonica + Gig", and all of Will Perks' novels.
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)