Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rosy's scrawled book recommendation: Nekropolis by Tim Waggoner

Actual blurb on my book
This place has always been ruled by the vampire lords. Now they're plotting to destroy the city. Over my dead body.
The tagline on the front helped: Introducing Matt Richter. Private Eye. Zombie.
Author/publisher blurb
Meet Matt Richter. Private eye. Zombie.
His mean streets are the city of the dead, the shadowy realm known as Nekropolis. And in this first case, Richter must help a delectable half-vampire named Devona recover a legendary artifact known as the Dawnstone, before it’s used to destroy Nekropolis itself. That is, if he can survive the myriad horrors that infest the city itself.
Angry Robot

Rosy's Scawlings on Nekropolis
I tripped over this book as I was idly scanning the shelves while waiting for a meeting. I wasn't really searching for anything in particular but I guess you can tell in which section I was browsing. I was just looking, with no real intention to buy, when I spotted this book. I'm always looking for something new and different and snatched this off the shelf as soon as I saw the cover and "private eye" and "zombie". There was no way I wasn't buying it, which just left me hoping it would be worth it. Of course, the person I was meeting said "Are you really going to buy that?" as she isn't a real fantasy or horror fan but the grin I gave her said everything so she let me be.
The uniqueness of this book is in the fact that the main character, written in first person, is a zombie. Usually zombies are relegated to the background and you never really read anything from their point of view so it is hard to tell just what is going through a zombie's mind before a bullet does. This zombie is also fairly functioning, although he is falling apart quite badly at times. On these points alone would I recommend the book but I won't stop here.
This book is full of dark and creepily beautiful imagery, creatures from everywhere and of every type as well as high political drama under the disguise of outlandish and sometimes gruesome fights. Through this treads a good guy with pretty visible flaws who battles to save the city. Oh, and there is a woman in the mix that holds Matt's interest. I won't tell you all the details but there is plenty of material to use to fire the imagination and create your own mental version of this dark world. This is no where near a bland read.
This book is in fact so well down on the writing and editing side of things that it served to influence me greatly when I was formulating an idea of my own. Granted, my book and this one are worlds apart in many, many ways but there is a thread of influence you can see if you read both and take note. Now, for those of you who write at all, you know that me saying this is a high compliment. For those who don't write at all, this is a high compliment indeed as if this book weren't such a fun and well-written read it wouldn't have stuck in my mind enough to be of any influence at all.

I'd suggest this book to: Any boy or man who loves a bit of action, horror and fantasy in their stories, which I have to say is the great majority or boys and men. Any woman who loves the same, although I have to admit that the slice of this pie is a little smaller, though not by much.
To the potential female readers out there, the main character, while male, isn't written with that distance or idealising often found in the fantasy writing of a male hero so he is very easy to relate to and his trials and tribulations. They will likely whisk you away into the Nekropolis before you have time to think "Dear god, this guy is boring" and put the book down. Matt Richter isn't a cardboard cutout character so you can easily enjoy this book.
This may seem like an odd point to make but I've found that in many cases the lack of depth in a male lead character can be one of the deciding factors in losing the female readership. For some reason, women love to read about thoughts and emotions while someone is slaughtering someone else, not just that blood is splattered everywhere. It seems we are an odd and twisted bunch at times...

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