segunda-feira, 8 de agosto de 2016

Review: The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss, by Max Wirestone

The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss
by Max Wirestone

Edition: 2015
Pages: 320
Publisher: Redhook Books

Summary: Veronica Mars meets the World of Warcraft in The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss, a mystery romp with a most unexpected heroine. 

If it were up to me this book would be called Hilarious Things That Happened That Were Not At All Dahlia's Fault -- or HTTHTWNAADF, for short.

OK, I probably shouldn't have taken money from a mysterious eccentric to solve a theft, given that I'm not a detective, and that I am sometimes outwitted by puzzles in children's video games. I probably shouldn't have stolen bags of trash from a potential murder suspect. Arguably-- just arguably, mind you-- it may have been unwise to cos-play at an event where I was likely to be shot at.

But sometimes you just have to take some chances, right? And maybe things do get a little unfortunate. What of it? If you ask me, an unfortunate decision here or there can change your life. In a positive way, just so long you don't killed in the process. Admittedly, that's the tricky bit.

Rating: 2/5

I will start this review by saying that I received an online copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange of a honest review.

Sometimes the exercise of writing about a book it's not easy at all. Specially when you are not totally sure about what you think about the book besides the fact that you didn't enjoyed it that much,
The synopsis was intriguing and seemed quite fun! I was never a major fan of Veronica Mars but I had quite good times watching the TV show. Also, I like the nerd and geek world and  the connection between this two realities could only create something cool. And it did! At least the structural idea was there.
We met Dahlia when she is facing some challenges in her private life: she has recently broken up with her boyfriend, she is unemployed and sofa-surfing at a friend's house since she can't pay her share of the house rent, we get a full image of a reality that is common to our generation. We find a girl who is lost, tired of sending continuous CV everywhere without ever getting an answer, and who can't seem to see a solution at the end of the tunnel. We find a girl that has locked herself out of her social life, with the objective of not facing the reality, which is that others continue with their lives and get to go on new adventures that aren't always compatible with her. And for me that was the best part of Dahlia and one of the reasons I could get along with this book from the start: her voice. Even though there were moments where I got tired of how she told us what was happening.
If we consider the Veronica Mars flow, we got partly what we were looking for. A crime that needed a solution as fast as possible, however the character that died wasn't fully explored, and had such a quick appearance on the story that at some point I didn't care anymore if he was killed and why. And besides, the creation of a mystery atmosphere got lost with so many aspects coming by at the same time. In the end, the mixture didn't work for me. I like to read works that are multidimensional but this book tried to be funny, dorky, smart, comical and mysterious at the same time. With so much going on, something got lost and disperse, loosing a conducting sense to it and it didn't made the readers hooked to the plot.
Involving the gaming world on the plot was a great idea, specially because the world build of the game was well developed and we could get the fully idea of how it was played, the different characters that every played could choose as an avatar and so on. The relation between the game and the real world was always present, even on the crime related scenes, giving a nice touch to it.
To be honest, the book only started to be fully interesting to me when I was already past 1/3 of it, so I read the first part with much effort, only focused on finishing it. But then I started having more fun where the other characters gained a better feature on the scene. Her crazy friends, the situations they got her into and what she did in result were great comic relief and I just wish we had more from them from the start.
The crime became totally secondary for me but the way that everybody interacted because of it was funny and engaging. And by everyone I refer to the smart ass new friends Dahlia got during the discovering process she did about herself.
Long story short, I think the main ideas that the synopsis promised were there, we got a vibe from World of Warcraft and Veronica Mars but the fitting and the execution of all wasn't so well done as I would enjoy.

About the author:
Addicted to the library Claudia loves to read on the move and we can usualy find her sitting in a train or bus reading while commuting to and from work. But don't be fooled she is also keeping an eye on the landscape and all around her. She is an avid defender of sustainability and volunteering and it's as easy to find her starting a new project as it is to find her chatting with her friends. She is a dreamer and loves good stories so she keeps looking for them in her personal life.

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