The Nitty-Gritty Details
Author: K.C Alexander
Publisher: Angry Robot, Nov. 2017
Blurb: As Riko works to rebuild her shattered cred, following the events of Necrotech, she’s stuck fighting off every jerk looking to raise their standing on the streets. But when a corp with some serious influence ups the stakes, Riko’s going to have to take the fight to them, put this nonsense down for good. Nothing is what it seems when corp politics are in play, and another necro blight right where her answers are buried might very well be the end of the life she didn’t know she’d borrowed.
(This review hints at spoilers)
Friends, do I have some thoughts I need to get out about Nanoshock.
This review is coming a little late, considering I hammered out the last, eh, 200 pages or so within 24 hours, right before I was leaving for vacation, so it’s been a few weeks since I experienced all the feels this book caused. That doesn’t mean they’ve become any less potent, thinking about them now.
First, I need to call attention to one thing in particular.
That first line.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you want to know how to write a bloody brilliant first line that causes your readers to go around and show it to everyone in the near vicinity (and then more people later), just so they can be caught off-guard and as floored as you were when you first read it (okay, almost everyone; not showing my boss/parents that line…), then look no further than Nanoshock.
You wanna know what it is, don’t you?
Good. Go read it and find out.
But what I really want to talk about is that ending. Because I need to process, people. You see, I feel into the classic blunder. I got comfortable. This is after Riko fought so hard for redemption. This is after the major fight, the “boss battle,” if you will; the point in a video game where you’re warned that you won’t be able to complete any side missions if you push further, so your choice better be f-ing solid. Yeah, this is after that, in the bar. I think I was feeling slightly akin to what Riko felt; relief, comfort, acceptance, even if it wasn’t fully there yet. At home. I honestly thought the book would end there and I was totally content with that.
I was completely, totally and utterly blindsided by what happened next.
I won’t actually say what it was, because I don’t want to ruin this book for you, friends. But my jaw dropped and I stilled (I usually rock when I read) and I just set the book down in complete disbelief. As a writer, I was applauding, because of course this is what Alexander would do next. Of bloody course. But as a reader?
Fucking hell no.
How could you?
And honestly, there isn’t a better compliment than I can give than that.
PS: Alexander, tell me: is there a book three? Please tell me there is.