Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Review::C-Shapes by Matthew Fish

C-ShapesC-Shapes by Matthew Fish

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

C-Shapes by Matthew Fish

This is a sort of Dystopia novel, a genre that I'm only just warming up to. It contains many elements that look familiar to me already with the few novels I have read in this genre. I like this book a lot though, It had a character that I immediately identified with and then it had a lot of very good character development.

Ethan Chase, the protagonist and person telling the story is just an average guy who in fact prior to day of the great virus had been more of a deadbeat than anything else. Now he's decide to clean himself up and do something useful; if he can.

Imagine a world where half the population has been strricken with something that makes them all seem like a potential threat to humanity. Some suffer amnesia, some catatonia, some are mimics who drift from reality while mimicking those around them and some are downright psychotic. What they all have in common is that they are no longer able to function properly in society and eventually they all pose a threat of becoming what is called Aggro, a state of agitation where they become unstoppably aggressive and begin to kill.

This begins to sound almost like a military secret that has gone awry. An attempt at creating the perfect soldier's that is accidentally unleashed on the entire population. When they go aggro they seem to aggro together and almost seem linked somehow, again almost like the perfect army. But it's a virus and only half the population is afflicted. C-Shapes is a pharmaceutical company that has developed C-Alysium or calm as they call it. This controls the afflicted keeping them from going aggro.

Ethan has gotten the job of being the sitter for two cases of this affliction. One is a memory loss victim and the other is a mirror or mimic. We come into the story on his first day where he is expected to follow specific rules of conduct that seem quite simple and are enforced by graphic examples of what can happen when things go wrong. But imagine one of the cases being an old school friend who you once idolized and is now become debilitate and then imagine another who looks so frail and lost and becomes someone you're easily attracted to. This about sums up Ethan's first day at work. Since he is not supposed to become closely attached or emotionally involved; he's pretty much about to be blindsided.

But things aren't as they seem and Ethan is about to have rude awakening that's even worse than when his parents died from the virus. The world is poised at a moment of decision ready to kill off half of the population that poses such a threat to the rest. Ethan comes into possession of information that could change the way the world sees everything and he's not at all confident about his ability to complete the task he never signed up for.

All of that said I must once again raise a caution to those who insist on perfect grammar. This book will fail that test. My star system does not downgrade for those unless it seriously distracts me from the book. I have some friends though who will have that fingernail on chalkboard reaction too often in this book. I've marked 38 instance and there are likely more and that is more than I usually allow for, but I loved the plot and the character development I didn't feel there were any great out-in-left-field plot twists or that things were rushed along. But there are many odd sentence structures along with the 38 instances of missing words typos and incorrect words and double word that I think that mostly explains why many people didn't finish the book. If the editing had been just a bit tighter many of those people might have made it to the end and I think they would have been satisfied with the overall story.

This is a good novel for those not so picky people who love Dystopic SFF.

The first half of the book is the setup to how things look while the second is the slow reveal of how things really are and it all does fit as long as you don't get distracted by the typos. Given another thorough edit I'd have had no problem giving this a 5 star.

There are editors listed here and I hope they are reading the customer reviews carefully.

J.L. Dobias

View all my reviews

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