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Brian Parker writes another fantastic story set in a futuristic town in New Orleans. The story as some twists and turns. Keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. I cannot wait for book three.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I was a big fan of the Immorality Clause by Brian Parker last year. It was basically a variant on Blade Runner with the premise of a Louisiana Detective in the future doing his best to find out who was responsible for the deaths at a gynoid sex club. I was, thus, extremely interested in the follow-up book as far too many books are interested in the trappings of cyberpunk versus the more nuanced ways of examining how technology can be used to screw up people's lives. 'Technology is neutral in cyberpunk but people suck so it'll always be misused' being one way to explain it.
So, what did I get? Well, I was thrown as the book opens with our protagonist hunting Batman. Well, actually, a guy who wears masked black body armor and hunts criminals called the Paladin. That, however, actually paid off in the end. Still, it's interesting the book shifts some elements from the first book that I was troubled by. Aside from these elements, though, I find Tears of a Clone to be an extremely enjoyable science fiction novel that has a more polished feel in several respects. I loved the original book and enjoyed this one a great deal, making me eager to see a third one in the series.
The premise is Detective Zach Forrest is currently hunting the Paladin for the vigilante's murder of several criminals. Zach's a hardline "criminals deserve no mercy" sort of cop himself, so his distaste for the Paladin rings a bit hollow. Indeed, he's actually under investigation for charges of police brutality at the start of the story. However, all of this becomes a side story with the discovery of mutilated clones in the city. Apparently, someone has created "torture tourism" where individuals can mutilate and murder clones for pay. This disgusts Detective Forrest because he has met clones and know them to as human as anyone else.
This element is the only part of the story which confuses me, along with Zach's belief Easytown is a kind of Fallujah of America given it's a major tourist destination in the city as well as popular Red Light District. Why are clones needed when they have androids and gynoids perfectly capable of mimicking human responses that Zach slept with one without being able to tell the difference? Likewise, how did it get to the point people became unable to tell the difference between clones and robots that the former have no legal rights? I get the metaphor Zach is trying to use but wonder why society would have both clones and humanoid robots versus one or the other. No adequate answer was given and it seems like there'd be a competition between them at the least.
Despite this, I really enjoyed the dark and gritty story which unfolded. Zach is like a dog on a bone, constantly trying to find ways ot getting justice for the clone victims who have no legal protections. The metaphor for various minorities and setting in the Deep South makes an appropriate homage even if the story is never heavy-handed. The reader can draw the parallels between the treatment of Blacks and clones but there's never a need by the author to point them out.
While the best part of the book is the cutting away at the murder-porn ring, I also enjoyed the romance in the book as well. I'm not a shipper usually but Zachery's troubles reminded me of Harry Dresden's and that's always a good thing. I hope he doesn't get with Teagan, his much-younger admirer as he has chemistry with a lot of more interesting women. Hell, even his Siri stand-in, Andi, has better chemistry with him. Whatever the case, this is an excellent cyberpunk noir novel and I can't wait for the next one.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful