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The Human Blend by Alan Dean Foster
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Wow. I thought Foster would be a much better writer than this The story idea is good but the writing is hackish. Hundred of manuscripts better than this one are rejected everyday. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
Substance: Fast-moving techno-thriller about artificially-changed human bodies and how that affects the culture. Plus a mystery about a mysterious impossible substance.

Style: Foster has a highly-developed artificial narrative that injects some arch humor into fairly standard action adventure. Having tried several of his books now, I like the substance but not the style.

Probably won't finish the series.

Other review here:
http://www.bookspotcentral.com/2012/07/19/body-inc-tipping-point-2-by-alan-dean-... ( )
  librisissimo | Oct 6, 2015 |
It stinks we never learn what's on this thread thing. I guess you're supposed to want to read the rest of the impending series, but I just don't care that much. ( )
  ptdilloway | Nov 21, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I am sick unto death of books without endings. I was very happy while reading the first 50-100 pages of this book, but then I realized that the intriguing mystery that was set up in that span was not only not going to be solved, but that the reader was going to get only the tiniest dribs and drabs of information about it before being cut off by the non-ending. Worse, there was an endlessly repeating cycle of: unlucky thief who swiped the hot property goes to a shady associate for help; the police or the bad guys or the police who are also bad guys show up; and unlikely escape ensues. In addition, while the society of extreme medical body modification in a post-global-warming world was initially fascinating, each shady accomplice seemed more extreme than the last, which seemed like the author beating us over the head with the worldbuilding.

I would like to find out how the mystery ends, but not enough to justify reading further in this series, because I suspect the second book would also be a series of escalating escapes and information dispensed far too slowly. This is too bad, because it really was an intriguing set-up. ( )
2 vote amysisson | Nov 7, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Well, I'd definitely recommend waiting til the whole series is available before beginning this, unless you're the type that likes to read half-plots while waiting anxiously for the next installment. The novel sets forth a wonderfully complex and detailed description of this new Earth, at the expense of plot advancement. It is obviously the first of a series; the cliffhanger ending only resolved the most superficial and immediate dangers to the characters.
The major complaint I would have, however, is the character of Whispr. When the story comes from his perspective, he is a sympathetic protagonist that I enjoy getting to know better. But when the POV switches and you see the face he presents to the world, it almost seems like an entirely new character; one that is obviously an untrustworthy criminal, and rather uncomfortable company. It was jarring, to say the least.
The parts of the story I most enjoyed were the world-building descriptions, which, yes did run on and on. But instead of being bombarded with pages of detail every two steps, it is spread out: the reader learns new things about this Earth even in the last chapter. I found myself skipping over the plot and character development sections, and focusing on those, my mind running away with what-ifs and fantastic scenarios. It really gets the imagination running, but plot-wise, well, leaving the reader hanging is an understatement. ( )
2 vote masterdeski | Feb 1, 2011 |
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For Allen Grodsky and Bill Skrzyniarz, who prove that Shakespeare was wrong
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"Let's riffle the dead man." Jiminy scowled at the newly won corpse and hopped to it.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345511972, Hardcover)

Alan Dean Foster’s brilliant new novel is a near-future thriller that has all the dark humor and edgy morality of an Elmore Leonard mystery, in addition to the masterly world-building and quirky but believable characters readers expect from Foster. This gripping adventure reveals a place where criminals are punished through genetic engineering and bodily manipulation—which poses profound questions about what it means to be human.

Given his name because radical surgery and implants have reduced him to preternatural thinness, Whispr is a thug. His partner in crime, Jiminy Cricket, has also been physically altered with nanocarbonic prosthetic legs and high-strength fast-twitch muscle fibers that give him great jumping abilities. In a dark alley in Savannah, Whispr and Jiminy murder what they take to be a random tourist in order to amputate and then fence his sophisticated artificial hand. But the hapless victim also happens to be carrying an unusual silver thread that appears to be some kind of storage medium. Ever quick to scent potential profit, Whispr and Jiminy grab the thread as well.

Chance later deposits a wounded Whispr at the clinic of Dr. Ingrid Seastrom. Things have not gone smoothly for Whispr since he acquired the mysterious thread. Powerful forces are searching for him, and Jiminy has vanished. All Whispr wants to do is sell the thread as quickly as he can. When he offers to split the profits with Ingrid in exchange for her medical services, she makes an astonishing discovery.

So begins a unique partnership. Unlike Whispr, Ingrid is a natural, with no genetic or bodily alteration. She is also a Harvard-educated physician, while Whispr’s smarts are strictly of the street variety. Yet together they make a formidable team—as long as they can elude the enhanced assassins that are tracking them.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:04 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Two genetically altered criminals--Whispr and Jiminy Cricket--murder a random tourist in order to amputate and then fence his sophisticated artificial hand. But the hapless victim also happens to be carrying an unusual silver thread that appears to be some kind of storage medium. When Jiminy disappears, all Whispr wants to do is sell the thread as quickly as he can. When he offers to split the profits with Harvard-educated Dr. Ingrid Seastrom in exchange for her medical services, she makes an astonishing discovery--one that can get them both killed.… (more)

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