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Tears in Rain by Rosa Montero
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Tears in Rain (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Rosa Montero, Lilit Zekulin Thwaites (Translator)

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818148,805 (3.61)5
Member:Jaylia3
Title:Tears in Rain
Authors:Rosa Montero
Other authors:Lilit Zekulin Thwaites (Translator)
Info:AmazonCrossing (2012), Paperback, 431 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Sci-Fi, Mystery, Blade Runner, Philip K Dick

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Tears in Rain by Rosa Montero (2011)

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English (5)  Spanish (3)  All languages (8)
Showing 5 of 5
Replicant detective Bruna Husky really made this an enjoyable read. Set in futuristic Madrid, the story surrounds the mystery of why the replicants (androids, like in Blade Runner) are seemingly going mad, killing other replicants & then committing suicide (that they gouge out their eyes before the last is described in particularly harrowing clarity. *cringe*). There's an interesting class division that plays out as we follow Bruna's investigation. I won't give away the answer to the mystery but I will say I was surprised, even if it did feel a bit rushed in the revelation at the end. Her being able to be out & freely about tying up the last bit of the investigation after having been arrested & accused of some grisly murders is never really explained. She's just out. It's also not quite explained how she suddenly achieves exonerated celebrity hero status by the masses. It just happens & she's taken by surprise. That said, there were some great moments along the way. Three of my favorite are Bruna watching Blade Runner, her discussions with Natvel & Melba's appearance.

The archive entries of Yiannis were fascinating world-building entries that added a lot to the story & they didn't feel to me like completely blatant info-dumps. The bits that were struck through were particularly disturbing & kept me wondering who it was that had entered them without oversight (was the archive like WikiPedia?) until something was flagged, challenged or put forth to be deleted altogether. That it was part of the larger conspiracy was fine but ultimately it wasn't as relevant to the actual goings on in the mystery. I was taken with Nopal from the start & was glad when he resurfaced in the story with an interesting connection to Bruna in addition to helping with her investigation. I never figured out Lizard but he kept me guessing & I didn't see the final bit with him coming at all. The cadre of misfit aliens & hangers-on that Bruna collects as the story goes along was sort of endearing in much the same way that her friends who met at Oli's cafe were. In the midst of murders, suicides, riots & bombings, these elements added a counterbalance to the grief & made me glad that Bruna had a support system even if she didn't often see it. Her grief over the loss of Merlin was a bittersweet thread that ran throughout.

This is a translation and I thought well done. I've read some translations that suffered the "lost in translation" curse but I didn't feel that with this book. It all flowed & followed & so engagingly told that I was quite pulled in. I really cared about the characters. So much so that I wanted to overlook the flaws in pacing & plotting omissions. I would like to read another by Montes & will be on the look out for more of her books. ( )
  anissaannalise | Jan 1, 2014 |
Tears in the Rain is a fun little Philip K Dick pastiche. Montero lacks the courage to invest fully in a narrative homage, but the book scratches a nice itch and doesn't outstay its welcome.

Bruna Husky is a replicant in future-madrid, an android six years into her ten year lifespan. But someone is giving androids false memories that makes them homicidal - and she's also a private detective. Amidst rising xenophobia, her own prickly personality and a mencing state, can Bruna solve the mystery before someone kills her, too?

I enjoyed Tears in the Rain. Montero is clearly familiar with her source material, and the novel starts out with a wonderful Dickian vibe. Montero shies away from going down the rabbit hole in a way that most PKD novels do - and it's kind of a shame as it makes the book... tamer than it could have been.

For all that, the more conventional story is a mostly interesting one. For a writer that doesn't specialise in SF, Montero's world-building is quite solid, and Husky herself - brusque, impatient, vulnerable - is a great protagonist and PI. Other, equally interesting characters pop up during the course of the book.

The central mystery is resolved in a satisfactory way, though I couldn't help feeling it diminished the overall plot a little bit. Some more of Philip K Dick's loopiness - and there was heaps of potential for it with the false memories angle - could have really lifted the book. ( )
  patrickgarson | Dec 23, 2013 |
Enjoyed this hard Scifi mystery fiction. The future bits are mostly credible without getting too much in the weeds. The mystery keeps you guessing and the protagonist, although not "human," is someone you can care about. The middle dragged a bit, but not enough diminish the fun. ( )
  JHopkinsBooks | Sep 4, 2013 |
This was an entertaining science fiction mystery that was as much an exploration of what it means to live with an expiration date as mystery. Bruna Husky is a replicant. Replicants were created to do the dangerous, undesirable tasks in life. They were created to have a limited lifespan. Bruna was a combat rep and, after her term of service was over, she became a detective.

She gets involved in a case that gets more and more complex when a fellow rep comes to her apartment and tries to kill her. The rep had been injected with false memories that told her to kill Bruna. Bruna gets involved in investigating the growing conflict between replicants and normal humans.

The book was filled with interesting characters from the man who created Bruna's memories and was also accused and then acquitted of murdering his rich uncle to the police detective who was raised by a replicant. Bruna doesn't know who she can trust as each of those men try to convince her that the other is not trustworthy. There are also a couple of alien characters in the story - Maio who slept with her and can now read her mind and Bartolo who is an alien pet with a penchant for eating anything in sight.

The strongest character, of course, was Bruna herself who is constantly counting down the days of her life. She is very aware of the passage of time as she counts down to her expiration date. Replicants live about ten years and then die of a terrible systemic cancer. Bruna has decided that the best way for her to get through life is by not getting close to anyone else. She once loved a fellow replicant and watched him die. But she still makes friends.

One of her best friends in Yiannis who is an archivist and who cared for her when her lover died. Parts of the story, especially the world-building, are seen in archival documents that Yiannis reads and edits. We see the anti-replicant plot building through those archival documents.

Science fiction readers will enjoy this story both for the strong characters and the complex world-building. My only complaint was that the identification of the villain of the piece seemed to come without warning and to be of little importance. Bruna's attitude toward life took center stage. ( )
  kmartin802 | Nov 28, 2012 |
This engrossing, thought provoking, Blade Runner inspired, Sci-Fi detective novel by Spanish author Rosa Montero held me from beginning to end. With thorough world-building, multi-dimensional characterizations, and a detailed and suspenseful plot, Tears in Rain explores the complexities and psychological tensions of living in a futuristic, climate damaged world peopled with humans, replicants and aliens. Normally I am wary of translations, but in this case I felt no story element was missing, including the joy of being able to sink into the text.

Replicant Detective Bruna Husky knows she only has about ten years total to live, a fact that runs through her mind several times a day. Created by humans for combat, she is strong, smart and fast, but the melancholy she sometimes feels can cause her to be rash and self-destructive. Every replicant has 500 implanted memories of a childhood that didn’t actually exist, false memories that are meant to make their short lives more comfortable, but in Bruna’s case knowing they aren’t real just makes her wary. When hired by a radical replicant rights group to investigate a series of suspicious, headline grabbing, murder-suicide deaths of replicants which are turning public opinion against her species it becomes personal for Bruna. She has an engaging and well-drawn Star Wars bar assortment of friends and acquaintances, but as she gets closer to the truth it becomes harder for her to know who to trust. ( )
  Jaylia3 | Nov 14, 2012 |
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In the United States of Earth, Madrid, 2109, the number of techno-human deaths is rapidly growing. Detective Bruna Husky is hired to discover what's behind this wave of insanity. She must trust no one, because those who call themselves allies are ready to betray her.… (more)

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