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The Unnoticeables: A Novel by Robert…
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The Unnoticeables: A Novel

by Robert Brockway

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The Unnoticeables was bizarre, violent, and occasionally gross... I think I liked it? It's hard to say, I'm mostly still digesting it, almost a week after finishing it.

If you don't like violence, profanity, and all around crass characters, this one isn't for you. If you don't mind those things and are intrigued by a different twist on grungy fantasy/supernatural, give it a go!

My biggest complaint is that because the story is told from the perspective of three characters, two of whom don't know what's going on, and the third is not exactly a reliable source for explanations, there's never any complete clarity around the events occurring. Sure, Carey and Kaitlyn make discoveries that advance the plot, but the overall "why," or even what the aftermath of their actions is, is never addressed. It does feel like that was a deliberate choice on the part of Brockway, though, so it's possible the book would benefit from having a friend read it as well - someone with whom the reader can discuss it, and come to their own conclusions.

Overall, if the synopsis to this book sounds like it's up your alley, give it a shot. I'm glad I listened to it, even if I'm not sure how I feel about it afterwards. ( )
  AdrienneHood | Oct 31, 2016 |
Angels aren't beautiful creatures of benevolence. They watch over us, but look for patterns and redundancies instead of protecting us. They eliminate the superfluous people to feed the Machine. Carey in 1977 New York and Kaitlyn in 2013 Hollywood both encounter these angels and their inhuman minions. Both just want to live their generally unsuccessful lives and have friends disappear around them. Both want to do something about it and try to despite crazy odds against them. Can two nobodies save their friends and other invisible people from being changed into empty puppets or flat out killed?

From the very first line ("I met my guardian angel today. She shot me in the face."), I was hooked. The story is split into three narratives: an unnamed narrator at an unknown time, Carey in 1977, and Kaitlyn in 2013. The unnamed narrator (the one shot by said angel) is rapidly losing his humanity and wants to tell his story. Carey is a punk whose interests are limited to punk rock, drinking, smoking, fucking, and stealing to get what he wants. He and his friends frequent clubs, create a bit of mayhem, and have fun. You see some pretty weird shit in New York, but Tar Men that melt people to goo is usually not one of them. He stays quiet because no one will believe him anyway, but when his close friends are targeted, he makes beating these creatures his personal crusade. However, Carey is a professional fuck-up, so his attempts are laughably bumbling at best and horribly inept at worse. I love his irreverence and self aware nature. He knows he's an asshole and most of the things he says are horrible, but that's just who he is. He's the most unlikely hero, but he has the best intentions at heart along with the drive to get drunk as cheap as possible and chase women.

The last narrator is Kaitlyn, waitress and out of work stuntwoman. She loves her work in movies, but she just sucks at networking, a vital trait to stay employed. Her best friend Jackie doesn't come home from an industry party after Kaitlyn is attacked by her childhood celebrity crush. Unfortunately, that crush talks in prerehearsed, mechanical sounding phrases and there's something off about him in addition to the huge alien tongue he shoved down her throat. This man is an Empty One who creates Unnoticeables, people who you can't describe even while looking at them. They blend in perfectly and lure people away in order to further fuel the mysterious Machine. Kaitlyn uses her background and cunning to save her fellow aspiring actors. She also has the bumbling help of a much older, crazier sounding Carey. He is pretty much the same, except closer to babbling homeless guy than sexy rugged punk. Both of them are considered expendable to these angels, but they couldn't be more different. This odd couple is hilarious to read and have some of the most fun interactions.

The Unnoticeables is a fun mix of urban fantasy and horror with vivid underground worlds in New York and Hollywood. I would love a sequel with more of Carey and Kaitlyn's adventures, exploring more of these underground, hiding in plain sight but no one sees it worlds. Carey is extremely entertaining to read while Kaitlyn is the more relatable one trying to make ends meet and being shunned from jobs despite being quite qualified. I would recommend this to fans of Richard Kadrey and Clive Barker. ( )
  titania86 | Aug 5, 2015 |
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