Pleasure Model (Netherworld book 1)
I was first stuck by the concept of this book; published by Heavy Metal Pulp (an imprint of TOR). It is a science fiction novel with art work throughout, this seemed like a perfect mash-up of the old pulp magazines of the 20's and 30's and the Heavy Metal monthly for grown-ups.
If you liked the movie Blade Runner (and who didn't?) then this will be a nice reminder of why you liked it. The book has it all; a weary police officer who's seen it all, a murder that is much more than it seems and a witness who is a Pleasure Model, an illegal gene-grown human. As Rook (our detective) investigates the murder an attempt is made on the life of the Pleasure. Rook decides to protect her and thus begins his run from the people who are trying to kill them.
The book has the look, feel and tone of Blade Runner it is quickly paced and the artwork enhances the story. I always feel good that I've imagined something very much like the artwork shows. Perhaps I got used to the visuals of the interior art but I never found it distracting. There is a satisfying conclusion to the first book but in no way does it leave you thinking that you don't need to read on. You don't read book one unless you are prepared to read book three and the first volume leaves you at a natural break point in the story; not in the middle of the action.
I've already started book two and will let you know how it read in two weeks.
You might be wondering what happened to The Dark End of the Street listed on the right. I'm about half way through it and so far I'm not digging it very much. The editors picked a wonderful premise and they went to two distinct types of writers to contribute to the volume. They tapped the shoulders of mystery / crime writers and literary fiction authors. So far I've only liked the ones written by the crime writers. And I've hated, yes hated, the stories from the literary mob. Literary fiction - where nothing actually happens and characters gaze at their navels and mope.
So I've put the book aside half read. I'll pick it up again from time to time and read one or two stories until I've finished it. I'll keep it up there to motivate me to read it. At some point I'll get sick of looking at the cover on my blog and I'll finish the book just to change the art.
You may be wondering what the cover of the second book in the Netherworld series looks like so here is a picture for you.