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auspex

Novel Tease

Random meanderings about the books I love—or don't. 

Interspersed with observations about my hobbies: Beer & Wine, Bridge, Bikes and Bow-wows.

Currently reading

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak
Pontypool Changes Everything
Tony Burgess
Frameshift - Robert J. Sawyer I'm glad I've read and loved so many of Sawyer's later books because it means this won't put me off...

Frameshift fails on so many levels. It's too complicated: we have three characters who look like Ivan the Terrible, of Treblinka death camp fame; we have a telepathic leading lady (and really, it isn't even necessary to the plot); a Nobel winning geneticist who can successfully clone humans in one try!; Police who are far too ready and willing to share information with members of the public; and another Nobel-wannabe geneticist who ties it all together.

All of that might be acceptable, except that Sawyer frames it all as a traditional mystery and breaks my one absolute rule about mysteries: No Coinkydinks!. Coincidence may be acceptable in a Science Fiction novel - if all else fails, you call it "quantum entanglement"; it's fine in a Fantasy, where you call it "magic"; but it's a complete violation of an author's contract with his readers in a mystery, where the reader needs to be able to deduce the culprit in the same way as the investigator. And Sawyer's mystery completely fails without coincidence.

Don't even get me started on how the protagonist had to give an entry-level genetics lecture to his post-graduate research assistant, just so that the reader would understand very basic genetics...

Ultimately, I'd have been thrilled to read a novel about the genetic research - and loved that part of the book; the Nazis & Nazi-hunters just ruined it.

If you've never read Sawyer, don't start here!