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Chromed: Upgrade by Richard Parry

book cover of Chromed: Upgrade

This book never really clicked for me. There were a lot of characters (maybe 30 or 40), who mostly all blend into one another, and not all of them get good explanations as to who they are or what their role is in the story. Perhaps because of this, I found the plot very hard to follow. There were a lot of subplots, and those that involved similar people doing similar kinds of things with motives/goals that were not fully clear were hard to disentangle. I know that the main plot involved some kind of betrayal against the company… and our chain-smoking, prostitute-obsessed macho man of a protagonist has to investigate this and exterminate the traitor… but then the company decides to exterminate him instead. Then there was also some poison rain or something, a slave girl with magic powers, and an old nuclear power plant with mutant people hanging out there, ready to attack people like in some cheesy FPS video game. I feel like you would need a notebook by your side to try to understand this book properly, and even then I get the sense the author is purposely leaving lots of stuff unexplained so people will buy the later books in the series. So, hmmm. While apparently this series has its fans, I'm not planning to continue with it.

As an aside, I also thought it was mildly hilarious that in Parry's vision of 2150, everyone is chain-smoking again like it's still 1950. Long-term social trends? Naw, what's that.

photo of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.