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Review of No Dogs in Philly by Andy Futuro

Review of No Dogs in Philly by Andy FuturoNo Dogs in Philly by Andy Futuro
Series: Special Sin #1
on August 10th 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Fiction
Pages: 166


Philadelphia. Elzi on every corner, cops just itching to crack a skull, and the Gaespora lordin’ it up in their high towers while the rest of the filth dribbled down the sewer. Saru had a way out. All she had to do was find the girl, one skinny stray with blue, blue eyes—bluer than anyone had ever seen—and ten million fat bucks were hers. Except someone was killing blue-eyed girls, and they were A-list, major-league, cold-sweat effective. And something about the end of all existence if she failed.

There are some books that just don’t click. It’s not necessarily the book’s fault. I’m a picky reader, so I find a lot of books that fall into this rating for me. It’s got a lot of good reviews on Goodreads, which goes to show how picky I can be. I say to the book: It’s not you, it’s me.

To really summarize the plot, it’s basically about stopping killers offing blue-eyed girls. There’s some gods involved, different classes of people, and dark forces.

First and foremost, I didn’t like the main character. I didn’t like her voice, her actions, or her approach. I don’t mind a rough around the edges character. Matter of fact, the more flaws the better. I like a strong, kickass female lead. I don’t mind if she’s got a mouth on her, enjoys sex, and is rebellious. But Saru takes all those to an extreme, verging on just raunchy, unlikeable, and immature. It was her tone that set me off. So without having a remotely likable character for me, I just didn’t get into it.

Character aside, the world was—for me—extremely confusing in the beginning. A lot of terms tossed at me with little to no explanation. I got it soon enough, but it threw me right from the start. However, the world was not without some fun. Her car could drive itself home without her and there was a fun story that went along with that tidbit. Another cool part was that most people had implants that put the internet in their heads, basically. They could search and stream stuff without any computer. She could tune her body so she looked like she was interested in a conversation when she was really watching television in her mind. I found that incredibly fun, though it took me a bit to understand that was what was happening. Other than that, I’m not sure I ever got a good feel for the world. No big picture. However, this could be because of my lack of imagination. The classes of people were interesting, and how each viewed the other was intriguing. Definitely added some depth to the story.

The first chapter was a job Saru had finished. It was long and since all we’re given of it is merely a recap, it was fairly boring. I didn’t find it was all needed. Especially in the beginning. These recaps happened a few more times, all of which I had a difficult time plugging through. They slowed down the pacing and I found it hard to push through quite a few sections. Especially since some internal thoughts seemed really drawn out. I ended up skimming a bit.

The writing had some moments, but more often than not, I just didn’t connect. I’m a woman. And our main protagonist is a woman. And I can say with absolute certainty that when I’m scared, my breasts have never, ever tingled. Nor have I ever wanted to jam knitting needles in my breasts when I hear a grating sound. It’s not that I find this offensive, it just … well, it just didn’t make sense to me. I don’t know, maybe my breasts are sleeping on the job.

I always felt at a distance with the book. The pacing was on the slow side with—for me—entirely too much internal ramblings that added little to the story and felt too long. A few fun and interesting moments along with some of the ideas were all that kept me going. This review sounds really negative, but the world had fun, intriguing nuances which is why I didn’t give up on it.

Overall, it was the tone of the main character that kept pushing me from loving this story. Again, I’ll remind potential readers that there’s a lot of good reviews for this book, so I suggest checking out a sample (Futuro has a few on his website as well as Amazon’s preview options).

About Andy Futuro

Andy Futuro is an American writer of speculative fiction, which has been variously categorized science fiction, cyberpunk, horror, noir, metaphysical, absurdist, and dystopian. Futuro’s Special Sin series follows a strong female protagonist as she battles aliens, AIs, clones, corporations, psychics, and mutants, on a quest to avert the apocalypse. Futuro’s influences include Neil Gaiman, William Gibson, H.P. Lovecraft, Neal Stephenson, Stephen King, Alan Moore, Robert A. Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, Frank Herbert, and Hugh Howey. Futuro seeks out and devours the best new books on Amazon, especially dark, gritty, and weird stories. His favorite pastime is browsing free books by indie authors and discovering future classics. When he isn’t writing or reading, he is preparing for the alien invasion.

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