I love to read and chat about books. I'm always honest in my reviews and I enjoy hearing varied opinions and different point of views.
I have mixed feelings on how to rate this. The characterization and world-building is 5-star, but the first half moved a little too slow for me, so I'm bumping it to a 4/4.5 star. Did this take away from my love for Des? HELL NO!
This world is set in the future where robotics play a big part of everyday life. Don’t let the sci-fi/futurism scare you, because JCP created a realistic story set in a dark and gritty world. Everything from the descriptive setting to the authentic characters sucked me right in. I could picture everything, from the abandoned warehouses to the riverside flea market. She painted a bleak yet vivid picture.
Let’s get to Desmond Poole. He lost his arm in an accident and now he is drowning in self-pity. Not an attractive quality, I must say. He’s a character that many people will dislike. He’s depressed and he’s drinking himself to an early death. He’s rude, emotionally-stunted, constantly brushes off his responsibility, and hurts the people he cares about. He wants nothing to do with learning how to use his prosthetic arm and only cares about getting another bottle or another pack of cigarettes. Basically, he’s a major fuck-up. You can't blame his attitude on losing his arm because he was just as messed up before the accident.
For the most part I loved his voice. One minute I wanted to shake him and yell "get off your ass and grow up" and the next he had me laughing or got me all misty-eyed.
He's also in love with two men. Hi ex-boyfriend Jim, the social worker who is constantly getting him out of trouble and wants to save him from himself, and Corey - the lazy new boyfriend who's an expert at using his prosthetic arm and helps Des try to beat the system. The book doesn't focus on some messy love triangle or the romance, but it's these relationships that have an impact on Des, both negatively and positively.
Even with his multitude of flaws, there were flashes of hope for Des. JCP made me care for him. I needed him to pull through. Des starts to become aware of his own screw-ups, past and present. It's not a big "Aha" moment, but it occurs slowly. He begins to realize that he can have more, he can become more. He faces his past and his relationship with Jim and Corey. He finally takes some responsibility and makes decisions. He knows things won't be perfect, but that's not what he strives for. He's taking small steps and that's ok with him, and me :) It's not a transformation, but it's progress and he's finally moving in the right direction and that's what I loved most about this. His story was believable.
So, yes Des is a screw-up, but I still love him