Cover Image: SUCKER


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Member Reviews

Hornsby’s writing is sharp and witty. It will resonate with indie rock and art fans with all the content. The narrator is self-absorbed and kind of a jerk but Hornsby showed just enough humanity to string you along. I’ve also noticed some similarities between this book and his last — roadside attractions, maybe a slight obsession with caverns or deep holes, and overall, the dry sense of humor. I will tell you that I enjoyed all the biometric talk. I wondered if the startup premise was going to take a Theranos-like turn. Very strong Elizabeth Holmes vibes and even in the end, I have to wonder if it’s really any different metaphorically. Loved it, will recommend it, and will look for more of this author’s work in the future.
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<i>Sucker</i>, should have come with an exclamation mark. There is plenty of pop culture references that's head spinning, tangents that shouldn't have existed, and very little nuance. This perhaps might work to the book's advantage with blatant in-your-face narration where the first person narrative offers very little observational commentary but a lot of opinions. 

Charles is a superficial douchebag who wants to distance himself from the privilege of his birth but doesn't really step in when his family supplements his income. There are moments where he is absolutely insufferable, but he is entertaining with his opinions, though mostly misguided, when he is interacting. 

<i>Sucker</i> could have worked as a social commentary of the rich and the connected if the plot had picked up early in the book. Unfortunately, it picks up a good two thirds into the book. By this time, exhaustion has already set in by dealing with Charles, watching his world which is, again, <i>exhausting</i> though he does nothing (there are lot of drugs, naps and meeting few people at a job his dad got for him). The plot in itself is quite alright though it doesn't seem to be the primary focus of the book. 

There are portions of this book that was quite enjoyable but all in all, it was alright. 

<i>Thank you to Netgalley and Knopf, Pantheon, Vintage, and Anchor, Press for providing me with a free copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review.</i>
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2.75 stars. 

The writing style really was not for me but I pushed forward because I believed that the story would eventually come together. It did, but the writing still didn’t work for me even then. This is not to say the writing is bad by any means. I think it could’ve been improved with less silicon-valley faux tech talk (referencing real life moguls but in fictionalized terms) it just didn’t add anything. 

The plot took a bit too long to really come to fruition, the spooky element (saying that rather than using spoiler info) was sort of a foot note. The conspiracy aspect was a nice lead up. 

Overall the story was smart and the characters were all pretty unlikeable but let’s be honest, that was the point, right? 

Some people will LOVE this book, just not me!

Thanks NetGalley for this ARC.
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I was not a fan of Sucker. As much as it pains to say it I felt that Daniel Hornsby tried to be cheeky and funny with his satire but fell flat with bland, unlikeable characters and an overall story that never clicked.
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I requested this title knowing that there was a fairly good chance I would not be particularly enamored with it. I'm a simple reader and I like to escape into a story that mostly involves explosions or heads-on-poles or political espionage, etc.  Repetitive, slow-paced, satire featuring a woe-is-me heir to a fortune isn't particularly in my wheelhouse.

But the book is called Suckers and there's a pointy K and blood dripping and I was promised let's give it a go.

Vampirism is at a bare-minimum in this so-called vampire novel and comparing the ultra-rich/big-tech/big-med/big-whatever to vampires is not what I would consider a quantum-leap of the human imagination. They are literally sucking the planet dry, we know this.

The writing is nice, but ultimately much too slow for my tastes.
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I really liked the premise of this book and I enjoy stories that take place in Silicon Valley, alas it was a bit slow for my liking. Still enjoy the writing style and reading about the characters.
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This book has a witty and intellectual plot, but the sped of the book made it a struggle for me to continue and finish. Thank you for the arc.
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Hornsby delivers a fun sci-fi horror with a creative ending. Chuck Gross runs a record label when a friend from his past resurfaces with a job offer. Chuck has always been drawn to Olivia, and when he accepts her proposition and works at her biomedical tech company, he discovers secret labs and nefarious happenings. Now, he has to decide if revealing the truth is worth risking his life.

Many will enjoy this plot which slowly unravels a mysterious medical advancement that sounds too good to be true. Others will wish that the pacing were a tad quicker and that the ending twists were revealed earlier so the consequences of those thrilling discovery could be explored in more detail. Olivia and Chuck are interesting characters, and time is given to their backstory that may feel a little unnecessary at times. Still, the horror and sci-fi elements are a blast and readers looking for a slow burn with a explosive ending will enjoy this book!
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So I really enjoyed this, I found it to be well written and it kept my attention throughout it all, but I also think it’s the kind of book that is very hit or miss. You will either enjoy it or you will absolutely loathe it. It’s very slow-paced, repetitive and the main character is unlikeable 99% of the time — but it somehow feels endearing and captivating nonetheless. It somehow hits all the right spots for me when normally that wouldn’t necessarily be my thing. It’s also why I’m well aware that if you’re not into this, repetitiveness and slow-paced books, Sucker by Daniel Hornsby might just not be your thing. 

His take on Silicon Valley, pointing out the selfishness of the tech and medical industry — of never having our, the people, best interest at heart — and how he tries to interwove the tech/medical industry with vampirism does feel original and fun. It’s an interesting concept, how vampires have existed for centuries so why shouldn’t they also try and enter into powerful places in which they can control the general population — and what better place than Silicon Valley. 

I enjoyed the main character, Charles, while he tried navigating two lives: one, in which he is an unknown trying to run a grunge/punk/emo/whatever record label and one, in which he is the son of a family whose wealth has come from work less than ethical. The book shows him struggling between trying to leave his family, as he doesn’t agree with their moral stance on things, but how he ultimately fails to do so. Both because of how he is so dependent on his family’s wealth to have his record label run smoothly, but also because cutting off your family is a lot harder than you initially think. Especially when someone like Charles only superficially disagrees with his family’s values. This, obviously, is up to interpretation. But I think it’s very telling how he tries to separate both his lives, as he doesn't want to be known to be part of the family, while also wanting to be benefiting from the wealth that comes from it. Ultimately, he doesn't actually want to be free from the family or else he could have easily done so many times. But rich people gotta be staying rich, I suppose.

Anyway, back to the point. It’s also a good commentary on the superficial nature of the rich and how they only care for their own wellbeing. How their double standards influence their decisions. Charles does not want to be a “good” person, it’s in a way thrust onto him, and he reluctantly and badly goes along with it. Daniel Hornsby does a good job showing this, and he really managed to capture the essence of Silicon Valley and the rich young people living there.

With all this said, I do think it’s disingenuous to describe this book as “Bad Blood meets Succession”. While I’ve never watched Bad Blood, I sure have binge watched all of Succession and if you go into this book expecting the same level of drama and quality material that is the show (because let’s be real, Succession is amazing and your expectations should be High if something is compared to this) you will be sorely disappointed. Go into this book expecting a commentary on Silicon Valley, the tech industry and how the wealthy care only about what’s good for them, with a SMALL dash of vampirism, then you’ll get what you’ve come for. 

Despite the unlikeable main character (I did kinda like him though, sorry) and the lack of vampiric action for 70 percent of the book, this was enjoyable and well written. So if you’re into a mocking commentary on the rich and their lack of self awareness and everything else I’ve described, do yourself the favour and read this! It’s worth your time.
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Unfortunately, I had to DNF this novel. His writing style was not suited for me. I tend to like straight forward type of books and this was not. 
The synopsis was intriguing and the cover was simple yet luring. 

Thank you Netgalley for the ARC copy for a review.
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I enjoyed most of the book. It is possible that I may have enjoyed this book a little more than some of the others as I recognized that this story was based almost entirely on Bad Blood and the tale of Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes. I'm still unsure how I feel about the ending (which I will not discuss), but I enjoyed the rest of the story.

I will say that I thought the story was written with too much flowery language, which pulled me away from time to time. I've read my fair share of highly technical, complicated writing throughout my life, but I have never had to search for definitions as much as I had to with this book. It's not that big of a problem if it is limited to a few times a book, but I felt like I had to use the dictionary function on my Kindle 2-3 times a chapter. I thought that maybe it was just me, but the words were usually considered archaic or no longer in common usage.
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A poignant satire on silicon valley. Felt like the book left a little to be desired but overall it is a pleasant read.
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DNF @ 15%

I'm sure this is a perfectly fine book, it's technically well written and I don't hate it by any means but it seems to be moving VERY slowly and I also just can't stand the main character and since I'm very much a character driven reader it doesn't really make me want to finish the book. I get that the MC is supposed to be unlikable to an extent but I think that there's a way to make a MC that is 'unlikable' but still interesting/entertaining and someone that you want to root for and for me this just isn't it.
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A wonderful premise with intellectual prose that unfortunately, for me, is bogged down in repetitive sequences related to the protagonist's resentment against his wealthy parentage. A vampire novel that withholds its vampire until 75% of the book has been read and then the central action for the last 10% of the book. A satirical look at tech and Silicone Valley, yes, but none of the musings are surprising or have anything to say that hasn't already been explored. The vampiric elements feel like an afterthought, and the entire book is a slog. A bonus star for the elevated prose. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Knopf Doubleday for the advance copy.
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Hornsby’s acerbic wit beautifully matches this pointed satire of Silicon Valley. His caricatures of musky punks, self-serving heirs, and devious entrepreneurs are on-the-nose and deeply funny.

My one “complaint” is that I think this book is too long. I can see this writing style and perspective as a biting short story collection, maybe exploring the same topics but through more perspectives and situations. I think that would really allow the momentum of Hornsby’s writing to flourish.  As it is, this book felt a little repetitive and predictable. 

This book is a worthwhile read if only to be impressed by the sharp writing and observations of Hornsby. Hopefully he will consider a  a short story collection in the future!
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This has the makings of an interesting involved story. I just wish it was better presented.
A look into Silicon Valley and the upper 1%.
Chuck changes his name to Charles in hopes of removing himself more from the family.

I usually like satire. This one wasn't quite developed though.
Still a good story on the surface.
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Sucker is a satirical novel about Silicon Valley and a tech company with supicious means and motives. I usually love satire – especially when we're making fun of rich people – unfortunalely, this was just not to my tastes.

My biggest issue with Sucker was the characters. The main character/narrator is unlikeable, more than I think he was meant to be, and his constant attempts to be funny and quirky fell completely flat. It didn't take more than a few pages for the writing style to turn from interesting and different to annoying and trite. I couldn't cheer for him no matter how hard I tried, which isn't always a dealbreaker for me, but it does often help the experience to like the mc. The other characters were too unrealistic to be funny and we were introduced to too many for me to really care about any of them.

Another problem was the plot, which took too long to become interesting. The buildup was long enough that I lost interest before I got to the parts I genuinely enjoyed, which is unfortunate. If I wasn't making this review, and therefore felt a sense of duty when it came to finishing the ARC, I would have put the book down before getting to the good bits.

Taste is subjective, and while I didn't enjoy this read I'm sure others might. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishing house for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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this was a scary concept and worked really well, I enjoyed how well this was written and glad I was able to read this. It was a great concept in the horror genre and it had a great tense atmosphere within it. I enjoyed the way the characters were written and how they reacted to the situations in the book. Daniel Hornsby has a great writing style and I could see a passion for the genre. I can't wait to read more from Daniel Hornsby as I really enjoyed reading this.

"It led to a stairwell, which I followed down. The air here had an earthy, mineral smell. The hidden floor was dark save for the glow of tiny blue lights inside the processors. As I shone my phone around to find the light switch, I heard a spray of Pomeranian yips scolding me from across the space."
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