Riters

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Nov 2018

Member Reviews

My biggest problem with this book is it’s use of jargon and slang. A futuristic or dystopian world is difficult enough to understand without completely changing the slang and not explaining any of it and then throwing a lot of technical jargon on top. I had to read most sentences several times to understand what was going on. I found it difficult to follow and it didn’t grab me. Not my favorite read.
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A mild disclaimer, I am not an SF/Fantasy reader.  Yet here I took the plunge into the weird off world a caste system of a place called Big New/Bellytown.  I saw also some threads of the classic "Logan's Run" theme from times past.  SF/Fantasy buffs should really like and for the rest of us it will be a very different read.  Enjoy
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Trigger warnings: rape, necrophilia, and cannibalism.

 Roy Harris’s Riters is the story of a Screwhog deep-mining prisoner crew as they make a daring escape from their desolate prison. In this post-apocalyptic world, Togridders of Big New are the upperclass. They are born as clones in hatcheries. They have no idea what it truly means to be human. For this half of society, sex and physical contact are shunned for fear of disease. Bellygridders live below, in Bellytown, where gangs run things. Life here is rough and brutal. 

Jack Harrison is one of the Topgridders who gets sent to the penal wasteland for rule violation. Jack us a very unique person, able to manipulate matter on the quantum level, and to slip into the fifth dimension. He is part of the crew that escapes, though less by choice and more by being in the wrong place. This takes poor Jack out of his comfort zone for sure, challenging everything he thinks he knows about the world. The main story is actually set in the past, with interludes set in the future, aboard Protostar. 

There's quite a bit going on in this book. I enjoyed the science, physics, metaphysics, and philosophy woven in. It was also neat to pick up on references to various old school dystopic films like Logan's Run and Metropolis. It probably wasn't as intentional, but Big New/ Bellytown reminded me of my favourite RPG game, Final Fantasy VII,vwhich has a similar city called Midgard. I actually feel the synopsis didn't really explain all of what the book encompasses. Jack was my favourite character. Despite his gifts, and his power, his is an innocent soul. The other main characters were interesting too, sex obsessions aside. 

I do wish that the female characters had been more fleshed out. I felt, at times, that they existed just for the sex scenes, many of which could feasibly have been left out without altering the story in any way. I get the roles sex plays in all levels of this society, and some are needed for the story, but others weren't. Many of these scenes felt like they'd been written by a different person altogether, and didn't mesh with the scifi, science, and action aspects of the story. The ending felt kinda rushed, and we get a massive info dump in the last interlude. Overall, a good scifi dystopia. It does need the erotica label, for sure, but you can't go into it thinking that's the guiding genre.
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