He’s lost his family.
He’s lost his crew.
And he’s got the scars to prove it.
You don’t want to mess with Durango.
Released: August 24th 2010 Pages: 352
Publisher: Greenwillow Source: Library
First Look: ***** I honestly have no clue why I picked this up. It's never been on my to-read list and the blurb tells me absolutely nothing about the plot. And the cover...awkward text placement, anyone? Okay, so maybe I thought that guy was Liam Hemsworth at first. I have no idea why I thought this, but...okay.
Setting: ***** My main thoughts on the setting basically sum up my entire reaction to this book: what is going on here? It was set on Mars. That's the only thing I could pin down for sure. Everything else was up in the air, setting-wise. The technology seemed inconsistent (as in, why are these people high-tech enough to do this, but not that?). I never really got a clear picture of where anything was going on. It wasn't memorable at all.
Characters: ***** I thought the AI implant element was interesting. How weird would that be, to have a second...brain...in your brain? Except, Durango kept referring to Mimi (the "AI") as AI. But it doesn't make sense to call her "artificial intelligence" since she was a real person at one time, and therefore not artificial.
Anyway, I couldn't connect to any of the characters. Durango had some backstory that might have been interesting, if it had actually been explained. But since I didn't get much of that story at all, I couldn't get into it.
None of the other characters were all that interesting, either. Vienne in particular annoyed me. She had no depth. She was just an attractive girl who could fight. There was nothing else to her.
Plot: ***** The majority of the plot had me going "Um, what?" Nothing was ever explained fully, so I had a hard time following what was actually happening. I felt like I was watching the story in fast-forward--I could see stuff happening, and it sort of made sense, but not really.
Also, like watching a movie in fast-forward, this book went way too fast. Which goes hand in hand with the little-to-no explanation problem. If more time had been spent on certain plot points, I might've enjoyed this more.
Uniqueness: ***** I guess it was unique, though I have a hard time judging this aspect of books that I don't like.
Writing: ***** I felt like so much of the lines in this book were meant to be funny. And they weren't. Not to me, at least. Characters were throwing around one-liners in dialogue and narration like they do in Artemis Fowl and Pendragon. The difference is that AF and Pendragon are hilarious. This book, not so much. It was trying too hard.
Then again, it was unintentionally funny in some places. Sometimes a really weirdly written phrase appeared and I couldn't help but be amused. I always feel a tad bit bad about that, but I can't help it.
She locks eyes with me, and I feel a sensation of fluttering behind my belly button, like my legs are being unscrewed..."
Um...are you okay there, Durango?
This happened whenever Durango got too close to Vienne. It didn't sound like true love to me. It sounds like Durango has some kind of medical condition. He should probably get that checked out.
And then there was this scene, which so perfectly mirrored that wonderful "ANOTHER!"* scene:
"Another!" I shout. Later in the scene: With his free hand, he downs another drink. Slams it on the bar, shattering the glass.
Likes: There was a guy named Leeroy Jenkins. As soon as he said his name, it sounded familiar. I knew I'd heard it, but I couldn't place where. Apparently, it is a reference. Though I've never played World of Warcraft and I don't know anyone who does, so I have no idea where I heard it.
Overall: This is a weird book. I spent most of the time feeling like I was watching the story happen in fast-forward. I couldn't connect to (or even like) Durango or any of the other characters. The narration plopped me into a world I've never been to and expected me to be able to follow everything with no explanation. The narration wasn't as funny as it was supposed to be, but was funny in places that it wasn't supposed to be. If that makes any sense. I don't recommend this.
Similar Books: It features space travel (kind of...maybe...) like A Confusion of Princes and it reminds me of Epic and The House of Power for reasons I don't know or understand.
*Has anybody else seen that deleted scene where he slams the wine glass into the fire and says "Another!"? Or am I the only one who noticed that?