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You CAN judge this book by its opening,
This review is from: The Human Blend (Tipping Point Trilogy) (Hardcover)
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A good way to gauge how likely you are to enjoy The Human Blend is to read the opening paragraph: "Let's rifle the dead man." Jimmy scowled at the newly-won corpse and hopped to it.
If, like me, you are put off by this opening, then you probably would not like this book. If you are intrigued, I think you will find The Human Blend to be a middle-of-the-pack SF thriller that may help you while away a quiet evening but not dazzle you with anything especially original or clever.
The action takes place in a future where extreme physical alterations and enhancements are commonplace. Two Melds ( enhanced humans), Whispr and Jiminy Cricket, kill a man they think is an ordinary tourist to rob him and find a strange silver thread that is some sort of storage device. This theft unleashes a chase by assassins bent on retrieving the thread from Whispr and Jiminy and Ingrid, an unenhanced doctor who becomes involved when Whispr goes to her for treatment of a serious wound. Be warned: the mystery of the thread remains to be solved in a future book.
I read The Human Blend despite the opening pages on the basis of three presumptions, none of which turned out to be valid. First, I enjoyed some of Alan Dean Foster's early SF, but, as the bio points out, Foster writes in many genres, and this is NOT like early Foster. Second, the product description says The Human Blend has "the dark humor and edgy morality of an Elmore Leonard mystery". The edgy morality is pervasive, but the humor that makes Leonard enjoyable and leavens the grit was nowhere to be found. Finally, there was a promise held out of exploring what it means to be human in a society where you can provide your body with practically any features you want. SF often does a wonderful job of "philosofiction", as Rob Sawyer calls it, but, again, I failed to find it in The Human Blend.
The author leaves a number of matters unresolved, presumably to lead the reader to the next two parts of the trilogy. Some readers may find this annoying.
Despite my disappointment, there is, indeed, one part of The Human Blend that is worth reading. About the Author is one of the most interesting such pieces I can recall. Pick up the book; read About the Author; and then, if you are interested, go look for earlier work by Alan Dean Foster.