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Mask: Author's Preferred Text Paperback – February 1, 2013
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A Mask, trained and equipped to handle anything, arrives in the dark of night and removes the incon. Whatever, or whoever, that may be.
Thoroughly creepy and imaginative. Entertaining and well written. Solid characterizations and an intriguing plot. Family friendly. A good, clean read.
Set in a dystopian near future, the country once known as the United States has devolved from a representative democracy to something akin to mob rule with people's lives determined by "the vote", which is something of a popularity contest.
I liked the overall story both the plot as well as the moral and political themes. I would have liked to have been introduced to Uncle Saul much earlier. He both taught me and left me with questions, however, the updated version of Mask makes for a much clearer ending and for the story to serve as a solid single volume dystopian, something quite refreshing in the sea of dystopian trilogies. The reworked edition made the entire story clearer and more engaging. It also elevated the the book from 4 to 5 stars.
I was intrigued by this book when I read the plot. This is a first person narrative from the view of an assassin, in a world where people can vote out those who are inconvenient. It gives thought about the direction our country is going and what worldview we're using to decide the value of ideas, objects, and even people.
I highly recommend this story.
At it's heart, the novel's concept is solid, imaginative. I was attracted to the work because it felt immediate and possible, so very possible. Indeed, the work is speculative fiction that's both thought-provoking in regards to where our society is going, and hopeful inasmuch as showing how real people can make the right choices, despite the world they find themselves living in.
While the read may be fast-paced, I believe there is enough here now to allow the reader to really mentally chew on some of the concepts presented here, concepts like love in a world of instant-gratification, in a society where inconvenience is minimized to the extreme. The work makes us look at what we might find inconvenient in our own lives, and just what measures we would take to remove those 'incons', if we indeed had the power to do so.
The characters in this edition of the novel are very real, everyday people for the most part. It grounds us in the world of PacNorth, the remnants of the American North West, in Radial Crane's very claustrophobic perspective, and the action hardly lets up. The characters face real choices, moral dilemmas that, in our greying world, might not always be easy to discern.
A fresh take on the dystopian-future novel and another great read from Mr. Nietz.
(Full disclosure: as is noted in the novel, I was involved in some of the revisions of this text, however the opinions in this review are my own.)