Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
Starts out awesome, then fizzles to.... meh.
on March 24, 2013
Quarantined is one of those rare few books that starts at five stars from the moment you pick it up and then shoots itself in the foot as it goes on.
The premise, a murder mystery set in a very believable dystopian San Antonio, is brilliant. When a large scale emergency happens, people don't stop being people. There's still crime to deal with. The premise is extremely believable and from the very beginning, you are instantly transported into that world.
McKinney has a very good ear for dialogue. I could hear the different voices of the various characters and felt that those voices were true to the character's background.
I am extremely distressed at having to dock stars from this book. It's got a lot going for it! Unfortunately, these errors are too grievous to let go by without discussing them.
Firstly, while McKinney has a great ear for dialogue, I had a very difficult time buying into the main character as a woman. The main character mentally describes the murder victim as someone with a "dynamite figure." While that's not to say that women can't and don't appreciate each others figure, that particular choice of words is uniquely and particularly male. I easily bought into Lily as a police officer, as those parts felt very real to me, but, not as a woman.
Secondly, the main character frequently indulges in mental dialogue where she describes others using extremely homophobic language. While I feel that homophobia is probably somewhat institutionalized, as I can and have heard police indulging in casual homophobia, it's never vocalized and consequently, no one ever calls the character on it. Under the same vein as my first point, I really have a hard time buying into a woman in a man's world engaging in those sorts of mental monologues. That's not to say women can't be homophobic, but, this is done so pointlessly and wantonly that it just seems almost gratuitous to me.
Thirdly, the ending was very..... abrupt. I idiotically tried to flip the last page of the book a few times, looking for the next page before realizing, "Oh, right. I guess this is the end." I don't feel that the story was tied up as well as it could have been, and McKinney makes the mistake of introducing new possibilities towards the end of the book.
If you can deal with these flaws, Quarantined is a great way to kill a few hours. The plot is engaging enough, but the setting and Mckinney's ear for dialogue really steal the show.