This month’s challenge was to find, read and review a book with a playing card on the cover. I managed to find a couple in my local library, neither of which I knew much about, and after much debating, I decided to pick up Dead Man’s Hand by George R.R. Martin & John J. Miller – the seventh book in the Wild Cards series, which the internet assured me was understandable even without having read the first six books… And as we all know, the internet is never wrong. 😉
DEAD MAN’S HAND
George R.R. Martin & John J. Miller
A sci-fi murder mystery, set in an alternative version of 1988 New York, in which the Earth has been ravished by an alien sickness called the Wild Card virus – which (when it doesn’t kill them) turns people either into Aces (super-powered humans) or into Jokers (also super-powered, but hideously deformed and consequently marginalised by society). Chrysalis (the Queen of the Jokers’ underground society) is murdered – and Jay Ackroyd, an Ace detective, and the vigilante Yeoman both separately set out to find her killer. Naturally, their paths cross (though less often than you’d expect), and their searches take them on very twisted journeys.
The first thing I should say is that the internet didn’t lie to me! Pretty early on, I had to look up what Jokers and Aces were, and later on I had a little trouble visualising Tachyon (who comes from Tarkis, the same planet where – I think – the Wild Card virus originated), but other than that, I didn’t really have any problems following the story, or getting into the world. And, to be honest, I think if I’d given myself a bit more time with that first point, I probably would’ve been able to figure it out for myself… I just don’t like being confused. 😉
As for the story, I really enjoyed it. Murder mysteries (or sci-fi!) aren’t my usual fare, and the book had quite a lot of graphic violence, but I found myself really invested in the plot and the characters (Yeoman in particular). And I really, really loved the setting. I will definitely be checking out more of this series! (But I’ll probably start from the beginning this time. 😛 )
[Find out more about the Library Scavenger Hunt by following this link!]