My Wife received a bag full of samples at a recent romance writer's conference. In it, there was a book called "Shomi." Having no idea what that was, and trying to help my Wife, I thought I'd try it and fill her in. It was supposed to be the "next big thing." So I began reading Wired. When I reached around page 30, the sample ended. I never read samples. They are a cheap marketing ploy. In this case, however, since I didn't know I was reading a sample until it cut off, I fell victim to the ploy. Yep, that's right, after a hearty "What the hell..." I ran to my computer, found the book on Amazon, and ordered with expedited delivery. I was totally hooked.
Wired is a Cyberpunk re-telling of "The End of Eternity" by Asimov. Liz Maverick does a good job with the cyberpunk genre, and the story is quite compelling, but there is a major flaw. The characters, particularly when interacting with each other, act in an almost completely unbelievable fashion. Normally, as one who does not like character driven stories, this would not be such an issue. In Wired, however, the story is clicking along, I find myself being drawn into the universe, and then the character does something completely unbelievable. For example, early in the book, after two strange guys who clearly pose a danger to her (or at least one of them does), each of these men do something such as blow on her ear or such, and she swoons with the attraction to the guy she thinks is out to kill her. Come on! A burgular breaks into your house and whispers into your ear; you (a) get hot with the prospect of sex, or (b) reach for your Glock? If you answered (b), you will not like the heroine of this book. If you answered (a), seek help.
Aside from being jarred out of the moment by unbelievable actions/thoughts of the characters, there is the occasional misused profanity. The "F-word" where the "S-word" should be, I guess because the "F-word" is more "edgy." Unfortunately, it just sounds like a 50 year old trying to be "dope to the max with his homies." Also, as a minor point, there are technological incongruities (ie. Her cordless phone is interfered with by her Wi-Fi network, when it actually works the other way round, since the phone transmitter is far more powerful than the WiFi transmitter. In reality, she would have noticed no difference on the phone, but her computers would have been knocked off the network. I don't hold this too much against her. After all, the father of cyberpunk, William Gibson, the man who coined the term "cyberspace" knows nothing about computers by his own admission.)
I had great hope for this book from the first 30 pages, and I have to admit that the story kept me going right to the end. I would probably have chosen to give this 3 stars rather than 2, if not for the fact that the characters detract from the story so much. So much potential, so little result.
I think I'll put the SHOMI line aside until it matures a bit. I would, however, still consder trying it again in the future.