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5.0 out of 5 stars Generation E
People have been taking pills and seeing God for years, but in ‘Afterparty’ Daryl Gregory is taking the idea of smart drugs one step further. What happens if after a particularly bad trip you have an omnipresent God with you? Is this a sense of wellbeing, or are you now just schizophrenic? In the near future people take drugs not only for their cures, but...
Published 6 months ago by Sam Tyler

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing after a cracking opening
To be honest this is a difficult book to review as whilst some of the subject matter delves into mental instability alongside drug use, the original opening which wound me in, seemed to have sadly died for the second part of the book and left me feeling that after such an usual opening that I was let down.

I did like the way that the author brings an unlikely...
Published 8 months ago by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog


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5.0 out of 5 stars Generation E, 4 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Afterparty (Paperback)
People have been taking pills and seeing God for years, but in ‘Afterparty’ Daryl Gregory is taking the idea of smart drugs one step further. What happens if after a particularly bad trip you have an omnipresent God with you? Is this a sense of wellbeing, or are you now just schizophrenic? In the near future people take drugs not only for their cures, but also their side effects and seeing deities may be the worst side effect of all.

After spending much of the past 10 years in an asylum, Lyda Rose is ready to get out. Her personal physician Dr Gloria suggests it’s about time, but no one else seemed to agree with Gloria (or be able to see her). Someone is starting to manufacture a drug that Lyda helped to invent, a drug that lets you feel God’s presence. All well and good, but what happens if you run out? The only other quick way to find God may be to kill yourself. Lyda is in a race against time to get the new Smart Drug off the streets and work out whom of her ex-colleagues is behind the outbreak.

‘Afterparty’ is the type of smart science fiction that I love, set in a twisted near future that makes changes to how we currently live, but remains believable. Gregory has a Douglas Coupland perspective on the future, filling ‘Afterparty’ with the overgrown children that have come to define ‘Generation X’. Our heroine is not the nicest person, but she is flawed in a believable way. Lyda manipulates those around her to get what she wants and we the reader are not even sure if her goal is a positive one. Shouldn’t the word of God be spread?

There is a very interesting core to ‘Afterparty’ that explores what faith is and whether it is a good or bad thing. Is an unwavering belief in a higher being inherently positive? You may be compelled to be more moral as you fear for your soul, but what if this sense of realisation is all created by a drug? The realisation itself is false, but if you consider it to be the truth, what is the harm? Lyda sees her own angel and chooses continually reminds herself that it is imaginary, but others believe their Gods to be real.

If the interesting concepts in ‘Afterparty’ are not your thing, the book may still have something for you. It is also an action adventure and crime thriller. Lyda is on the hunt for the manufacturer of this new God pill and she is not the only one. Her journey will take her on a road trip from Canada to the USA meeting more than one unsavoury character on the way. There are shoot outs and tense chases that balance well against the more cerebral science fiction concepts.

Gregory should also be praised for creating a vibrant and viable future. Smart Drugs have become the norm, illegal in most cases, but rife on the streets. This is 15 or so years in the future so you can see our present in the text, but small touches and asides really flesh out the year 2031. Genetically engineered miniature cattle for home farms, pens that are also smart computers etc. are seamlessly weaved into the narrative to give added flavour to proceedings.

However, it is perhaps Gregory’s despondent and cynical tone that made ‘Afterparty’ stand out most. It would appear that the author does not have that much faith in people and if the masses were given access to heaven, they would only mess it up. This is a book that explores interesting concepts, but never forgets to excite or entertain. A darkly comic creation that questions why we are here and should we really care?
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing after a cracking opening, 1 Sept. 2014
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Afterparty (Paperback)
To be honest this is a difficult book to review as whilst some of the subject matter delves into mental instability alongside drug use, the original opening which wound me in, seemed to have sadly died for the second part of the book and left me feeling that after such an usual opening that I was let down.

I did like the way that the author brings an unlikely hero to follow, she has a lot of her own problems and when she has to delve into what she not only helped to develop but facing her own demons did keep it interesting. Add to this a few quirky twists, a surprise or two along the way and all round it was an OK book, but had it stuck with the type of telling that the book opened with I’d have been way happier.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 July 2014
This review is from: Afterparty (Hardcover)
gritty and inventive with a clever twist that kept me reading.
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