5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good blade runner-esque detective story
As you may get from the name, this book is heavily inspired by Blade Runner, with the book tipping a nod to it with the main character being an android (or replicant) with a built in short term lifespan of about 8 years. The replicants are created to do the jobs that none of the real humans want to, and as such have to earn their freedom over the first couple of years of...
Published 21 months ago by Russell G. Pottinger
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "I'm not my memory. Which, moreover, I know is fake. I am my actions and my days. "
With "Tears In Rain " Spanish writer Rosa Montero has cheekily taken a line from seminal movie Blade Runner: The Final Cut (2-Disc Special Edition) [DVD]  and used the central theme of the film -the idea of artificial humanoids with a limited lifespan -and written her own novel around it while at the same time acknowledging the existence of the film in the...
Published 22 months ago by russell clarke
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "I'm not my memory. Which, moreover, I know is fake. I am my actions and my days. ",
With "Tears In Rain " Spanish writer Rosa Montero has cheekily taken a line from seminal movie Blade Runner: The Final Cut (2-Disc Special Edition) [DVD]  and used the central theme of the film -the idea of artificial humanoids with a limited lifespan -and written her own novel around it while at the same time acknowledging the existence of the film in the narrative.
Tears in Rain is set in Madrid in 2109 and centres entirely on a 'replicant', Bruna Husky, a "combat rep" who is now working as a private detective. Bruna is hired by the head of a political organization, the Radical Replicant Movement when replicants start going berserk attacking other reps before gouging out their own eyes.
So what we have here is essentially a detective story as Bruna attempts to get to the bottom of what looks like a conspiracy while also trying to infiltrate the Human Supremacist Party, who would seem an obvious group to be behind all this. At the same time she has to evade the attentions of the police ,encounter weird aliens , control her proclivity for getting extremely drunk and continually count down the days to her eventual and inevitable termination date-"Four years, three months, and twenty-nine days" .
There is plenty to admire about Tears In Rain . The science fiction aspect is solidly constructed with the notes of an indignant archivist providing a potted history of earth ( plenty of wars & disaster surprise surprise) and its colonisation of outer space and the more existential aspects of memory and a fixed termination date are handled subtly and often profoundly. Less successful are the mechanics of the replicant investigation. She just seems to blunder from one situation to the next and what confrontations there are aren't adequate to build or maintain suspense. Ultimately it just takes Bruna too long to work it all out.
It seems to me that the wealth of ideas that the author wanted to cram into this novel got in the way of the plot . Nothing wrong with ideas of course, especially in a science fiction novel but the plethora of stuff in here could have done with some judicious editing while fixating more on plot development.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly Disappointing,
Apparently inspired by Blade Runner: The Final Cut (2-Disc Special Edition) [DVD]  or so the blurb tells us, you may be expecting something quite gripping. Of course I had no expectation of it being as good as the film, or the book that that was adapted from Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? (Gollancz), but I was hoping that this would still be a good read.
We have Bruna, a replicant first being attacked by a replicant neighbour, and then we find that replicants are attacking each other in other situations. When Bruna, who is herself a private detective is brought into investigate though, things look rather complex. Taking in aliens, dealing with a police officer, and gathering information, at times Bruna doesn't know who she can trust anymore. Whilst at the same time her friend has to deal with history being re-written to a degree.
You would think then that this story would be a good little read, but alas; instead this reads as just an average thriller, with its conspiracy and usual array of characters. As such ultimately that is all this is, a standard techno-thriller with a sci-fi touch, garnering people's attention by its 'Blade Runner' inspiration. There are some good pieces here I will admit, but a lot of it is just bland, and you are not drawn in or really get a feeling of caring about the characters as such. If you are looking for a book that doesn't take much engagement and that will just pass some time, then this is okay - otherwise don't really bother.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good blade runner-esque detective story,
As you may get from the name, this book is heavily inspired by Blade Runner, with the book tipping a nod to it with the main character being an android (or replicant) with a built in short term lifespan of about 8 years. The replicants are created to do the jobs that none of the real humans want to, and as such have to earn their freedom over the first couple of years of their life. I should have mentioned that this is set about 100 years in the future in a world that has been altered in numerous ways (religion, climate change, technology, etc) but the one constant is us, and the lovely way we deal with people different than us.
Our main character is a PI, a classic gumshoe trying to figure out what is going on with a few high profile replicant deaths/murders and an upsurge in anti-android feelings in the press and public. Bruna is a very angry person, angry at the shortness of her life, at the injustices of the world, and she lets it out quite a lot - making her almost seem petulant and immature at times, which fits very well considering she knows she is only a few years old, the classic flawed lead.
The only negative I would have about this book is that I felt to was a little to long for the story, and could have easily lost 100 pages and that would have helped a little with the pacing which sagged in the middle a bit. Overall a very enjoyable read that I found myself staying up to 3am to finish.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable,
I liked it.
Was it great ? No, but it was readable.
Inspired by Bladerunner this is set in a dystopian world.
Dystopian is very trendy at the moment and i think this book does a good job of holding up the genre.
Bruna Husky is the typical hard boiled detective. She drinks to excess, regrets her past mistakes, and seems continually down on her luck. As a replicant, Husky feels isolated, and rejected. Created for a purpose, her term of service is at an end, now among humans who almost universally deny her right to live.
When Bruna Husky is attacked by a fellow replicant (or rep), who ultimately dies from self inflicted wounds, she begins to ask questions, catching the eye of the Radical Replicant Movement (RRM). Husky, a former combat rep now working as a private detective, is quickly hired to discover why reps are dying all over Madrid. As the plot unravels, Tears in Rain becomes a classic whodunit with far reaching implications that go far beyond the simple crime of murder.
One of the most engrossing elements of Tears in Rain is the detailed history of the world. Every few chapters, Montero treats the reader to passages of historical information that provide satisfying detail about how a world full of replicant servants came to be. Midway through the 21st century, the exploration of Mars and Saturn led to the development of androids who could be forced to mine colonies. Replicants used in this way became a success and were eventually repurposed for jobs on Earth, such as deep-sea-fish farming. Over time, some of the reps rose against their owners and started what became the Rep War. Montero fills the book with details of the treaties, laws, and wars that have shaped the world. We also learn many of the ways in which the biology of the replicants has been manipulated. At the center of these events are the totalitarian corporations and governments that put a stranglehold on citizens.
In my opinion it was worth the 6 hours i spent reading it..
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing ideas but flawed execution,
The idea of developing a core theme of Blade Runner - artificial humans with a limited life span, created to do the dirty jobs that futuristic people would rather avoid - is an intriguing one. The central character is such a replicant; she's a combat model, built and trained to kill, and then demobbed after her term of service to scrabble a living in an uninterested, sometimes hostile civilian world. Until her short lifespan expires, of course.
This gripped me for the first part of `Tears in Rain', and I was delighted that the author chose not to build her future history around the Blade Runner universe, but instead just borrow a couple of concepts from it and tip the hat in that direction. So there's no concern about polluting either Philip K Dick's or Ridley Scott's realities: this book is a totally separate creation, with a convincing world-view of its own. There are breakaway human colonies in space; memory implants; alien civilisations, and a neat idea about FTL travel - frequently explained in the style of a Wiki-archive, which I really enjoyed.
However... where it all fell over somewhat was with the actual story, an investigation into mysterious replicant deaths amid rising human / replicant tensions. It plodded it several places, and there are a couple of sections of the world's worst exposition, where main characters suddenly deconstruct their entire lives to explain otherwise baffling behaviour. Clumsy.
Worse than that was the way the interesting aspects of the female investigator were wasted. She starts out as an alcoholic, shaven-headed, tattooed and angry kick-ass combat rep, ready for action and indomitable, if angst-laden. In no time she turns into a whining hapless girly, dependent upon big strong men to save her and solve the mystery. Really, so 19th century...
Perhaps the translation hampered the pace of the tale. It's a pity, because all the promise of the premise and the opening chapters disappears by the midway, and I kinda ambled to the end, having lost a lot of interest.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice idea, poorly executed.,
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This review is from: Tears in Rain (Kindle Edition)
I don't know whether something was lost in translation, but Tears In Rain just doesn't flow or show any of the evocative prose of great cyber punk or noir fiction. That's a real shame, because the premise is great.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't work for me,
This Spanish novel is set in a world inspired by Blade Runner hence the title quoting Roy Batty the lead replicant. In this future replicants live alongside humans as less than equals. When they start dying inexplicably a retired combat replicant now working as a private eye is employed to find out why. I struggled with this novel and it never really caught my imagination, maybe because of the author's somewhat weighty style. I have read a lot of books translated from the originals but I found this one hard going. My review copy still had the editor's crossings out printed in and a lot of it was about cutting unnecessary text. Not for me and probably not the casual reader.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Futuristic Detective Story,
The aim of the Amazon Crossing programme is to identify foreign language books of a sufficiently high standard to warrant translating them into English. I have read a number of books from this imprint and they have generally been of a good standard. Tears In The Rain certainly justifies it's place in the programme as it is really very good indeed.
Set in a futuristic Madrid, about a hundred years hence, the main character is Bruno Husky, a technohuman or rep which is short for replicant. Reps are manufactured beings designed for various purposes, Bruno being a combat rep. Having worked for a pre-set period for her creators, Bruno is now working as a private detective. When one of her neighbours, another rep, goes berserk in her flat she quickly becomes embroiled in the machinations of a far reaching conspiracy the purpose of which seems to be to create antagonism between humans and reps.
Bruno is an interesting character who thinks in a very human way. The short life span of reps dominates her existence - they are invariably struck down by a fatal tumour known as TTT, ten years after they have been manufactured. She obsessively counts down the days in anticipation of when her ten years is up....Four Years, Three Months, Twenty Three days etc. However, as a detective she is thoughtful, persevering and resourceful and relentlessly attempts to discover what is going on.
Futuristic books, more than most others, tend to be highly individualistic and the result of the author's imagination. However, clearly there are other works which have influenced this book, most obviously the film, Blade Runner (Remastered Directors Cut). One scene near the end could also have been lifted straight from the film Soylent Green. This does not detract from a book which is interesting, absorbing and highly engaging and which becomes something of a page turner towards the end. I suspect that Tears In The Rain is a one off which is a shame as I for one, would like to read more of Bruno.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing sci-fi thriller that's unashamedly inspired by 'Blade Runner' (1982),
First published in Spanish in June of 2011, Spanish author Rosa Montero's novel 'Lágrimas en la lluvia' was later translated into English by Lilit Zekulin Thwaites and published under the title of 'Tears In Rain' in November of 2012.
It's January 2109 in Madrid and times had been getting tough for Private Detective Bruna Husky. Work had been getting harder to find, and her financial situation was worsening by the day. Being a replicant (otherwise known as technohuman) Bruna was painfully aware that she had just a lifespan of ten years before Total Techno Tumour ('TTT') set in and extinguished her life. And since her lover Merlin had gone, her limited lifespan so far had been far from a joyful existence. But life is still life - and it should be cherished.
However, Bruna's fleeting mortality is brought to the forefront of her mind all of a sudden when her replicant neighbour, Cata Cain, bursts into her apartment and proceeds to try to murder her before gouging out her own eye. Bruna tries her best to save the techno's life, but with no idea of the woman's insurance details, or if indeed she has any insurance, her chances at surviving the self-mutilation were minimal at best. And sure enough, it's not long before the replicant's life expires.
Shocked by the traumatic sequence of events that she just witnessed, Bruna uses her private detective contacts to investigate what made her neighbour do such a thing. A trail that leads her to find that the replicant had an illegal memory chip inserted into her brain. A chip that could well have been the cause of the severe change in personality for the techno woman.
However, the situation becomes a lot more worrying when, just three days later, a further replicant goes on a killing rampage aboard a busy sky-tram, killing two innocent technos with a knife before taking his life by stabbing the blade into his own eye. The similarities are too coincidental to be ignored.
And then, from out of the blue, Bruna is asked to meet with the leader of the Radical Replicant Movement ('RRM'), Myriam Chi, to help her uncover who is responsible for a series of increasingly disturbing death threats. However, not long after their meeting together, Chi goes on a violent rampage, gouging out a techno woman's eye before throwing herself onto the tracks in front of an approaching train.
Now the private detective finds herself in the thick of a chaotic series of events. The once combat techno is now employed to not only investigate the murder of the RRM leader but also the other recent replicant murders. Bruna is able to put all her time, energy and detective skills towards uncovering the truth behind the recent murders. And in finding out that four similar replicant homicides took place prior to her neighbour's psychotic death, Bruna knows that there's some link that must tie them all together.
However hostility is growing between humans and technos because of the sudden violent behaviour exhibited by these replicants,. The reasonably peaceful co-existence is now wearing thin. A situation that, Hericio, the leader of the Human Supremacist Party ('HSP') is all too happy to turn to his favour.
The streets of Madrid, and indeed across the entire United States of Earth, are becoming increasingly hostile for replicants. Something sinister is behind this recent action against the technohumans. Something that wants to see the techno's made responsible for everything that is going on. And it's a conspiracy that could ultimately mean the end for the entire replicant race.
Time is running out for Bruna to uncover the real truth behind what is going on. But in a world where memories can be bought, sold, fabricated and erased; nothing can be trusted - not even your own mind...
Okay, so Spanish author Rosa Montero is obviously a big fan of Ridley Scott's cult science-fiction film 'Blade Runner' (1982). Indeed, Montero confesses as much in the book's blurb. And the novel contains so many references and obviously inspired similarities to the film that at times it feels almost like an unauthorised sequel rather than a standalone novel. A situation not entirely helped by the novel's title `Tears In Rain' having been taken from a particularly dramatic quote within the film - "All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die."
Having originally been written in Spanish, you often expect the writing to be a bit clumsy and limited following the translation. Although the translators are more often than not very fluent in their dual languages, it's nevertheless incredibly difficult to capture the same use of word or find something that feels as comfortable and descriptive in its place. However, here it feels that the novel has been translated as near to perfectly as is probably possible.
The writing in sharp, immediate and suggestive, often with a thoughtfully descriptive choice of wording painting a vivid picture of the dystopian future. And it's with these intricately thought out details of the science-fiction setting where the novel really excels. Montero has masterfully created a near-believable picture of her futuristic Madrid, clearly inspired from the 'Blade Runner' (1982) blueprint, but nevertheless explored to further, more involved and ingeniously detailed degrees.
There's a great deal of social commentary shoehorned into the text. It's not preaching or overtly in-the-reader's-face, however, it's still far from subtle in its brashness. But it gets away with it, because of the setting it's been established within. And the messages are of a wholly justifiable nature, which slots nicely into sync with the characters of Bruna Husky (our principal protagonist) and Yiannis Liberopoulos (Bruna's closest friend).
Montero's carefully calculated construction of the novel is admirable in its thoughtful planning. The end result is a tight and well-paced tale, which successfully maintains a constant momentum. The inclusion of more detailed text which the archivist, Yiannis Liberopoulos's, is editing as the novel progresses, brings in important details on the futuristic society that, piece-by-piece, become important to the unfolding storyline.
Indeed, one of the most noticeable achievements of the novel is how everything seems to slot into place so perfectly. Each individual piece in the novel has some relevance and part to play in the larger picture of the tale. Montero has a reason for everything. A clear plan from the outset, that gradual pulls the hundreds of pieces together to produce this elaborate plot of a global conspiracy. It's a sci-fi thriller mixed with a hefty chunk of intriguing mystery. And the combination works incredibly well here.
That said, the novel does have one particularly glaring downfall - the characterisation. Sadly, perhaps partly as a symptom of the futuristic premise, the characterisation is noticeably weak. Bruna herself is reasonably well fleshed out (even if she is a replicant), but other than this principal character, the rest of the characters feel more like cardboard-cut-out pawns; incorporated solely to play out their roles in the tale. The secondary characters of Inspector Paul Lizard (a purposefully confusing love interest) and Pablo Nopal (an eccentric memmorist creator) are nothing more than token gestures in adding some life into the tale. Their roles in the plot are what establish them entirely, and they have absolutely no degree of characterisation that has any lasting impression on the reader. And this unfortunately impacts the enjoyment of the novel dramatically.
Nevertheless, the tale is still a worthy read. It has an unbelievable depth to the numerous intricacies surrounding the futuristic society. Indeed, much of the interest and enjoyment that can be had from the tale is in the level of inspired thought that has gone in to the wealth of science-fiction ideas exhibited on almost every page. And the storyline itself is delightfully complex and engaging, with its elaborate levels, subplots and unpredictable twists and turns keeping the reader reading on. And so it's definitely still worth a read. But without any strong characterisation, the novel was always going to struggle to make any substantial impact.
The tale runs for a total of 450 pages.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine Post-Cyberpunk Novel from Spanish Author Rosa Montero,
"Tears in Rain" is a superb addition to contemporary science fiction literature from Spanish author Rosa Montero. It is a fast-paced blend of post-cyberpunk fiction and psychological thriller, drawing upon Ridley Scott's film "Blade Runner", which, in turn, was inspired by Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep". However, to Montero's credit, hers is not a mere fictional derivate of either Scott's great film or Dick's acclaimed science fiction novel. Instead, she offers readers a credible, realistic, vision of a unified Earth in the aftermath of adverse global warming that will remind many of Paolo Bacigalupi's "The Wind-Up Girl" in its gritty realism and substantial attention to detail that is far better than almost anything I have read from contemporary American mainstream writers who have opted to delve into dystopian speculative fiction recently. (Notable exceptions to this trend include such great works as Rick Moody's "The Four Fingers of Death" and Gary Shteyngart's "Super Sad True Love Story".) Montero's protagonist Bruna Husky should remind those familiar with cyberpunk and post-cyberpunk science fiction of William Gibson's Molly in his "Sprawl" series of short stories and novels, culminating with his "Cyberspace" trilogy ("Neuromancer", "Count Zero", "Mona Lisa Overdrive"). While this is a great post-cyberpunk thriller in its own right, "Tears in Rain" also works as an elegant condemnation of ethnic and religious discrimination by a majority against minorities within its population, in her sympathetic portrayal of Husky and her fellow replicants - frequently referred to as technohumans and as androids in Montero's novel - and of alien outcasts like the Omaa flutist Maio. Montero's novel can be seen as a subtle indictment of ongoing European mistreatment of its minorities like Basques in Spain and recent emigrant Muslim populations in France and Germany that should resonate with American readers familiar with our own sordid history of mistreatment towards Afro-Americans, Asian-Americans and others. Montero's novel is replete with compelling, if flawed, characters like private detective Bruna Husky, police detective Paul Lizard and archivist Yiannis Liberopoulos. This is an important work of contemporary speculative fiction deserving of its excellent English translation by its Australian translator Lilit Zekulin Thwaites and its publication by Amazon.
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Tears in Rain by Rosa Montero