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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 5 November 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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] [1982] 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.
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