I used to work for the Telepath’s Guild before they kicked me out for a drug habit that wasn’t entirely my fault. Now I work for the cops, helping Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino put killers behind bars.
My ability to get inside the twisted minds of suspects makes me the best interrogator in the department. But the normals keep me on a short leash. When the Tech Wars ripped the world apart, the Guild stepped up to save it. But they had to get scary to do it - real scary.
Now the cops don’t trust the telepaths, the Guild doesn’t trust me, a serial killer is stalking the city - and I’m aching for a fix. But I need to solve this case. Fast. I’ve just had a vision of the future: I’m the next to die.
©2012 Alexandra Hughes (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
The title is very accurate. It clearly identifies two of the overriding themes in the novel:
a) the struggle to overcome addiction (and all the baggage that accumulates with an addict), and
b) the difficulties faced by a recovering addict when investigating murders - given a)
The fact that is is set in an urban fantasy world - and has tech/abilities that don't exist (yet) - doesn't change the fact that this is primarily a strong detective novel with a flawed main character. The setting has changed from the traditional noir detective novel, but the story is still a noir detective novel.
There was a lot of self-absorption from the main character but that was logical since he is a recovering addict - and a moderately unwilling one at that. There was a lot of "baggage" from the past that is never explicitly defined for the reader - this baggage affected the main character's relationship with his current partner, his job, his past, and even with the bad guy, but we are not given any of the details around this. We are told only that "main character has a past, was kicked from the guild for it, and lost his fiancee because of it", and we know that every decision he makes or action he takes now stems from that past. One would think this would ruin the story, but it does not. It's the traditional noir "flawed detective" except the source of the flaw is a weird drug (rather than the usual alcohol) and the residual effects on his life revolve around his experiences in the guild and his remaining ties to it (rather than the usual military, PTSD or childhood abuse rationale).
Overall, this was a wonderful find: I like urban fantasy, I like noir, and I like flawed main characters who are fundamentally good. I will be reading the rest in the series.
The narration is very good. There is some violence but no gore, no swearing and no sex.
I would listen to clean again in the future after I have listened to the rest of the series to see what other things they have foreshadowed.
When his stash of drugs is cleared out by his sponsor, I could feel his life crashing around him.
Great voice for this character.
When he is hurt and his partner is hurt and they both feel the pain of each other...
This is a nice change from modern fantasy. This is more near future scifi.
Avid reader 5 to 10 books a month. I like urban fantasy and Sci-Fi the most. I do enjoy a bio every now and then.
This is a fun series. The main character Adam is a former drug addict now clean who works as a police consultant. He uses his telepathic abilities to solve crimes. Poor Adam is constantly stuck in the middle between 2 worlds, the normals and the Guild ( an organization for people with extraordinary abilities.) Constantly under pressure, fighting both sides and trying to make a difference makes Adams life crazy and challenging. His one bright spot is his relationship with his female detective partner. She is either relying on him or sucker punching him. One thing is for sure. Adam's life is never dull.
It's great to see a fresh take on sci-fi. Alex Hughes imaginative writing is a new genre, and creates a world that is believable and intriguing. The telepath addict, powerful and weak, creates a dimension of realism in a fantasy world. I highly recommend this book!
What I liked:
5 stars for the flawed main character. I really liked who this person was. So many fantasy/sci fi stories go into invincible superman territory. I liked that this guy was human.
What I didn't like.
Predictable story. Common. Anyone that didn't know exactly how this would end 1/4 of the way through just wasn't paying attention.
Bad editing. Oy Vey! Someone should have worked on chopping out 90% of the drug addiction angst. It got old and repetitive. I like that the character was struggling with it. Its just that there was way way way way too much of it.
Dude feeling like an outsider and feeling sorry for himself. Enough self pity already.
In preparing for this review, I skimmed some of the other reviews. I was surprised to see they are all over the board – from “I couldn’t finish it” to “OMG this is amazing!” I really enjoyed Clean the first time I read it, and I’ve read it several times since. I would have to really nitpick to find something about the book I didn’t like.
In the not-too-distant future, technology has gone horribly wrong, and its use is limited. Some of the population is gifted with telepathic powers, and these people stepped up to save the world. Now they are feared, but powerful and useful. The rich history and background of the world in Clean is perfect for my style of reading. The reader never learns everything about the past, but little bits are revealed throughout the story.
The way Hughes writes about telepathy from the telepath’s point of view is pretty neat as well. It’s fascinating to see a peek into someone brain, to see what they might be thinking or feeling. Watching the protagonist interview suspects, interpret their thoughts, and manipulate them into thinking what he needs to know is both captivating and scary.
One thing I really appreciated about Clean is how the protagonist views his partner. Cherabino is a tough detective with a haunted past, which causes her to appear pretty bitchy at times. Despite that, the protagonist never loses faith in her, never gets tired of her or fed up with her attitude. He can see into her mind, knows what’s causing her outward behavior, and yet sees her for who she really is. I think we all crave that kind of acceptance in our lives.
The protagonist does get a little whiny – he’s lost a lot and feels very put upon by the indignities of his new status. However, compared to most regular people I work with, he’s a model for stoic acceptance. :)
The narrator does a great job with Adam and Cherebino's voices. Some of the other character's voices aren't markedly different, but I didn't ever feel like I didn't know who was talking. I really did enjoy this book in audio.
Overall, like I said, I’d have to really nitpick to find something about this novel I didn’t like. I really love the characters and the world and hope we get to see more of them both in the future.
Purchased. Review courtesy of One Book Two book review blog.
even in the future there are AA meetings for addicts. here's a story of one man's struggle to come to terms with his addiction during a multiples case.
I don't like the main character in this book. He's constantly thinking about how he's guilty of things no normal person would consider in terms of guilt. He constantly says he doesn't do particular things, then he does them. He's a pathetic self-involved loser. He says he used to be an idealist, which got him kicked out of the Guild (for telepaths etc) but never explains what happened, and even if it was true, he was probably one of the narcissistic kind who are constantly annoying. But then, he's a drug addict, currently clean although not entirely by choice, so these things come together to make some sort of sense.
I don't like the cops he works with. They treat him like he's not a human being, and never give him a fair break. On the other hand, see above. And add to it that he's a telepath and as the book constantly assures us, normal people don't like and indeed fear telepaths. Plus, as a former government bureaucrat myself, I have to say that the boss cops' overriding bureaucratic concerns ring true.
I don't like his love interest. She's a physically violent bully. Even after six years, she hasn't worked her way out of the emotional depths resulting from the death of her husband. it's not clear to me what he sees in her. On the other hand, see above. He might subconsciously be looking for punishment. He pretty much gets what he deserves.
Now, having said that, I love the setting. A telepath working with the police in a future after a war which normals and telepaths won against some kind of attempted takeover by artificial intelligence mechanisms apparently allied with technocrats. The storyline is interesting.
The performance is well done.
I've given this four stars across the board. At the current $3.95, this is certainly worth trying out. (I save my fives for situations where I want to grab you by the lapels and insist you take a listen.) Four stars means I'm glad to have listened, and I'm going back for more.
I really liked this book, it was one of the first i'v read that takes technology and psychic abilities and makes a very interesting story. I love the main character and his struggle with his addiction. This book is worth the credit.
I have not read any books that I could compare this one with.
Cant say which is my favorite but Cherabino man, she is so aggravating with her bravado.
definitely, only reason why I did not read this all in one, is because i tend to read at work and I wanted to have something to listen to the rest of the week.
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