In a prosperous yet gruesomely violent near future, superhero vigilantes battle thugs whose heads are full of supervillain fantasies. The peace is kept by a team of smooth, well-dressed negotiators called The Men in Fancy Suits. Meanwhile a young girl is caught in the middle and thinks the whole thing is ridiculous.
Zoey, a recent college graduate with a worthless degree, makes a reluctant trip into the city after hearing that her estranged con artist father died in a mysterious yet spectacular way. There she finds that her scumbag dad had actually, in the final years of his life, put his amazing talent for hustling to good use: He was one of the founding members of the Fancy Suits and died in the course of his duties. Zoey is quickly entangled in the city's surreal mob war when she is taken hostage by a particularly crazy villain who imagines himself to be a Dr. Doom-level mastermind. The villain is demanding information about Zoe's father when she is rescued by The Fancy Suits. She reluctantly joins their cause and helps finish what her old man started, tapping in to her innate talent for bullshit that she inherited from her hated father. And along the way, she might just have to learn how to trust people again.
©2015 David Wong (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
OK, so, maybe not his best, but definitely his most well written. The style progression and maturation between John Dies and Fancy Suits is... impressive. I am a huge fan of his first two genre bending books, so much so that I purchased this without reading a thing about it or pausing before I hit complete order. I expected more of the same. To a certain extent, we got a ‘Wongian” take on the world. Just a much clearer version of it.
Instead of shocking plot twists and insanity, we got a toned down version with more inherent substance. In fact, Wong even took a successful stab at satire and general social commentary. It’s unsurprising, given his origins, which satirical pathway he took... but nonetheless it was well executed.
I can always tell if I love a book based on how quickly I finish it. I am limited, lots of times, to listening on the drive to and from work, but I do so at 3x speed. I was done this listen in just a few days. Completely engrossing and entertaining from start to finish. Fantastic narration as well.
What struck me the most, actually, was how believable the whole scenario actually was (well, other than the super futuristic violence, but who knows). But the backdrop, the societal progression... yep, I could see it in 20 or 30 years, if not sooner.
Great listen, highest marks, well worth a credit and your time.
I have read several books by David Wong before, and so I was very excited to start this one. A few minutes in, it was clear that it was in his usual style, that slightly vulgar, but still hysterical style that he wrote John Dies in the End, etc.
The story is in a futuristic place, where cars drive themselves and cell phones project holograms of the callers, but it’s still familiar enough that the characters can hit the Wendy’s drive-thru for some chili or botch an at-home hair dying job. Wong does a great job striking the perfect balance of the two. There are so many twists and turns, so hold on to the seat of your voice controlled car, and enjoy the ride.
Whether or not you’ve read any other books by David Wong before, this one will not disappoint, it’s a great book and a ton of fun to listen to.
On Audible since the late 1990s, mostly science fiction, fantasy, history & science. I rarely review 1-2 star books that I can't get through
I had avoided David Wong books under the impression that they were mostly horror, but picked this one up on a whim - I am really glad I did. This was an excellent near-future thriller that felt like a comic book movie, one that was not afraid of some (lightweight) satirical social commentary, but is mostly about slick gangsters, super villains, McGuffins, and excellently written dialogue. It is also surprisingly funny, to the degree that I actually laughed out loud a couple of times.
Holding it together is the amazing reading of Christy Romano, who does character voices on par with the best readings I have heard on Audible, and brings even the most cartoonish of the characters to life. This important because, while the central figures in the story are well-rounded and interesting, many of the characters are a bit light on motivation, existing mostly as foils for jokes or action. There is also occasionally some dissonance in the contrasts between the (occasionally horrific) violence described in the book and the frequent use of humor in the face of disturbing scenes.
These are relatively minor flaws, since the book is at its best when considered as a comic book in novel form - I really enjoyed it.
Not spoiling anything but she continually goes from being semi-intelligent and interesting to being the dumbest fucking idiot around. I love the author, and his other books but dear god I really started rooting for the bad guys to kill her. The story overall is good because David Wong is a great writer. Maybe it's the sign of a good writer that you can get enraged and the sheer stupidity of his characters, or maybe it's that she does things no sane person would.
story: grabbed me by the lip and proceeded to reel me in, by the time the hook was in deep enough I was dragged through a extremely boring middle, and a deus ex machina ending.
Wong did have a few really awesome concepts and an amazing voice for the script, but it just wasn't enough to hold up the narrative.
narrator: I enjoyed her voice for awhile, but soon I began to dread her interpretation of character's. voices as she read. i felt that most villains in her mind were annoying nerds with a mean streak instead of menacing psychopaths, and the Big Bad's voice was the apex of annoying.
Her pronunciation was on point though, and her diction left nothing to want otherwise.
True to David Wong's quirky, fast-paced, oddball, edge-of-bad-taste, addictive writing style, this book was a fun romp of a tale. It wasn't quite as good as John Dies at the End, but it was well worth a listen. Chubby 22 year old barista Zoey is snatched out of her plebian trailer-park existence and away from her 38 year old stripper mother, and thrust into a high-stakes adventure to determine the estate of her suddenly-departed very rich celebrity father. Everybody wants her as she is apparently the key to her father's wealth and to the secret behind robotic body modifications that give normal people super-abilities. Zoey had nothing but disdain for her father and his ill-gotten millions, and wants nothing more than to escape the madness - but no one is allowing her to walk away. Who does she trust and how will she worm her way out of this mess?
The plot is convoluted, twisty, violent, flashy, absurd, and moves along at breakneck speed. You barely have time to question the craziness of the plot and you just try to hang on and appreciate the humorous moments. Zoey, of course, has deeper reserves of survival instinct and intelligence than she knew she had, and in the end, manages to wrestle control of the situation.
The book is really violent and often the characters act in bad taste, but Zoey is a decently feminist lead character and manages to call out the (good and) bad guys on their failings and small-mindedness, and you find yourself liking her more and more as the book continues.
Christy Romano's audio narration is snappy and well-suited to this book. It helped me enjoy the story and kept me listening when I would have put a print copy of this book down.
When I found out this wasn't a continuation of the David and John saga, I was slightly disappointed. This disappointment turned out to be unjustified. David Wong is great at weaving ridiculousness and humor throughout his stories. I would like to formally apologize for doubting him. The story was good, full of heartfelt moments, serious introspection into human nature, and Wong's trademark hilarity. The narrator did a great job of giving each character not just a voice, but a cadence and speech pattern that perfectly matched their personalities. Overall, it was a great experience that will make David Wong fans feel at home as well as appealing to fans of sci-fi and crime dramas. I highly recommend this title.
David Wong is the only author that I trust to write a book that I don't even have to read a review for. Zoe is a great character and you really get engaged in the supporting cast as well. You feel for everybody. You hate who needs to be hated, and you like who needs to be liked.
The narrator, just like the other two narrators in David Wong's other books, does an awesome job portraying each character voice, emotion, and point of view. A good book can really be ruined by a bad narrator. I cannot recommend this story enough. It's got just the right amount of dick humor to keep someone like me interested. I also want to see which other books this narrator has read on audio books. Bravo, Wong.
The start was strong, but it was ruined by a main-character that was a complete idiot 90% of the time and Sherlock Homes about 10% of the time. Who gets rid of all of their security when you have every mafia in 100 miles trying to kill you? The "dumb" gets worse as time goes on.
Latter on we meet the main villain of the story... a college-frat-dudebro MRA-strawman, that, for no discernible reason attracts a suicidally loyal following while espousing an extremely selfish ideology. How does that even work?
It would require a full re-write of the core protagonist and antagonist to be more believable.
Most of the voice acting was acceptable, but the main villain was like nails on a chalkboard for me.
Protagonist and antagonist... both.
The "Suits" were good characters. They appear to be shallow stereotypes at first (Hot Asian hacker chick, cowboy alcoholic, angry business man, etc) but they do develop in some suppressing and interesting ways.
sci-fi lover. not a prepper but i dig end of the world stories. I'm a black smith and foundry man by trade. & Zombies Zombies Zombies.
its like there is a good book there but the plot got gum stuck in its hair.
when they had to cut the gum out it made a mess of the good old plot so
then they tried to add some filler to make it better again but now its just stupid looking.
or maybe the plot is like trying to paint a house and running out of paint. but just continuing anyway with a similar but different color and this happens 3 times so the house is painted but it looks like you just don't give a shit.
my WTF flag went up like 8 times.
still it wasn't all bad.
" Bravo wong."
This was a great story for me. I was initially upset to find out that it was not the third book in the David and John stories. However here he has created a great new world populated by interesting characters. The humour remains sharp if a little childish, but if you like wongs work as an author and writer for cracked that's what you will enjoy. The narration on the whole was enjoyable, but at times a little inconsistent. despite this I would like to hear more books read by Romano. In short I now have two book series' to look forward to from Wong.
"great world and characters but exhausting villan"
really enjoyed this book the world it depicted was realistic yet fantastical and we'll research and the narration went a long way to help make the characters feel real the only downside is we spend to a bit too much time with the antagonist after a while he gets monotonous
This is overall pretty fricking good. Expertly read, with good character voices. Bring it on David wong
"Not as good as JDITE or TBIMOS but fun nonetheless"
Not as good as JDITE or TBIMOS but fun nonetheless. Good performance with consistent voices.
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