Monday, December 30, 2019

REVIEW: Greenthieves (book) by Alan Dean Foster

Greenthieves is science fiction. As far as I know, it's a standalone. I bought my copy used.


Broderick Manz is an insurance adjuster who's just been assigned to a particularly tricky case. Although the security measures are thorough and should be impregnable, three shipments of expensive pharmaceuticals have somehow been stolen. While he was being given a tour of the security for a fourth pharmaceutical shipment, that was stolen as well. How had the thieves managed to nab the drugs right from under his nose, from a completely sealed and airless room? As he, his beautiful colleague Vyra, his humaniform Moses, and his AI Minder investigate, the case rapidly becomes more than just theft - whoever's doing all of this isn't above committing murder as well.

I was in the mood for a fast-paced sci-fi thriller/mystery. Unfortunately, even though that's basically what this was, it still didn't quite hit the spot. Manz didn't particularly appeal to me, Vyra was basically just there to be sexy and occasionally blow stuff up, and Moses was downright gross. I'm sure Foster intended Moses's habit of chasing, pinching, and offering to have sex with women to be funny, but the humor didn't work for me at all, and some of what Moses did crossed the line into creepy.

I suspect that the Minder's habit of breaking the fourth wall to address the reader and say everything its programming wouldn't allow it to tell Manz was also intended to be funny. I was okay with this, at first, but after a while the constant stream of insults (towards Manz, Moses, all of humanity, and even the reader) got really, really old.

The story was less a mystery and more a thriller. Lots of people being assassinated, a little bit of sneaking around and spying. The solution to how the thefts were being carried out and who was doing it should have been more exciting, and yet it just felt like another thing thrown into the plot.

All in all, not as much fun as I was hoping it would be.

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