Crosstalk by Connie Willis
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I hated this book.
I shouldn't be so harsh, but it's true. This is a great idea by a great author that would make a great short story - people getting implants of a sort to forge a more significant bond with their loved one, and the bond goes a little wrong. The idea has intrigue, corporate malfeasance, societal questions, and all sorts of goodies.
It also has about 400 pages of extra fluff that add little to the story and pull us away from the best parts.
The flaw in this book is that this is a tight tale with a lot of positives going for it, but the middle drags so much. It's meant to flesh out the setting and the characters, but it was wholly unnecessary and ended up pulling the entire narrative into a slow, plodding mess. By the time things picked up again toward the end, it was harder and harder for me to care.
Willis is a great author because she creates rich worlds with rich characters to inhibit them. The problem here is less what's good about this story and more about the overall misfire. I would love to read this book in a shorter format, but, as it is right now, I'd argue it just needs to be avoided.
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