Afterparty by Daryl Gregory
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My expectations for this one did not match the depth of the thriller it became. :) What was I expecting? Biopunk social ramifications for new designer drugs a bit more designed than what we're used to. Maybe a little tragedy, more interesting developments in a thriller-ish drug-company evil mastermind kind of way.
But what I got was a good tale of redemption, working through the crazy, drug addiction, and responsibility. It's filled to the brim with great flawed characters across the board and a rather special LGBT relationship that pulled on my heartstrings.
But what really got me was the implications of this particular drug. It stimulates the emotion of the numinous. More than any other kind of drug, it threatens to replace churches for the feeling it produces.
The novel could have gone the way of PKD's Ubik for this but it didn't. It stayed a thriller and let the ramifications seep in while our MC tried to put a STOP to the manufacturer. Going off the drug is like losing your God. Existential loss. Meaninglessness. You might think you're prepared, but once you KNOW and then you get it taken away... that's when the suicides... or worse... start happening.
Honestly, I didn't realize this would be so good. :) Maybe I should just start trusting that Daryl Gregory knows what he's doing and just go ahead and read everything he's ever written in blind trust. This is my fourth and I should have learned that by now. :)
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