I'm not talking about those impressions that start to form after you've read five pages of a book (or even just the first page). I'm talking about a book that you see on the shelf (or in my case, one that turns up on the doorstep) that you know nothing about about at all. In those first few seconds all you see is the cover and the blurb, maybe a quote if you're lucky. You can't get a lot more 'first impressions' than that :o)
That's what happened to me, yesterday, when a copy of Montero's 'Tears in rain' arrived. To be fair, I'd asked for a copy (having skimmed the blurb in an email about something else entirely) but I'd forgotten about it until the book turned up. And there's something a little more real about having a book in your hands that really concentrates the mind and gets you thinking about what you're holding.
So, you're going to get exactly what I got. The cover, the blurb and a little quote. I'll give you my first impressions and I'd be interested to see what yours are. The plan is then for me to read it and see just how much (if at all) my impressions change. Here goes,
When a growing number of replicants die suspiciously before their ten year expiration dates, detective Bruna Husky answers the call to investigate. Built for grueling jobs and given false memories to help them interact with humans, replicants have long been engaged in a bitter struggle over the rules that govern their existence. Probing this minefield of of political and moral intrigue, Bruna - a combat replicant - soon realizes she can no longer tell her allies from her enemies. Yet she must somehow survive the most terrifying fight of her life and stop an insidious plot that could rewrite history itself.
So far so 'Bladerunner' (they're even using the word 'replicant') but what had me intrigued was the promise of the examination of 'replicant rights', something I haven't come across much in my reading (apart from Joel Shepherd's 'Cassandra Kresnov' books, I really don't read enough sci-fi). This has actually got me more interested, in reading the book, than the promise of the 'insidious plot'.
'It was called Blade Runner. It was a strange, well meaning film as far as the reps were concerned, although Bruna found it somewhat irritating. The androids bore little resemblance to real ones... Even so, there was something profoundly moving about the film.'
What do you do when you've clearly been inspired by some classic sci-fi but also want to make it clear that you're doing your own thing? You tell everyone right there on the page, it's a risky step to take (could be interpreted in other ways) but fair play to Montero for coming out and saying it. At least, that's how I read it.
Those were my first impressions then, what were yours? Like I said, I'll be reading 'Tears in Rain' (there's a little time before the publication date) and I'm interested to see how I feel afterwards.