Saturday, April 2, 2011

Review Zoo City by Lauren Beukes


Zoo City is one of the most unique Urban Fantasy novels I've read in a long time. When I requested this from ANGRY ROBOT BOOKS it was based solely on the description. I was surprised when I got the promotional materials to realise the cast of the book was predominately African American. I always enjoy diversity  and was  really glad to see it in this book.

Zinzi is a character that evokes a number of feelings. A former drug addict who has burned the bridges with her family Zinzi makes a living as a Finder : a magical talent that lets her find lost things: rings, papers even people except she refuses to use her gift that way. The shadow side of Zinzi is the 419 scams she runs to pay off her debts. These are elaborate e-comm scams: refugees with millions of dollars tied up who just need a little capital from some helpful sponsors. To Zinzi these scams are a necessity. She is able to detach her emotions so much to the point where she can make a "live" appearance to a few marks, cinching the payday for her boss and removing a minimal amount of interest off her debt.

In desperate straights after her latest client ends up murdered Zinzi takes on the one job she never thought she would : find a missing person. This job will take her to dark and difficult places and an uncertain future.

There are so many wonderful concepts in this book especially the animal familiars? manifestation of sin? Zinzi lives in a very harsh world especially since those with animal companions are forced to live apart from others.

I really couldn't get a true feel for Zinzi until midway through the novel  As her past is revealed more and she finds a betrayal she least expected it,she shows a fragility and strength beneath her tough exterior.

Some of the concepts in the book were hard to follow but overall a really entertaining read.

Thanks to angry robot books for a copy of this book for review


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