- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (March 24 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765336936
- ISBN-13: 978-0765336934
- Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2 x 23.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 295 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #291,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Afterparty Paperback – Mar 24 2015
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“Wickedly clever entertainment.” ―SF Gate (San Francisco Chronicle) on Pandemonium
“Part superhero fiction, part zombie horror story, and part supernatural thriller, this luminous and compelling tale deserves a wide readership beyond genre fans.” ―Library Journal, starred review, on Raising Stony Mayhall
“A quietly brilliant second novel. . . . A wide variety of believable characters, a well-developed sense of place and some fascinating scientific speculation will earn this understated novel an appreciative audience among fans of literary SF.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review, on The Devil's Alphabet
About the Author
Daryl Gregory was the 2009 winner of IAFA William L. Crawford Fantasy Award for his first novel Pandemonium. His second novel, The Devil's Alphabet, was nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award and was named one of the best books of 2009 by Publishers Weekly. His short fiction has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, and The Year's Best SF. He has also written comics for BOOM! Studios and IDW.
Top customer reviews
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Cons: some far fetched action
Several years ago Lyda was part of a scientific company looking for a drug to cure schizophrenia. But on the night of their success, the team was drugged, and the resultant overdose left one of them dead and the others seeing god. Now in a mental hospital for delusions, Lyda encounters a young woman who’s symptoms resemble those of the drug her team created, NME 110, numenous. In order to stop the drug from spreading in this new world where designer drugs can be printed onto paper and drug parties are de rigueur, Lyda gets herself released to hunt down the remaining members of the team and find out who’s behind it.
Be prepared to reread sections of this book in order to figure out what’s going on. The author cleverly leaves out information that forces you - when you finally realize what’s missing - to reevaluate what’s happening. The first one of these comes at the end of chapter one.
One aspect of the plot was easy to figure out, but other aspects kept me guessing until the very end.
I loved the diversity of the characters and how they each deal with their own… issues. Most of the main characters have a mental problem of some sort, and these get exacerbated by the use - and abuse - of drugs. Lyda, a middle aged black lesbian, is the point of view character for the majority of the book, and has a guardian angel thanks to NME 110. As an atheist and scientist she knows the angel is part of her own psyche, but has to constantly remind herself that it’s not real. Ollie is an ex-intelligence officer, whose abuse of drugs made her paranoid. To counter those effects she must stay on different drugs, ones that dull her senses making it difficult for her to see as well as think analytically. I loved Sasha as a character who overcomes the challenges she faces - both physical and mental - using technology.
With the exception of Sasha, who only comes in towards the end, and perhaps Dr. Gloria, the characters weren’t particularly likeable. They were people dealing with difficult circumstances in realistic ways. Lyda is often angry and demanding, not willing to listen to her conscience if it gets in the way of what she feels she needs to do. At the same time, I didn’t dislike anyone, though Rovil is a bit irritating in how much of a pushover he is when faced with Lyda’s demands.
While I enjoyed watching Lyda get around her medical implant and deal with the Millies, I didn’t believe how things worked out with her getting into the US. It seemed far fetched and over the top. Though, I’m left wondering if Lyda was meant to be an unreliable narrator, and if so, whether her version of events is wilder than what actually happened.
This is an interesting book that looks into drug use, mental disorders, extreme belief systems and more.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The ripped-from-tomorrow’s headlines stuff about designer drugs’ being printed by everyman in the church storeroom didn’t interest me as much as it seems to interest other people. I mean, yeah, that’s gonna happen. What’s more fun to consider (and Gregory does) is the leveling potential. (Also, you might consider re-balancing your portfolio if you own a lot of Big Pharma.) In the end, the most profound question posed by “Afterparty” is not really whether God is just a manifestation of brain chemistry but whether it matters.
A biomed startup discovers a drug against schizophrenia. But it has one side effect - it makes you feel the presence of God. The team accidentally overdoses themselves with their own medication, leaving one of them dead, and all others insane. Ten years later the drug, Numinous, reappears again and its creators must find which of them broke the promise not to let it out in the world.
This one is perfect cocktail: a page-turner with twists that would make you reread some chapters just after you finished one, a perfectly researched hard sci-fi that makes this reviewer - an actual biologist - look up the author to see if he has a scientific background (nope, the author has a English and Theater degree, well done sir, well done!), and surprisingly good literature as a whole.
The book's ragtag bunch of clinically insane characters are sometimes over the top (but still lovable), while their physical traits could be described in a less sketchy way, but other than that this is what I love most in a good sci-fi: smart and humorous writing, ideas that are worth researching and reading about after and a good story. Personally "Afterparty" also has a bit of inspiration - I'd sign for work in Little Sprout in a heartbeat - Gregory captures some essence of what I always seek in workplaces and colleagues.
Ahem. It's good. It's very, very good. Read it. If someone you know doesn't like it, explain to them that they're wrong, and then make them read it again since they clearly didn't pay attention the first time.