I am a huge fan of giving books to people for Christmas, especially in these sad times when bookstores are like hungry Tiny Tims in a world of media-mogul Scrooges. In fact, I used to only give books for gifts until I was accused of being boring and/or cheap. So now I always try to give a book along with other, less-cool stuff that costs more.
I can’t exactly give books out on this blog, but I can give reviews of some new releases, or whatever happens to strike my fancy. And one both new and fancy-striking book I’ve read this holiday season is Necropolis, by Michael Dempsey, released October 2011 by Night Shade Books.
I mean, just listen to the premise: a guy is brought back to life in a futuristic New York City to solve his own murder case. How cool is that? Well, throw that premise into a noir, Bogart-movie-esque atmosphere so thick you can practically feel and taste it, as if swimming through pea soup, and add a truly scary villainess—she’s frighteningly wealthy, powerful and brilliant and stashes razors up her sleeves, for Pete’s sake—and a pinch of the science behind aging and immortality for nerds like me, and you’ve got Necropolis. Much more than your average soup!
And yet, Necropolis, never claims to be what it’s not. It’s exciting, it’s entertaining, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously, utilizing what could be noir, gumshoe clichés with a cheekiness that pokes fun at them—and itself—at the same time. So if you know someone who wants a fun rollercoaster ride through a dark, gritty near-future, complete with dark, rain-drenched streets, flapping trench coats, glowing cigarette butts, and plasma tommy-guns, give them a copy of Necropolis, even if it’s just to yourself.
After all, books are pretty cheap, they rock most people’s socks, and the industry really needs the help right now, especially if people like me (i.e. writers) want to have a career in the near-future. I’d take a creepy, quarantined NYC any day over a future without paper-and-ink books, brick-and-mortar bookstores and public libraries.