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Simulacrum by Rian Darcy

Truth be told, I was not expecting to like this novel so much. I’m not a fan of fantasy, and hard-core urban fantasy even less; I haven’t even seen The Matrix, to give you an idea. But they recommended me this novel, and I did give it a try: already from the first pages, I was reconsidering my position. This wasn't absolutely the heavy novel I was expecting, in a way, sometime, I found this novel to be even "cute".

True, it’s urban fantasy, better, an alternative reality that is developing in parallel with real life; people have avatars, and there is an entire world, Simulnet, where avatars can live a parallel life for their owners. Problem is that people is also dying, and death is not for fake. Shaun is a newbie LAPD detective who wants to “prove” himself; just out of college, good grades and good background, he was not good enough for the more prestigious FBI Agency, and even no, in the LAPD, he is not doing the “cool” job. So when his boss asks him if he wants to go undercover in Simulnet to find out a serial killer targeting young women, an investigation that is not exactly legal, since LAPD has no jurisdiction in Simulnet, Shaun is all for the task. And when he meets Lore, his assigned partner, he delves even more in the lure of Simulnet.

Shaun has never really questioned his sexuality; he experimented in college both with female than male partners, and so he considers himself quite “open” to possibilities, but then he opted for women. True, he is not very lucky in finding the right woman, despite his meddling twin sister. And so when he starts to prove something more than friendly admiration for the very “cool” Lore, he also starts to reconsidering all his life.

But he has only ever met Lore in Simulnet, he doesn’t know anything about him, and by the way, Lore is always advising him on how “fake” that world can be, where everyone can be who they want, not who they really are. What if Lore is not whom he claims to be? What if he is not even a man? What if he is a woman? What if he is not even a he or she?

I liked how the author played with Shaun’s, and the reader’s, mind, questioning everything that seemed simple, even a late coming out of a guy, with the many chances that an alternative/parallel reality can give you. Is Shaun maturing into his real persona, having a late coming out, or is he actually feeling as an avatar, what he should feel in the real world for his right partner?


Amazon Kindle: Simulacrum
Publisher: Circlet Press, Inc. (June 10, 2012)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle

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