[This post was first published late last year, after I read a proof copy of Dangerously Placed. Yesterday, I received my very own, shiny, personally-signed PUBLISHED COPY and am so excited I had to repost this for those of you who missed it the first time. Dangerously Placed hits all good bookshops (physical or virtual) on March the first, so GO AND GET IT!!!]
I decided awhile ago that I would not review books on this blog unless they were absolutely tremendous. I felt uncomfortable giving bad reviews now I was a writer and knew how much a negative review would cut out my heart and squish it like a tomato under the feet of a fat Italian Mama. So, for a year or so there have been no reviews on this site. I have done the occasional top ten, but that’s it. Until …
Okay, full disclosure: Nansi Kunze is one of my best Twitter mates, and I was a big fan of her previous novel, Mishaps, before I even met her (trust me, I was a nervous fangirl the day she came into the bookynook to introduce herself). We also share an editor who is made of seven different secret kinds of awesome.
But none of that actually counts as a reason for bias. In fact, I am almost always tougher on books written by authors I know personally (one of the reasons I stopped reviewing). I was worried I would be disappointed in Nansi’s new book because I loved Mishaps so very much.
I shouldn’t have been worried. Mishaps proved that Nansi is an awesome writer. Her new book, Dangerously Placed is, if anything, even better. It’s a the story of the worst work experience OF ALL TIME. The main character, Alex, has scored her dream placement, at the marketing division of a company called “Simulcorp” that specialises in virtual reality. Even the Simulcorp office is virtual. The workers go to work in separate buildings, towns, countries and don grey suits that project a virtual representation of themselves. It’s an exciting environment for Alex to find herself in, especially as she discovers the other work experience student is super-hot.
Everything is going swimmingly for Alex. Until her boss – the sociopathic Pierce Grody – is murdered. Alex finds the body and soon finds herself being questioned by the police as the prime suspect. Alex knows she must clear her name and, with the help of her friends – hippy chick Sky, science geek Ki and slacker prankster Nix – Alex sets about doing just that. Soon, things take a turn for the even worse though, as it seems like hot Dale might know more about the murder than he’s letting on. Oh, and Alex is also being stalked. Not a great day at the office, all thing considered!
Dangerously Placed is a seriously fun, fast-paced, thrilling read. I was so entranced by it I was desperate to read it at any opportunity – I finished it this morning while on the treadmill at the gym!
I’m not usually a sci fi fan either. Fantasy, yes, with bells on, but Sci Fi has always left me a bit cold (mostly because the futures these books imagine scared the bejeepers out of me). But I really loved the sci fi elements in this: the amazing virtual office with its water-filled couch and cake that looks real but can’t be eaten (nightmare!!!), the “bot” with a heart, the fantastic jean marketing idea Alex and Dale come up with (which I WANT IN THE REAL WORLD). Nansi has done the unthinkable. She had made me want to read MORE science fiction (egad!).
I am so proud of Nansi. She has done an incredible job. I marvelled at her ability to keep the twists and turns coming and avoid any obvious culprits or glaring plot holes. I couldn’t craft such a delicious mystery if I tried. And she keeps the perfect balance of humour and thrills. It’s a wonderful book. A five star book.
The only bad news? It’s not out til March. But trust me, it’s worth the wait!!!