Love Minus Eighty by Will McIntosh (2013)
Goodreads Summary: Years in the future, dead women in cryogenic dating farms await rich, lonely suitors to resurrect them and take them home. LOVE MINUS EIGHTY follows interconnected lives touched by these dating farms. There’s Rob, who accidentally kills a jogger, then sells everything to visit her, seeking her forgiveness but instead falling in love. Veronika, a socially-awkward dating coach, finds herself responsible for the happiness of a man whose life she saved against his will. And Mira, a gay woman accidentally placed in the heterosexual dating center near its inception, desperately seeks a way to reunite with her frozen partner as the centuries pass. In this daring and big-hearted novel based on the Hugo-winning short story, the lovelorn navigate a world in which technology has reached the outer limits of morality and romance.
This book sounded so cool and unique but, unfortunately, it wasn’t really what I was expecting and I did feel a bit disappointed. It tells three different stories, as the synopsis says. There’s Rob, Mira, and Veronika. The story opens with Mira and her perspective which immediately gripped me.
Then the story switched over to Rob and didn’t get back to Mira for ages. Then Veronika came in and her story was included almost as much as Rob’s when all I wanted was to know more about Mira. Of course, as the plot unfolds I saw why it was set up that way, but I still think it would have been much more interesting just to go in a different direction and share more of her.
So yeah, I didn’t care for all the different characters that much and the one that I did like wasn’t in it very much. Then there was the whole world it was set in. It’s a fantasy set in the future and there are still a lot of problems, a big divide between rich and poor, people use advanced technology, you can freeze your body when you die or even get revived. But I didn’t feel like I really got an idea of the world that existed in the book.
One thing I don’t like about a lot of fantasy (and sometimes science fiction) is that the author assumes you know what the world looks like or how certain things work that you’ve never heard of before. I know it’s hard to explain what everything is without just coming out and, well, explaining, but I was confused most of the time as to what was going on and just how all the stuff worked, like the “systems” that people wear and which played a part in the story. I’m still not clear on what those were exactly.
So yeah, it wasn’t as exciting as I’d hoped but it was still a very easy story and I finished it in two days despite the length…well, it was due back at the library and I wanted to finish it, so I’m not sure how much that says about the book. Although I will say it wasn’t intolerable or else I wouldn’t have finished it. I’d say check it out if it sounds interesting and at least give it a go. But if some of the things I mentioned above really irk you, then maybe pass on this one.
My Rating: ★★★☆☆