Sunday, 26 February 2012

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: The Fourth Wall - Walter Jon Williams

Release Date: 02/02/12


Dagmar Shaw got out of the game . . . and into the movies. Sean is a washed-up child actor reduced to the lowest dregs of reality television to keep himself afloat. His life was a downward spiral of alcoholism, regret, and failure - until he met Dagmar. But Sean has secrets, dark even for the Hollywood treadmill of abuse, addiction, and rehab. And Dagmar is a cipher. There are dark rumors about her past - people tend to die around her. Now, she wants Sean for something. A movie, she says, but with her history, who knows what her real game is?


This tale is one of love, betrayal, double dealing and of course abuse all melded together with an appearance (albeit quite small) of Dagmar whose previous two outings (Deep State and This is Not a Game) let you know that with Walter Jon Williams you can never be too sure on your footing. Unsurprisingly this tale proved to be no exception to the rule as he brought together almost two unlikely characters in this amalgamation of multiple genres with a good deal of murder as well as double dealing as the principle character, Sean seeks to deal with his own issues alongside with those thrust upon him by the plotline.

It’s quirky, it has its moments, but for me the tale as a whole didn’t quite mesh together as it should have done. Don’t get me wrong, the action was decent and the characters were fairly well fleshed out but what let this down was the improbability of the events within even though I really wanted it to work. Sadly for me, it’s not Walter’s best book to date but it is reasonable enough to warrant a read although a rent from a library may be the best option here.

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