For the past few months, we’ve been reading six more semi-finalists from the inaugural SPSFC. Today we’ve got the penultimate full review of these six, which is of Neve Maslakovic’s All The Whys Of Delilah’s Demise. This book has an SPSFC rating of 5.00 out of 10, and is reviewed here by my co-judge Ryan.
I was excited to read this book, because that title is catchy—the perfect kind of title for a book about brands and popularity. This book is a murder mystery following the death of Delilah, who had been the most popular person in New Seattle.
New Seattle’s entire system is based around how popular you are, with the most popular people getting the best housing and the top ten (or Tenners) getting the ability to govern the city. The least popular, well, get exiled out of the city, and don’t survive long. Delilah’s death kickstarts a chain reaction among the city and Scottie ends up trying to solve the murder.
Probably my favourite bit about this is Scottie’s AI companion, named Watson because Scottie really, really likes Sherlock and pretends to be Sherlock while solving the crime. It was a small but consistent character beat that I enjoyed; of course it made me really want to re-read my Sherlock Holmes collection.
I feel like the wrong person to review this. This is a case of a book simply not clicking with a reader. I can absolutely see people interested in these dynamics of popularity (along the lines of the Nosedive episode of Black Mirror.) really enjoying this book, and I do hope it finds an audience.
Once again I would like to thank Ryan for his reviews of our semi-finalists. This last book really was one that fell into the wrong group of reviewers, and it could easily have performed better with another group.
This also marks the end of our semi-finalists, as the one book we have remaining to review has made it through to the final seven books in the whole competition. I’ll be back soon with that, and a full breakdown of the SPSFC Finalists.