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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Review: Clean by Alex Hughes

Title: Clean
Author: Alex Hughes
Series: Mindspace Interrogations #1
Publisher: Roc
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Science Fiction
Release Date: 09/04/12
Reviewed by: Sara
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I used to work for the Telepath's Guild before they kicked me out for a drug habit that wasn't entirely my fault. Now I work for the cops, helping Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino put killers behind bars.

My ability to get inside the twisted minds of suspects makes me the best interrogator in the department. But the normals keep me on a short leash. When the Tech Wars ripped the world apart, the Guild stepped up to save it. But they had to get scary to do it -- real scary.

Now the cops don't trust the telepaths, the Guild doesn't trust me, a serial killer is stalking the city -- and I'm aching for a fix. But I need to solve this case. Fast. I've just had a vision of the future: I'm the next to die.

Plot: 4 Stars
This novel was a nice mix of urban fantasy and science fiction, with a touch of dystopian. I really enjoyed the Guild and it's network of telepaths and teleporters working separately of the normal population. They have a lot of secrets, and I hope to learn more of them in the next novel. This novel was filled with twists and turns as the police department came face to face with the Guild as a serial killer plagued the city. It was very interesting to see how the main character dealt with balancing his addiction and his telepathy with his job with the police and his old contacts at the Guild. The author created a very intricate and fascincating alternate Atlanta that will definitely appeal to both urban fantasy and science fiction readers.

Pace: 2.5 Stars
The pace of the novel is really the only criticism I had when reading. In a world as intricate as the author's alternate Atlanta, there was a good deal of worldbuilding involved. Now, I love worldbuilding as much as the next reader, but it got a tiny bit overwhelming at times. Some parts of the worldbuilding could've been introduced a little more organically, instead of inbetween major plot points. There was also a moment near the end in which there was just a bit too much build up for the final conflict/resolution. I found myself anxious to get to the final showdown and figure the case out. Overall, the pacing was a bit uneven and bit slow at times, but was just one small criticism of an otherwise great book.

Characters: 4 Stars
The main character of this novel is a recovering drug addict, but his addiction doesn't overwhelm the other aspects of the story. Besides his inner conflict in regards to the drug, Satin, he also has to work to keep from reading everyone's thoughts. Cherabino was a bit grumpy, but a very hardworking detective. I really enjoyed her character, especially the few moments in which we see her vulnerabilities. I liked how the author laid just the bare bones in regards to Cherabino being the love interest. It was the perfect amount of relationship-related plot for this novel, and I'm excited to see where it goes. There was a very strong cast of secondary characters, and I enjoyed the majority of them.

Cover: 4 Stars
The cover seemed a bit out of focus, but that really worked given the main character's telepathy and drug addiction. I really enjoyed that the cover model was facing away from the reader, hiding his face, since he tends to keep everyone at arms length. I also really enjoy the perspective of the image, and how the buildings are all around the cover model. It gives the cover a very gritty, urban feel that fits the novel perfectly. My favorite part is the big, bold, yellow title. It stands out really well against the blues and blacks, and there's no mistaking what the novel is called, or who wrote it.

Overall: 3.5 Stars

Disclosure: I received a copy of this novel for review from the publisher via the author.


  1. Totally agree on the pacing. I'm about halfway through and like the same things you like (the characters mostly) but it's sloooooow moving. I keep putting it down and going to other thing and then moving back to read a chapter here and there. I think I'll finish before too long, but I bet I finish another book in between chapters.

  2. Sounds interesting. I think I'll give this one a try, even with the slow pacing. Thanks for the review!


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