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Nica of Los Angeles stars Veronica (Nica) S.T.A.T.I.C., a private investigator who calls L.A. home.  She lives out of her office, and doesn’t get very many clients until one day, three separate jobs walk through her front door.  Pretty soon, she’s embroiled in a plot that traverses multiple different dimensions and realities, and she realizes that her actions have far reaching consequences that she never could have imagined.  Part hard-boiled detective fiction, and part dimension hopping fantasy, this book runs the full spectrum, but should you read it?  Read on to find out.

In this novel, Sue Perry creates an incredibly detailed fantasy world where just about everything is sentient.  Buildings, cars, landmarks, even clouds could be your greatest ally, or your biggest threat, depending on what dimension or “frame” you find yourself in.  In that aspect, the settings are always rich with detail and wonder.  You never know what could start moving or talking to the characters next.  Perry does a superb job in the environments that her characters are placed in and it makes the story easy to just fall into, and one that you could definitely lose yourself in.

The other aspect of the story that I really enjoyed were the characters.  Nica is a terrific main character.  She’s easy to relate to and her struggles seem realistic.  She daydreams about famous fictional detectives and is always making allusions to what this one would do, or how that one would feel in the situations that she gets herself into.  The supporting cast in the novel is also very strong.  Whether they are guiding Nica through various different frames, or just being there to pick her back up when things don’t go well, they’re never far, and they all have their own separate personalities.  They’re strong enough not to just become part of the scenery, but not so strong as to overpower the main character, which is a fine line to walk in a novel written in first person perspective.

The one issue with this novel that I did have a slight problem with were the two sub plots.  One involving one of Nica’s ex-husbands, and the other involving the Hispanic couple searching for a missing girl.  While they’re going on, they seem fine, but once the novel and the bigger story are nearing conclusion, those plot threads ultimately seem a little out of place, and I don’t feel like they contributed very much to the main narrative.  You could make the argument that the ex-husband thread works better than the Hispanic couple, and I would concede, but the couple just seems rather unnecessary to the whole thing, particularly with the way their story concludes.

In general, I feel like this is a really good story for fans of alternate reality fantasy.  Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of that particular genre, but I can’t deny that this book kept me interested, with it’s strong characters and interesting setting.  IN the end, I do feel like it could have been edited a little tighter to get rid of some of the wandering plot threads, but overall I did enjoy reading this novel.

The Verdict for Nica of Los Angeles:
4/5 – I can dig it.

Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

Upcoming reviews:
March of the Crabs, Volume 1: The Crabby Condition
Hail Hydra #1 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Planet Hulk #3 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Secret Wars: Battleworld #3
Where Monsters Dwell #3 (Secret Wars Tie-In)

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Comments
  1. frankalrich says:

    I like your review style, KDWalls. Would love to have you also share your reviews on reviewcreep.com and get you some free exposure. The easiest way to get started is by using your existing review blog posts since you’ve already done the work… just enter your wordpress blog url when it asks for it during the quick signup… it will make it easy to add all your existing reviews. Our marketing team is going to be sending out the top reviews in a daily/weekly curated email to our entire list.

    Like

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