Review – Annabel Scheme

Posted July 5, 2020 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Cover of Annabel Scheme by Robin SloanAnnabel Scheme, Robin Sloan

I’ve started trying out Storygraph, and one of the main features that drew me in was the ability to search for a book recommendation based on various inputs: not just genre, but pace, mood and length as well. So I thought I’d give it a try and buy one of the books it recommended — and thus, Annabel Scheme, “perfect for people who like Sherlock Holmes, Douglas Adams, ghosts and/or the internet”.

Annabel Scheme is a detective in a cyberpunk/horror landscape, with all kinds of weird and wonderful details. Hu is her assistant, an ex-Grail (think Google) server that just really wants to help and be a good sidekick. The story opens with a client, as this sort of story has to: a man wants to know what the heck is happening when new tracks of himself and his dead girlfriend are suddenly appearing across the internet, and he thinks Annabel Scheme can answer.

That mystery itself gets wrapped up very quickly, and obviously reveals itself as a portal into a larger story, which was… a little too tenuously connected, for my taste. It felt like the story fell into parts, and that was just a bit too much of a separate story.

Overall, though, it’s pretty entertaining: the Holmesian pastiche is there, but it’s not too much of a copy/paste of Holmes canon, style of character; though I can see what the comparison to Douglas Adams is there for, that’s not really the vibe I got. Ghosts, well, there are kind of some ghosts, but I didn’t really feel that was the key thing… In the end, the more I think about it the more it crumbles, I’m finding: there are loose ends and things that I didn’t quite get — but it was a fun enough read for the less-than-an-hour I spent on it. Score one for Storygraph.

Rating: 3/5

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