Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Review: Nickel Plated

Nickel is a survivor.  After escaping a series of abusive foster homes, he's set up shop as a freelancer.  He makes money blackmailing online pedophiles, selling homegrown marijuana, and doing some private jobs. For adults, he's expensive.  For kids in trouble, he's free.  So when Arrow, a high school girl, asks for help finding her missing sister Shelby, Nickel accepts.  This case is going to be different from his previous jobs. It's deeper, it's darker, and it's going to take him places he may not want to go...


This book is not for the squeamish.  It's gritty, tough, real.  And it's absolute adrenaline.  It's definitely not a book to be taken lightly, and I know I'm not going to forget it anytime soon.


I loved the plot, up until the last few chapters.  Then I went down to only liking it.  Sans spoilers, all I can really say is that things got extremely convenient.  But ending aside, I thought it was a unique, very interesting, and absolutely enthralling plot.

A little side note here: I really appreciated that Davis didn't just skim by the "oh, he's underage and lives alone and has electricity that he never has to pay for" issue.  Nickel has to work, he has to buy groceries, he has to pay the bills.  And he has to be careful, has to be sure not to tip anybody off to the fact that he's living alone.  And yeah, he sells drugs and blackmails online creeps to get money.  It's not pretty, but it has to happen.  I'd just like to say thank you, Davis, for having a realistic living situation for your protagonist.


I wasn't wildly in love with any of the side characters, but I did adore Nickel.  He had a tragic past, but he wasn't whining about it every other page; he was sucking it up and making the best of what he had.  A drug-dealing blackmailer doesn't sound like a sympathetic protagonist, but in fact by the end of the book I not only respected Nickel, I outright admired him.  He's one of the best, most realistic, most 3-D characters I've seen in a while.


I guess I can describe it as "quietly powerful."  It's not flashy, there's not a lot of long words, and Nickel's voice comes through loud and clear.  It's enjoyable to read and very, very memorable.

End Result: four stars.  A good book, definitely worth your time.

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