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Book Review: Travel by Bullet (The Dispatcher #3)

Travel by Bullet (The Dispatcher, #3)Travel by Bullet by John Scalzi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Like many other readers, I zipped through all three books in this series, and consider them equal to one novel. If you want the full story, that’s what you’re going to do, too.

Now that I’ve reached the end, I’m feeling a bit retrospective about the experience. While Scalzi always does a great job of coming up with something really unusual for his characters to grapple with, he really outdid himself this time. A death-cheat is the core premise for the Dispatcher series, but the real focus isn’t completely on the phenomenon itself, there’s a lot of attention given to how people perceive it – and manipulate it. Gaming your own death is an everyday occurrence in this version of reality.

Naturally, you will have questions about this. No worries. The author is an Explainer. In less capable hands, this might be a problem. Most writers have been beaten over the head with the advice to ‘show, don’t tell’. Scalzi manages to do both at the same time and equally well, and I don’t mind because his explanations are solid. He’s not floundering about trying to justify his creation, he understands it and knows precisely why and how it works. Plus, his sharp-edged naturally smartassy tone is always fun – at least for me. Hopefully the writer’s inclinations and personality will work for you, too.

Now I’m off to read Starter Villain. I want to see how he explains that cover!

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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