Yannick Hill. Random House UK, $23.75 (432p) ISBN 978-1-78352-230-9
Hill’s debut thriller aims for both cyberpunk and magical realism but lands among the boringly mundane. Social media mogul Casey Baer has built the largest single residence in America for his family, calling it Versailles—appropriate, but also something of a cliché. Inside the compound, his wife, the talented industrial designer Synthea, and their teenage twins, Missy and River, live aimlessly; Casey maintains quasi-abusive surveillance over them but refuses to be part of their family. Their every material desire is fulfilled, but they have a gaping lack of purpose and happiness. Finally, Missy decides to run away, following clues in a video sent to her by her favorite pop star. The characters, three-dimensional and offbeat, are by far the best part of the book. The atmosphere is dreamy, the prose is seductive, and the hyper-rich milieu is convincingly weird, but the novel never coheres into anything more than the sum of its parts. In the end, it fails to be speculative or even suspenseful, but as a surrealistic portrait of a family in crisis, it boasts some intensity and charm. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/30/2018
Release date: 06/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
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