The Plagiarist by Hugh Howey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
tl;dr: Buy it right now, make yourself a cup of tea, and enjoy. After reading this novella, I immediately bought all 5 books of Hugh’s “Wool” series.
I really struggled with rating this book… Usually I rate books relative to other books in their genre but The Plagiarist came tantalizingly close to rising above the ‘enjoyable quick-read sci-fi’ category into the ‘great, re-readable sci-fi’ category. As an enjoyable story, it rates 5/5; as a classic, it rates a strong 3 or a weak 4.
– While the Matrix/Inception-esque plot is not new, the author puts an interesting spin on it.
– Adam is given enough depth to be both pathetic and sympathetic — he is very human.
– The world is well developed and feels tangibly real.
– I wish the ending had been more of a surprise or had more of a twist.
– In some places the writing felt like the author was trying too hard. In other places the language was slightly awkward and didn’t scan.
A little polishing kept this novella from being amazing but please don’t let that stop you from buying and reading it — this is one of the best independent shorts I have read. And it comes so close to being great.