A genius is abducted by an alien bounty-hunter for the location of a powerful inter-dimensional object. Trouble is, he can't remember a thing.
Ben isn't exactly a genius, but he has an immense breadth of knowledge. Whether it's natural science (specifically the intricacies of bug sex), or vintage timepieces, he can spout facts and information with the best of experts. He just can't explain why he knows any of it. Another thing he knows is the location of the Chime. What it is or why it's important, he can't say.
But this knowledge is about to get him in a whole heap of trouble, as a trash-talking, flesh-construct bounty hunter is on his tail and looking to sell him to the highest bidder. And being able to describe the mating habits of Brazilian bark lice won't be enough to get him out of it.
I enjoyed this book a lot but, oh, did it make my head hurt at times - but in a good way.
Ben knows everything there is to know about bugs, the sex lives of bugs and vintage wristwatches. He hasn't studied them at all so has no idea why he has all this information and try as he might there are no answers forthcoming for him. As for regular stuff - he just knows the same as the average person. The information he carries in his head has no use for him whatsoever until he and his stoner friend Patton are abducted by an alien bounty hunter who plans to sell them to the highest bidder for the knowledge in his head.
Trust me, there's a lot going on here but Panatier makes the whole thing work. I was baffled, I laughed, I said "huh?" a lot and then I laughed a lot more. There were times I was so disgusted (in a good way - it didn't stop me enjoying the read) my face probably looked like I was sucking bitter lemons. I very much enjoyed this book but feel I will have to read it again in 6 months time or so when I think it will go from a great book to a stone cold classic.
And there are footnotes, oh so many footnotes and they are awesome (I do like a good footnote)
Thanks to Angry Robot for inviting me onto this blogtour and supplying me with a review copy (which didn't influence my opinions in any way).
Please, if you can, have a read of the reviews by the other bloggers on the tour (below).