Review

Review: The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss by Max Wirestone

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3 out of 5 stars | Goodreads

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

A murder mystery set partly in an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game)? Intriguing.

The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss definitely appealed to my (not so) inner geek, as the cover claims. In fact, not only geeks will be able to understand Dahlia. She will probably be familiar to many a twenty-something year old, trying to find their way in life. Unemployed for thirteen months, apparently useless at job interviews and unlucky in love, Dahlia Moss is offered a job by a strange friend of her flatmate – as a private detective. She is asked to work out who stole something from him. But that something is an item from an online game, and within a few days of asking her, her ’employer’ has been murdered. Dahlia soon finds herself caught up in a lot more than she expected.

At first, I found Dahlia a funny character. She was witty and happy-go-lucky, but soon her jokes and moods began to rub off on me and I actually found her to be quite irritating. How could someone be so useless, and miss SO MANY CLUES? Additionally, her flatmate felt a little too much like the Manic Pixie Dream Girl type of character, with her impromptu home theatre shows and crazy personality. In fact, most characters felt a little ‘cookie cutter’.

On the other hand, the story was quite fun, if a bit ridiculous. Dahlia gets dragged into the game more and more often as she gets deeper into the mystery, and learns more about her ’employers’ guildmates. However, the overall conclusion felt so weak, especially the motive behind the murder – as well as the murderer being quite obvious to the reader.

Whilst Dahlia Moss was a fun read at times, it loses points from me for having a rather abrasive main character, as well as being a little too obvious in its mystery. However, whilst the subject of MMORPGs/video games in books seems to be appearing more often, it’s still not that common – so if you’re looking for a book that involves those elements, it might be worth taking a look at this.

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