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Paz Pardo

Autor(a) de The Shamshine Blind

1 Work 84 Membros 5 Reviews

About the Author

Image credit: photo by Enrique Lozano

Obras de Paz Pardo

The Shamshine Blind (2023) 84 cópias


Conhecimento Comum



This is a detective novel set in an alternate world where the Argentinians won the Falklands War Malvinas War and continued on to occupy the United States. The Argentinian military developed a weapon called psychopigments -- clouds of colored powder that can alter people's emotions. The first, and deadliest is called Deep Blue, which destroys a person's memories. Military use of this psychopigment has turned the large American cities into ghost towns, the new metropolises are now located in places like Boise.

The story follows Kay Curtida, an psychopigment enforcement agent tracking down illegal pigments in the sleepy backwater of Daly City, whose proximity to a still dangerous San Francisco keeps it irrelevant. She dreams of the big time, pursuing complex cases instead of chasing petty criminals. Then a case turns out to be bigger and more interesting than anything she's ever seen. Is this her chance to finally get a transfer to the bright lights of Boise?

The first twenty pages of this novel were hard going. There's a lot of world building going on, which interrupts the flow of the story, and this part of the book is overwritten; there isn't a noun that escapes without an adjective or two. Fortunately, as the scaffolding of this alternate version of 2009 is finally erected, the adjectives also calm down and the story takes off. And that story is a lot of fun as Curtida tries to figure out what exactly is going on. The story involves a photogenic religious leader, a pawnbroker who collects all sorts of junk, an old love interest, Curtida's hopeful mother and a host of other colorful characters. While it does take longer to get going than most detective novels, this is an imaginative take on the genre.
… (mais)
RidgewayGirl | outras 4 resenhas | Feb 9, 2024 |
The Shamshine Blind is the debut novel of a writer who bears watching. Paz Pardo’s overarching conceit about emotions having been weaponized into a method of control and subjugation had me at once.

“Phychopigments” such as Gray Ennui, Deepest Blue, and Sunshine Yellow have driven the entire country a little crazy. After losing the Falklands War to Argentina, the US is spattered with abandoned cities, no-go zones, where “your emotions may not be your own” due to some spill or past skirmish.

Pardo shrouds the tale in a gauzy sci-fi noir reminiscent of an early Jonathan Lethem novel. Her hero, a hard-boiled Latinx detective, takes perhaps a few too many hits to credibly still be in the game, but it all comes out in the wash. So to speak.
… (mais)
railarson | outras 4 resenhas | Sep 1, 2023 |
Rich with detail and imagination. I can tell this book is a labor of love and a love of influences that inspired it. The main character reads comic books and you can tell this narrative could have almost been a very noir yet colorful comic book. Overall, the plot features Argentina has won a war against North America, mainly because they have invented pigment warfare -- the first being Deepest Blue that wipes memory. Being hit by or around psychopigments make a person go on a specific emotion overload, depending on the color. Different colors present problems, leaving North America bombed with pigments that leave entire cities unlivable. The year is now 2009 yet it seems very 1980s, when the war, in a way, stopped time. It's almost harder to write an "alternative history" that goes on a tangent in some point in history, rather than in an entirely fictional world. I couldn't tell if that was where some of the awkward sentences were coming from. Or if this world influenced by pigments is simply awkward now. Fun details like descriptions of a TV show that exists in this pigment decimated world. There are some problems in the narrative, like things being glaringly obvious to the reader are apparently not so obvious to the members of the Psychopigment Enforcement team. Obviously someone who is jumping into this world (the reader) shouldn't be able to figure it out faster than the professionals. But maybe this is how noir fiction usually works? The main character, a pigment "detective" is an underdog to root for, perfect for a "noir" inspired book. Overall, it's just a goofy, fun, out there sort of book... if you happen to be in the mood to read a noirish escapade that seems kind of stuck in the 1980s. Really, it's the kind of wacky book I tend to gravitate towards. It's an interesting concept and I don't regret giving it a try!
I would set this book on the shelf beside:
Jasper Fforde
Hench - Natalie Zina Walschots
FKA USA - Reed King
Dirk Gently - Douglas Adams
The Last Days of New Paris - China Mieville
… (mais)
booklove2 | outras 4 resenhas | May 29, 2023 |
The premise of this book -- Argentina has conquered the world using emotion-based weapons -- is exactly as weird as it sounds, but somehow it totally works! It's an exciting thriller/mystery with a great protagonist and diverse supporting cast. I liked the well-thought-out worldbuilding of how American politics looks in this alternate world, and how that affects the main characters. And the ending was everything I hoped it would be. I hope to see more books from this author!
lavaturtle | outras 4 resenhas | May 28, 2023 |




½ 3.7

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