Mash Up: 7 out of 10
In Mash Up we see the return of Detective Qigiq from RATS, an Alaskan detective that played a small role previously. When I got my copy in the mail and read the back cover, I was excited. Here, I thought, is a chance to become more familiar with a quirky, interesting sub-character from RATS. And this is the source of my frustration with Mash Up.
Here I sit, 598 pages later, and I don't actually know Detective Qigiq any better than from his brief appearances in RATS. Despite the massive amounts of "screen time" that Qigiq gets, very little of that is spent giving you an insight into the character. What is his past? Why did he become a police officer? What are his hopes, dreams, fears, or inspirations? I can give a simple answer to some of these, but just from what I learned in RATS. One of the few things that you learn about the detective in Mash Up is that he is very technologically inept. Sort of. At times he shows a ridiculous amount of naivete with technology (when trying to figure out how a little metal stick (a flash drive) can contain an entire movie), but then he has no problems at all plugging that flash drive in and playing the movie. The inconsistency is annoying at times.
All that being said, the rest of Mash Up was a thrilling success. While RATS didn't have a heavy political or moral lesson, Mash Up examined the economy and culture of music production versus digital piracy. It was truly invigorating to learn how each side of the coin operated and viewed the morals and laws involved. The mystery and intrigue that come with any crime-solving novel were there in full force, leaving you guessing and calculating for most of the novel, comparing and oscillating between different suspects and motives. The twist at the end is quite imaginative, ironic, and entertaining.
All in all, I would recommend Mash Up to any lovers of the suspense genre. While it has its problems, Mash Up is still a successful piece of work!