Deprivers by Steven-Elliot Altman

Imagine you had a genetic disease that every time you touched someone
with your bare skin you would cause some sort of harmful effect.  Some
make people go blind.  Others deaf.  Some lose sense of direction.
Others are paralyzed.  And the duration is different for each person.
You might go blind for 15 minutes if one of these people touches you.  Or
it might be the rest of your life.  That there are people out there
like this is the premise of Deprivers.  It seems like a neat concept.  Unfortunately, it isn’t well executed.

the first couple of chapters.  You get the set-up of the main
character, an assassin.  Okay.  Somehow a sixteen year old girl, and
granted she is a tough one, manages to force a gun into the mouth of
this assassin guy.  How?  Not sure.  All it says is that she forced the
gun into his mouth.  And since they are both deprivers, she did this
without touching him.  Hmm…  That’s okay.  Later a smaller guy lifts
a bigger guy by the throat and the big guy just does nothing, not even
reaching for his gun until the smaller guy can conveniently do
something about it.

But then there is the stilted dialogue.  "I
have nothing to gain from doing any of you harm."  Some characters talk
like they are ten years old and writing the mandatory letter to grandma
and others spout slang that makes no sense, "I think we should triple
dip him and leave him in front of the police station."  Umm… okay.
Whatever that means.

Not to mention the book is actually two
separate stories.  The first follows the assassin and the girl to
rescue her brother.  Instead they hang out talking about rescuing her
brother who rescues himself along with falling in love with his captors
daughter (of course, you saw that one coming, didn’t you?) and they
wind up at a conference for deprivers and then telling the world about
the great secret–deprivers exist–before some politicians can do it
and spin all the facts their way.  Then that story stops and you start
following this drunken normal guy who is out to find out who killed his
depriver wife.  What?!  Half way through the book, when you are finally
caring about these stilted characters and their mission, you have to
start all over again with a new set of characters and their problems?

I tried.  I gave it 200 pages in a 359 page book.  That is
giving something a fair shot.  And now I’m going to go find something

By the way, I’m going to be away from my computer for the
next two weeks.  So hopefully Maureen will keep you in the SF loop
while I’m away.  I’ll be back at the end of July.

2 thoughts on “Deprivers by Steven-Elliot Altman

  1. I have to say that well I respect your opinion and your strong viewpoints were clearly well thought out I completely disagree with everything you said. It’s been a while since I could actually finish a book that wasn’t Harry Potter related, but when I picked up The Depriver I couldn’t put it down! This is such a mind-boggling story with no dull parts. And the fact that she rammed a gun into his mouth was just a mater of surprise and even if she had pushed his shoulder or something it wouldn’t had been her bare skin. Besides, although Mr. Luxley is an assian you can tell that he only dose well at his job because he is a depriver and that when he finds out there are other deprivers, he’s fascinated but feels threatened by them especially when he doesn’t know who to trust. The dialog, I think, is powerful and really helps you understand the characters’ personality, toughness, and well a few the lines catch you off guard, what’s a book if it doesn’t make you think a little? Right? And well this is a very action-packed story, I found myself laughing at some of the sarcastic dialog to the characters. And well Nicholas did rescue himself, the story was never really going to revolve around him any way; it revolves around all deprivers and the pain they will suffer if the public find out about the fact that Nicholas caught captured was there to give us action, romance and to tell us the us how much danger deprivers are in.
    And well there was two PARTS. There weren’t two STORIES! The first part was there to tell us about deprivers and if you notice the second part is called OVEREXPOSED, it’s there to show us one of the incidents that occurred after deprivers got OVEREXPOSED! I really like the diversifications of the character you have CASSANDRA AND NICHOLAS- THE TROUBLED BROTHER AND SISTER WHO ARE REALLY REBELS. YOU HAVE ROBERT LUXLEY-THE LAYED BACK SARCASTIC GUY. WHO DOSN’T MIND BEING A DEPRIVER AT ALL. THERES TERRY-THE _NORMAL____ AND SYPATHATIC PHYCOLOGIST WHO HAD BEEN APART OF CASSANDRA AND NICHOLAS’S LIFE SINCE THEY WERE YOUNG . AND YOU HAVE SPARROW-THE NATIVE AMERICAN DEPRIVER WHO IS SORT OF LIKE ROBERT BUT MORE SYMPATHATIC AND WOULDN’T KILL ANYONE AS A CARRIER. They’re all different but somehow all work together.
    I might be coming across as someone who is telling you that you’re wrong, but I don’t mean to. I know there’s not one right opinion on a book. And it does seem like you gave it a fair chance. Please forgive me if I came off that way, but I sometimes get carried away when I’m expressing an opinion that I feel so strongly about. I love this web site!! I hope you read this! Thanks for your time.
    sincerely Heather

  2. Hi Heather,
    No, I don’t think you are telling me I’m wrong. You clearly loved the book. That’s great. I will stick by my stated opinion in the post, but I will grant The Deprivers had one of the most original premises I’ve seen in awhile. Just the whole idea of these people was cool and carried me along for a good part of the book.
    Discussing books and stating our differences in opinion makes us better and more thoughtful readers, and you gave me a different perspective. Thanks.
    P.S. Glad you like the site.

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