Monica Massey

"Imperfect By Design" (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 15th April 2001

On the strength of a recommendation on senfic when someone was looking for a good AU to read, I went off and read this story. Jim is a cop in a slightly futuristic Cascade and Blair is an imperfect clone Jim buys to use as bait to trap a killer. Alas, it didn't work for me. There were parts of it I quite liked, the whole idea was interesting (and aspects reminiscent of the kind of thing that people who like Susan Foster like -- that Blair belongs to a class of people who are treated like slaves, and Jim treats him differently). But... there were points at which I just dropped out of the story, my suspension of disbelief coming crashing to the ground. Oddly enough, they were the points at which the Sentinel/Guide stuff was explained, because the characters seemed to know too much, too soon, used terms that didn't seem likely they would use (for example, Jim called his zone-outs "zone-outs" when he hadn't even met Blair and had no way of knowing that particular term). That's probably far too picky for some people, but I found it too distracting. (I also was a bit put off by the bed-sharing thing...) Which is a pity because it wouldn't have taken a lot to bring it to a point where I would have enjoyed it a lot more -- as I said, the whole idea was interesting, and there were some really good bits in there, like where Blair talks about what he was made for...