Telepathy, meets smart technology meets love and romance. I love a bit of speculative fiction, but this mixed bag of a novel doesn’t quite get there.
I’ve read Doomsday and Blackout by Connie Willis before Crosstalk. Both books that feature Time Travel, something the author might have considered using to go back and tighten up this novel before it got published.
I enjoyed it. Some parts more than others. Some things annoyed me. Some stupidly small things that shouldn’t have annoyed me. The protagonist’s name is Briddey. This jarred with me, as she is meant to be from very Irish roots and the extra D just irked me everytime I saw it. I wanted to pronounce her name Bridey (sounds like bride) but the extra D makes it seem like Bridge sounding…does that make sense? Anyway, its a very small thing, but (obviously) it got under my skin.
The story centres around Briddey Flannigan, who works for a communications company that rivals Apple. She is going to get a neural enhancement which means she and her boyfriend will be able to feel their emotions towards each other, confirming their connectedness. There features a supporting cast of work colleagues and her slightly bonkers Irish family. Her sister Mary Clare is a very annoying and unbelievable character. The procedure has some unintended consequences, and a wee bit of sci-fi, romantic farce ensues.
I know I’ve been mostly negative so far, but I actually did enjoy the book, just not as much as I hoped I would. The story could be shorter. There are some silly bits in it, and a couple of characters I could have done without…maybe Mary Clare was needed as a plot device for her daughter.
Blurb mentions Norah Ephron, and the romance is of typical Ephron Rom-Com style. A perfectly suitable (on the surface) relationship, the introduction of a colleague she initially dislikes but slowly falls in love with.
The explanations of how the unintended consequences work I enjoyed. The few scrapes and avoiding detection were also parts that added pleasure and it all comes together in a satisfying way. There is a message there about how too much communication can be a bad thing.
Doomsday was my introduction to Connie Willis. It brilliant. Blackout was great, although for some reason I haven’t gotten round to All Clear. I got Crosstalk as a Christmas gift, and give it a hit and miss 3 out of 5 stars.