Review: Schooled

Schooled by Christa Charter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Generally, I enjoyed Christa Charter’s new series starter (you can tell it’s a new series because the last line completely sets up the sequel) and her double team of detectives – Lexy and her “uncle” Mike – work well together. The mystery itself is fun and while there are no great twists and turns, it’s also not completely obvious from the outset, which is nice.

The setting, an online game company based in the Seattle metropolitan area seems to be unique and it’s obvious (even without reading the author bio) that this is a world Ms. Charter is quite familiar with. On the downside, though, there are enough contemporary pop culture references to choke a horse and while I, personally, love those, a little goes a long away… especially when reading the book now, in 2013, 2012 references are already feeling dated. The problem with writing up to the minute touchstones to current culture is that unless they become timeless, the need for an annotated edition will become necessary in very short order.

The other objection I had is the clumsy way social issues were introduced and dealt with, especially in terms of male/female social interactions. Lexy is a woman who defines herself through her sexual connection with people (think a crop-top wearing version of Lady Brett Ashley) so it’s no surprise that the venom spewed at women in the tech and gaming world would come into play. I think this is good thing, it needs to be dealt with and it needs to be discussed if we ever hope to eliminate it, I just felt that in this particular book, it was shoe-horned in, in an effort to give the story some “gravitas.” Even with that, the book is a fun, quick, and easy read – but with enough sex I wouldn’t recommend it for more delicate readers.

I am, however, looking forward to reading the next in line, Pwned, to see where Lexy takes us.

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