Title: Miracle Myx
Author: Dave Diotalevi
Summary: Myx, who has developed permenant insomnia, synesthesia, and a photographic memory due to 2 near-death experiences, snoops around his small town in hopes of uncovering a murderer.
To be honest, I debated about whether to even finish the book. In the end, I did, mostly to be able to give it a fair review– I despise critics who haven’t actually seen/ read all of what they are discussing. Frankly, the narrator, the title’s Myx, is annoying. The premise, a teenager who is synesthetic, remembers everything he sees, and can’t sleep, is interesting; although it has been done long before and to better effect by Lawrence Block in his “The Thief Who Couldn’t Sleep” series about Evan Tanner. I was, therefore, expecting Myx to have extraordinary adventures. In Diotalevi’s novel, however, within the first few pages, we discover that Myx is an obnoxious child with a purient obsession with sex, and a huge amount of hubris. Since he is a teenager, he is confined to his hometown, instead of Tanner’s global treks, and while Tanner has saved whole countries, Myx manages to “save” two teenage girls who seeming were never in any real danger and to solve a puzzle that the author has not properly explained or made me care about. The sensory elements are neat, but they are not enough to keep the reader focused through all of the rest.
Instead of using his 24 hours to improve his life/ his world/ his community, Myx spends his nights prowling into other people’s secrets and stockpiling them in order to blackmail the townsfolk– mind you, he is presented to the reader as the hero who rises above trecherous adults. Even when Myx is solving the mystery, he really is doing it to further his own means. If, by the end, his self-grandeur had been chipped away by the events of the novel, I would have been more satisfied; but no– he is rewarded, in a particularly disturbing way, keeping in mind that he is fourteen– which I think the author actually forgot.
As for the plot… after thinking about it, I can see the red herrings and a few clues that were dropped, but the ending is rather unsatisfying because we have never met the villian before, except in flashbacks which were basically part of building Myx’s character. There are some glaring plot holes (why the tattoo was on the inside of her lip? how was her plan supposed to work again? why would this plan embarrass her father? what was the whole business with the mob guy? etc.– yes, I know those sound interesting, but they’re not really). Most of the novel is consumed with Myx bragging about how clever he is and leering after women. Ok, I’ll buy that most teenage boys are fascinated with that topic, but please, do we have to hear about it constantly. Doesn’t Myx have other things to do? Nevermind, apparently not.
Overall: I’m going back to Lawrence Block.
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