The Dispatcher (The Dispatcher #1) by John Scalzi - Book Review

Write on: Mon, 19 Oct 2020 by  in Drew's Reviews Read 3025

Imagine a world where murder victims are returned to life, safe at home in their beds, their bodies reset to the condition of several hours prior to death. Now imagine how that could be exploited. That’s where Tony Valdez comes in.

Tony is the dispatcher of the title, someone who routinely “kills” people on the verge of death; maybe the result of accidents, maybe a failure in medical treatment. Since they are technically murdered, they are delivered home and given a second chance at life. But when a fellow dispatcher goes missing and Tony gets drawn into the investigation, it leads him into some dark corners of his business.

One of the things I particularly liked about The Dispatcher, while the central premise is thought out and how it works (including some loopholes) is explained, why it has happened is barely touched. The two main characters do acknowledge that it remains a mystery, but that doesn’t change the way it has affected their world. It also has all the snarkiness and amusing dialogue that I've come to expect from other Scalzi work. Part of me would like to see more of this world and maybe the main characters but part of me also thinks that The Dispatcher is a perfect stand-alone read.

The Dispatcher is a great little novella, easy to read and understand, and could very well be consumed in a single sitting. Perfect for a plane, train, or anywhere else you have a couple of hours to kill. Or if you like audiobooks, get the audio version and have Zachary Quinto read it to you.


 4.5 out of 5 non-murders. 

Last modified on Sunday, 24 January 2021 03:44

Drew ascribes his love of stories to an aunt giving him a hard back edition of Dracula & Frankenstein for his 8th birthday. Since then he’s been an avid reader of books, short stories, and comics. He is a regular blogger at “The Scribblings” and is working on his own writing.