Saturday, September 24, 2011

FIXI #5: Jerat

Translation: Entrapment (?)
Fellas, clear your schedule for the next couple of hours, and pretend like you have no knowledge whatsoever about the outside world. Mothers, get a babysitter. Heck, tell your bladder to take a hike if you must, because we have another page-turner in our hands. It can't be helped, really.

Not when the story begins with a bloodbath; Violently killing not one, but two characters back-to-back. Our protagonist, Shereen could have easily been the third one, but luckily for her, she survives the attempt on her life although much of her memory is now lost. She recuperates and returns to her job at a high-end IT company, trying to piece back together her life. Meanwhile, the police are trying to solve the same puzzle, seeing the link between the two murders, the attempted manslaughter and a tender worth RM400 Million.

The question now is, which one of them will find that missing puzzle piece first? Find out in Dayang Noor's Jerat!

The author's television appearance...
Before I proceed with my comments about the novel, I must say that I have a feeling that author Dayang Noor is one cool lady. Not that we've met or anything, but it's like this, prior to the FIXI books, the last time I read a Malay language novel was back in Form 5, and I can always tell whenever the author is trying too hard to sound 'hip', no doubt an attempt to get us to relate to the characters. But they smelled so abundantly of the early '90s, it was just plain awkward.

Example? "Hak ala, siol la!" And that's a direct quote... *shivers*

Now, I don't know how old Dayang Noor is (nor would I ask), but what I'm trying to say here is, she may be of a different generation, but you wouldn't know that from her writings alone.

The characters are alive (except when they're dead, duh), colourful, three-dimensional, with believable strengths and weaknesses. Heck, even the depiction of cops is not like what we're used to. So yeah, while there are a lot of IT jargon and technical stuff going on in the story - most of which are gibberish to casual users like me - what's most interesting about the novel is the supporting characters.

Well, they have to very well damn be, since main character Shereen suffers from some kind of amnesia, so she's practically a blank slate, equally as clueless as us readers. Making it all that much easier for us to fall into the same traps as her. So consider yourselves warned.

You know, I rarely commit myself to anything, but when I do, I don't do it half-assed. In fact, I got so into the story that I even developed a crush on one of the characters. I'm just crazy and stupid that way. So imagine how I groaned by the end of the novel, just when I thought I had the story all figured out, turns out the author still had an extra metre of rug to pull from under my feet.

The author and the cover chick, seen here not wearing cables around her face...
Verdict? Boy, it was a really good read and by the end of it, I realised how poetic and how apt the title is, considering that I also fell into the jerat (trap). I'm not going to tell you what it is, so buy, borrow or steal the book if you really want to know.

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