He’s not vicious or nasty, just sly, and uses violence only when necessary (and not to kill). The world he lives in is Bit O’Heaven, and has all the charm and joie de vivre of a 9-5 office cubicle.
He ends up in prison, where he hopes to learn more about the more skilful elements of criminality. However, he soon discovers everyone else in prison is a moron or incredibly violent, and sets out to find a mentor.
The book’s pretty light-hearted, and does a good job of making the small cast (diGriz is ever present) realistic and, in a few cases, very likeable. The writing style is such that it’s easy to race through the book (as I did), and there are numerous twists and cliff-hangers throughout which help keep the reader on their toes.
There isn’t really an antagonist, beyond The Man/The Establishment, although there are a few vile individuals dotted here and there. I think a slightly stronger sense of direction, perhaps through a primary antagonist, would have helped somewhat. That’s not to say the plot isn’t fast-moving, eventful and exciting, just that there’s a slight lack of focus.
I liked the minor use of Esperanto. I didn’t recognise it at first, but was aware of its existence (Esperanto was an effort to create an artificial language that would be intuitive and easy to learn for almost everyone. The reason it never caught on was because English had already become the dominant global language, and nobody spoke it as a native).
Mr. Harrison blends the generally light-hearted nature of the book with the grimmer moments very well, and I’ll be buying more of the books in the series.
*On the title: it’s listed as ‘A’ on Amazon, but the cover says ‘The’.