Title: Lime and Tangerine
Author: Kevin Caucher
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Length: 59 Pages
At a Glance: The story has an interesting premise, but ultimately fell short for me.
Reviewed By: Jennifer
Blurb: The post-apocalyptic world has changed. Colors have changed.
The skies are now red, and the seas fandango pink.
There are those who’ve acquired skills as “squinters”. By narrowing their eyes, they can see people in different colors—colors by which they can define their mood.
Senlin was born a squinter. A child of the foster system, the lack of love has left him with casual views on sex.
When Sicong recruits him into SQX, a squinter organization, Senlin wants nothing more than to jump his bones, but Sicong’s detachment makes Senlin believe his feelings aren’t reciprocated.
Senlin and Sicong’s relationship begins to grow as they undertake missions together.
That is, until an enemy of SQX turns his attention upon them.
Review: The idea of this book intrigued me because I like post-apocalyptic settings. Someone squinting and seeing the emotions of another person because they change color is an interesting concept. And initially I liked the book, but in the end, the dialogue seemed forced and the characters didn’t feel real to me.
Sen is a squinter. He’s new to it and uses his ability to help out drug dealers, and get laid. When Sicong finds him, he offers Sen the opportunity to make a difference with his abilities. Sen is hesitant and agrees. While training, he makes friends with Shuli and excels in Sicong’s classes. When he partners with Sicong, however, his life is put in danger, and it’s one he may not survive.
Sen and Sicong are interesting characters and the world they live in is fascinating. Something has caused the world to change. While things seem to be the same as far as TV and such, colors have changed. The sky is no longer blue, trees are no longer green and brown. As a concept, I liked it. However, the characterizations seemed to fall apart as I read.
The dialogue between Sen and Sicong sometimes felt forced, and I couldn’t really picture the two of them together. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it, but they didn’t have anything in common, and the story isn’t long enough for them to develop much of a friendship let alone a relationship. The ending also felt contrived. I questioned Sen’s actions and wanted to yell at him, not because I was worried about his safety, but because I felt he was not thinking clearly at all, and neither was Sicong. The villain also felt over the top at the end.
Overall, the story just didn’t work for me. Had it been longer and the author had more time to develop the characters and world, I would have enjoyed it much more.
You can buy Lime and Tangerine here: