Review: “The Identity Thief” by Alex Bryant

Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for The Identity Thief by Alex Bryant. All ages fantasy.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I read it pretty much in one sitting, so certainly I found it engaging. And I laughed quite a few times. But did I really find it enjoyable? I’m not sure. What I was thinking, as I read, was: This is a book I would give to a kid as a bang-up fictional example of how discrimination spreads throughout a populace, and what role the media plays in shifting public opinion. But that’s a pretty restricted use case. You know what, I’ve just realized why I didn’t really enjoy it. I really hate plots that depend on people not sharing important information with their loved ones. It’s believable and realistic, mind you, I just find it as irritating as hell. Okay, it’s a good book that really pushes one of my buttons, in a bad way. Take that for what it’s worth.

This story isn’t really about me. If someone were to come along and turn it into a documentary or something, they would cast Cuttlefish as the villain, the deranged criminal who nearly fools the world. Mum would be the hero – the detective who refuses to give up until she brings him to justice. I’d be that adorable child who the detective tucks up in bed, saying, “Darling, I promise once this case is over, you and I are going to spend a lot more time together.” (Just so you know, Mum never actually said that, or even tucked me up in bed for that matter, but the documentary writers would have to give Mum’s character a bit of popular appeal somehow.)

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