I, the Provocateur - Vardan Partamyan

A short, entertaining and at the same time provoking read that I wished would've lasted me longer, because I really liked its atmosphere and setting. I admit I had a little trouble getting into it at first, due to the length of some paragraphs, but I also admit I was reading on a small Smartphone screen, and the effect it produced may have artificially lengthened those. Anyway, the author's prose soon made me forget that; it sometimes had an almost poetic quality, coupled with bits that bordered on stream of consciousness (yet never so much as to make it seem too heavy).

From the beginning, something felt slightly "off" (in an intriguing way, not a bad one), and once you get deeper into the story, you get to understand what it was, and the hints scattered here and there suddenly make more sense. I liked the twists and turns in this narrative fraught with a certain humourous quality. The "Provocateur" poem, too, left quite an impression on me, especially the way it was used later in the novel.

On the downside, I think some aspects of the world could've benefitted from a little more development, and perhaps also more grey areas as far as the opponents and corrupt government were concerned (I find such dystopian works more frightening, precisely because of ambiguous villains and the lack of clear-cut boundaries). The same goes with characters; I'd have liked to get to know some of them more (I'm thinking of Reena specifically, whom I didn't really connect with, and her friends to a lesser extent). Also, dialogues in the second part of the book seemed to take on a heavier turn that felt more like lesson-giving than real dialogue.

However, overall, I enjoyed this story.