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by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

May 30, 2023

Titanium Noir by Nick Harkaway ~ a Review

by Donna Huber


In the nearish future, science has created true giants. Typically financial or political giants can reverse the aging process but a side effect is extreme growth in body mass - not everyone sees this a negative side effect. They are the new untouchables and when a crime is committed involving one of these Titans, Cal Sounder is called in. He is a private detective of sorts who consults often with the local police. A Titan, who doesn't fit the typical Titan profile, Sounder finds himself tumbling down the rabbit hole of secrets that only power can cover up.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of dystopian noir novel Titanium Noir by Nick Haraway
May 2023; Knopf; 978-0593535363
audio, ebook, print (256 pages); dystopian noir

Titanium Noir
 is billed as "a virtuosic mash-up of Philip K. Dick and Raymond Chandler by way of Marvel". While I've not read Raymond Chandler, I agree with the rest of the statement. I also saw influences of Michael Chabon - my post-apocalyptic book club recently read The Yiddish Policeman's Union so that was fresh in my mind. 

This wasn't my typical read. I'm also in a mystery book club and we have been trying different subgenres and I was drawn to the Noir in the title. I'm not sure I particularly like the grittiness of the noir genre but I'm sampling different types to see if it grows on me.

Titanium Noir definitely has a dark, seedy quality - made me think of Gotham. But there seemed to be a gleam of metallic underneath.

I liked Cal Sounder. He is the typical noir protagonist - he has his own moral code as he works in the gray areas of society. While he isn't afraid to dabble on the illegal side of things he is overall a good guy - he's just trying to find justice any way he can.

The mystery was okay. I didn't really get invested in the storyline. There seemed to be missed opportunities for building suspense. There are a lot of unknowns and a few twists, but I felt like I was outside the story and I like to be pulled into the story. I think this is what I don't like about noir - there is little emotional connection to the story.

Overall, it was well-written and enjoyable. If you are a fan of noir then you will love this novel. It did set up things for a continued series, but easily this could be a stand-alone novel. 

Buy Titanium Noir at Amazon


Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.



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