Afterparty by Daryl Gregory

8/10 If offered, would you try a drug that would connect you to God?

If you were offered a pill that would let you see God, would you take it? Although not the total premise of this book, it is a very interesting question with a lot of connotations to it. The story itself focuses on Dr. Lyda Rose, who after a traumatic overdose of NME 10 finds herself in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years. This is where we find Lyda when the story starts.

Afterparty feels very much like a quest. After Lyda leaves the hospital she is soon on the search to find the supplier of Numinous, which is very similar to NME 10. Lyda believes it can only be someone form Little Sprout, the company she was one of the founders of (Little Sprout were looking to find a cure for schizophrenia but ended up making a drug that connected you to God).

Throughout the story we are taken on a journey into the past, to find out what happened to a Lyda to make her so drug dependent. I found Lyda to be an enjoyable character; she is extremely dominant and headstrong. Lyda is driven by her past to actions which put not only herself but her friends in danger.

Lyda doesn’t take her journey alone, she is being helped by Ollie and Bobby, both people she met in hospital but who are loyal to Lyda, even if it is a case of the blind leading the blind. This is a world set in the not too distant future, where 3D printers can create the designer drug du jour or create fantasy hybrids with distribution seemingly far easier than it is today as you could just create your own.

I really enjoyed Afterparty, it’s fast paced and shows a world with a lot of problems; some of these are due to the overabundance of drugs as well as the variety on offer. It is easy to overlook the social problems this causes, when everyone is always looking for a good time. Going back to the question I posed at the start - if offered, would you try a drug that would connect you to God? Would it make a difference if you already followed a religion or if you were an atheist? Would a drug like that be a good or a bad thing?

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